If you deal with anxiety, there are strategies you can use to help manage immediate symptoms, as well as long-term methods to combat recurring issues.
Anxiety is the body’s response to real or perceived danger. It’s a natural process that every person deals with at one time or another.
People often use anxiety as a blanket term for a general feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. However, there’s a difference between feeling anxious and having an anxiety disorder, the latter of which includes many different conditions.
If your anxiety is sporadic and getting in the way of your focus or tasks, some quick natural remedies could help you take control of the situation.
Suppose your anxiety is focused on a situation, such as worrying about an upcoming event. In that case, you may notice the symptoms are short-lived and usually subside after the anticipated event takes place.
1. Question your thought pattern
Unhelpful thoughts can take root in your mind and distort the severity of the situation. One way is to challenge your fears, ask if they’re true, and see where you can regain control.
2. Practice focused, deep breathing
Measured breathing practices may help you manage immediate feelings of anxiety. Try breathing in for 4 counts and breathing out for 4 counts for 5 minutes total. By evening out your breath, you’ll slow your heart rate, which should help calm you down.
The 4-7-8 technique is another popular breathing pattern for anxiety management.
Discover eight breathing techniques for anxiety management here.
3. Use aromatherapy
Limited research suggests that aromatherapy can help reduce feelings of anxiety in some settings. Aromatherapy practitioners and supporters often report many anecdotal benefits of the practice.
Whether they’re in essential oil form, incense, or a candle, natural scents like lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood can be very soothing.
Learn more about aromatherapy here.
Sometimes, the best way to stop anxious thoughts is to leave a situation and get moving. Focusing on your body and not your mind may help relieve your anxiety. Low impact exercises like walking, yoga, and tai-chi can often help people to reduce stress and manage anxiety symptoms.
Getting some quick exercise can help
Learn more about the benefits of exercise for your mental health here.
5. Grounding techniques
Grounding techniques such as journaling and the 333 rule can often help to calm immediate feelings of anxiety.
The 333 rule involves naming three things you can see, three sounds you can hear, and interacting with three things you can touch.
Writing down what’s making you anxious gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting. Reading your thoughts and feelings can help you take stock of your emotions in the immediate moment.
This can also help you better understand the situations and events that cause anxiety.
If anxiety is a regular part of your life, it’s important to find treatment strategies to help you keep it in check.
If you’re unsure where to start, discussing options with a mental health professional who might suggest something you hadn’t thought of before is always helpful.
1. Identify and learn to manage your triggers
You can identify triggers on your own or with a therapist. Sometimes they can be obvious, and other times, less so.
Common anxiety triggers include:
- work, relationship, and other life stresses
- withdrawal from drugs or certain medications
- side effects of certain medications
- exacerbation of past trauma
- chronic pain
Everyone has different triggers, and identifying them is one of the most important steps to coping with and managing anxiety attacks.
Learn more about the different triggers for anxiety here.
2. Try therapy
Different psychotherapies can help you better understand your anxious feelings and develop coping strategies.
For example, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps people learn different ways of thinking about and reacting to anxiety-causing situations. Research shows that CBT can be an
Learn more about CBT for anxiety here.
3. Ask your doctor about medications
If your anxiety is severe enough that your mental health professional believes you’d benefit from medication, there are several directions, depending on your symptoms. Discuss your concerns with your doctor.
The most common anxiety medications are:
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
- tricyclic antidepressants
Learn more about anxiety medications here.
4. Do a daily or routine meditation
While this takes some practice to do successfully, mindful meditation, when done regularly, may eventually help train your brain to
If sitting still and concentrating is difficult, try starting with yoga or walking meditation. Many free guided meditation apps can help you get started.
Learn more about the different types of meditation here.
5. Keep a journal
It can be helpful to create a habit of writing down your thoughts and emotions in a journal daily. The process of writing down thoughts itself can be calming for some.
Journalling can also have long-term benefits.
Discover six benefits of journaling.
Although everyone is different, and some people experience social anxiety, spending time with friends and family regularly may help you manage your anxiety.
Socialization can help relieve stress, encourage feelings of laughter and togetherness, and decrease loneliness.
Discover our 12 tips for socializing here.
7. Staying active
Exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and staying connected to people who care about you are great ways to stave off anxiety symptoms.
Studies show that exercise, in particular, can have a positive impact on managing anxiety.
Discover 10 natural lifestyle remedies for anxiety.
8. Diet and supplements
Changing your diet or taking supplements is a long-term strategy. Research shows certain supplements and foods can play a positive role as part of broader anxiety treatment.
If you’re taking other medications, make sure to discuss herbal remedies with your doctor, as there can be adverse reactions.
Discover more about foods that may help reduce anxiety here.
When anxious, people feel a general unease or worry over an actual or perceived danger. The extent of these feelings can range from mild to severe. This unease can cause additional physical symptoms. However, these will vary between people and events.
Common physical symptoms of anxious feelings include:
- increased body temperature
- rapid breathing
There are times anxiety can get severe and become an anxiety attack. An attack may initially feel manageable and gradually build up over a few hours.
Anxiety attacks may cause:
- feelings of danger, panic, or dread
- severe nervousness or restlessness
- rapid heart rate
- difficulty focusing
Anxiety attacks share some symptoms with panic attacks, but they are distinct occurrences.
Learn about the differences between anxiety and panic attacks here.
Anxiety may always be a part of your life, but it shouldn’t overtake your day-to-day. There are many things you can do to manage immediate and long-term anxious feelings.
While home remedies may help, a mental health professional can help streamline the process of identifying your triggers and maintaining long-term strategies through behavioral therapy, medications, and more.