Mental Health

Anxiety 101. How to instantly feel better?

I am pretty sure the title of this blogpost sounds like a clickbait but stay with me here. In this post I want to share with you 5 tips that instantly help me whenever I am anxious and/or stressed out. These things don't take all my problems away, they simply help me feel calmer in the moment. If it's something you could be interested in, please follow me. 

#1 Disconnect to calm down

Last few months have been difficult for everyone, I am sure. But what has made it even worse for me was my constant presence on social media. I realized that my reality or how I feel in the moment often depends on what I see or read online, therefore I can control it by simply closing it all off! Now, social media can be extremely addictive, even though it perpetuates negative feelings in us, we keep scrolling. To break the cycle you should use your will power: put the phone aside and keep reading this blogpost.:)

#2 Go outside

I know I constantly say how important nature is for me, and how much better it makes me feel. Whether my anxiety is caused by online activity or my own thoughts, distracting myself always helps. Simply going outside and walking for 30 minutes can make a significant difference in how I feel. Try it. If there is nature close to you - awesome, if there is not - just being able to breathe in fresh air and to change the scenery is good on its own.

#3 Exercise or clean your space for mental health

Again, distraction really helps me if I am overwhelmed. I have anxiety disorder, so I am usually tense regardless of what I am doing, but if I am anxious to the point I can't focus I try to do some light movement (sometimes not so light) or clean my place. Actually, even cooking helps. The key here is physical activity for those who can't go outside for some reason. Just do something that doesn't require a lot of thinking but requires your presence and involvement. It even helped me in times of severe anxiety.

#4 Think positive thoughts

This one will take a little bit of practice if you are prone to negative thinking, which you probably are if you often experience anxiety. To be honest I have only recently started to succeed in replacing my negative thoughts with positive, and it's a game-changer, I am telling you.

It doesn't need to be a positive thought about the situation that has triggered your anxiety (it's the best option though), it can be anything good that you can think of in the moment. When we are anxious, we tend to catastrophize, the best thing to do is to think about the possible positive outcomes in this situation. If you master this one, it takes a few minutes to start feeling better.

#5 Talk to someone when anxious

I totally understand that many of us don't have this "luxury" to talk to someone whenever we need it, especially when it comes down to mental health, that's why this tip is #5 on my list. But I must admit that sharing my struggles with someone who cares about me, even if it's just a 10 minutes talk, helps me calm down. It doesn't only work as a distraction, but encouragement of other people (maybe even a hug) can significantly improve my symptoms of anxiety in the moment. Partially because when we receive and give a hug, for instance, our body releases a hormone called oxytocin that is associated with happiness and less stress. It is a quick fix.

I would also like to remind you about the possibility to talk to a therapist (even online) if you are experiencing severe stress and anxiety. I am aware (and I have been there myself), that there are situations when it's incredibly hard (if not impossible) to calm down, and it is something we should not be ashamed of. Seek help if you need it.

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost. Please let me know in the comment section if you did, and what are the things that help you calm down in the moment, I am interested to know. Until next time on Pillows&Trees.