Reduce your anxiety through these practices I’ve been using for years! I can pinpoint the exact moment my anxiety started: during a math test in my senior year of high school. I panicked over an equation and ended up asking to go to the nurse’s office. I’ve lived with anxiety since that point.
Since I don’t want to take any medications, there are quite a few things I do in my routine everyday and tools I use to help me relax if my anxiety levels rise.
For almost a decade, I’ve amassed quite a few tools and practices to help me reduce my anxiety, and I thought I would share it because chances are you’ve experienced some form of anxiety at least once in your life.
Not every practice I mention will help everyone, but in personal experience, these have helped me a great deal.
Preventative Practices to Help Reduce Your Anxiety Levels:
These are things I do every day to keep my mind and body at ease as preventative care. I’m no expert, but in all the reading I’ve done and advice I’ve gotten from my therapist, these practices are proven to help lessen anxiety.
1. Eliminating Sugar and Caffeine
If you have generalized anxiety, or experience feelings of anxiety throughout your day, sugar and caffeine will do nothing but harm you. They’ll heighten your anxiety even more. Think about it. Sugar and caffeine give you energy, but if you’re an anxious person, there’s already more energy in your body than you can even handle. Throw sugar or caffeine into the mix and you’ll become even more jittery and anxious.
I stopped drinking any and all caffeinated drinks the day I got really jittery from having one cup of coffee while studying. I try my best to keep my sugar intake at a minimum, but I definitely struggle a lot more in that area, as I’m sure many of us do!
If you want more information on reducing anxiety through diet and supplements specifically, check out this post.
2. Taking a Magnesium Supplement
3. Daily Meditation Practice
Meditation is proven to help calm your mind, and reduce stress and anxiety. A daily meditation practice has a multitude of other benefits as well. Mayo Clinic talks about the many benefits of meditation and how it can reduce stress.
You can also read through the benefits of meditation and how to start your own practice in my Meditation to Reduce Stress blog post.
Meditating really helps me clear my mind, and set my intentions for the day. I notice that the days I do meditate, are the times I feel more aware, awake and positive throughout my day. Meditation is best practiced once you wake up in the morning or at night before bed.
4. Regular Yoga Practice
Yoga is a physical and mental practice that can really transform your mindset. After a yoga session, I always feel calmer. Always.
Yoga is phsycial movement, but it’s also about concious breathing. When you’re focusing on your movement and breath, there isn’t much space to be worrying. I absolutely love yoga and believe it is essential to an anxiety free life.
You don’t have to pay for yoga classes either if you don’t have the money or time to go to a studio. There are plenty of youtube videos out there of varying lengths. My favorite is Yoga with Adriene on YouTube.
5. Regular Exercise Routine
Exercise is another great way to reduce and prevent any harmful effects that come with constant anxiety.
Let me explain. When a person, me for example, gets anxiety, my brain releases cortisol into my body. Cortisol is meant for fight or flight situations, and helps out your body under those circumstances, but constant elevated levels is not good! It could lead to other health problems along the way.
Regular exercise is a natural way to reduce those cortisol levels in your body. A good amount of vigorous exercise will also help your body calm down. I definitely feel relaxed after a good workout session.
6. Go Outside!
I’ve done some reading on this topic and there seems to be a connection between reducing stress and spending time in nature. I definitely believe it. Here’s a quick research study you can read about how spending time in nature helped reduce the stress of college students.
If you want to read more on this topic, there’s an excellent book called The Nature Fix by Florence Williams. It makes for a very insightful read. I highly recommend it.
Start spending some time everyday outside in nature. Go for a walk without headphones on and soak in the sun and birdsong. I promise it will make all the difference.
What If I have Anxiety Right Now?
Check out this blog post on how to calm down when you’re having an anxiety attack or just high levels of anxiety.
Disclaimer: I am not a trained health professional. These are practices that have helped me personally over the years. If you want professional advice, seek out a health care professional.
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