Here are 14 tips to help you reduce stress and anxiety. Give them a try! What do you have to lose?

Accept unusual thoughts

When faced with an stressful or negative thought, instead of focusing on it, describe it to yourself as the interest it is and move on.

Notice false alarms

Everyone has the sudden worry they didn’t lock the front door or left the stove on. When you find yourself thinking along these lines and notice your body responding with a rapid heartbeat, recognize the situation for what it is. Acknowledge the thoughts and sensations but let them pass.

Positive self-talk

Another way to reduce anxiety is to talk positively to yourself rather than putting yourself down. Telling yourself phrases such as “this feeling will pass” and “I will be ok”.

Word association

Change your mind into associating a happy memory with a certain word. When thinking of the memory allow it to fill you up and remember even the smallest detail. When you are feeling anxious, take a deep breath and recall the memory as you exhale say the associated word clearly in your head. This should help you relax and recall the happy memories you were thinking of.

Engage with the environment

Standing up when you’ve been sitting, or shifting your field of vision are both good ways to remind yourself that you’re in control and that there is a whole world beyond what is going on inside of your head.

Face your fears

Furthermore, avoiding fears can make them more intimidating. When you feel panicked by a situation, attempt to go back to the same place the following day. Feel the fear and wait for it to pass.

Set aside time to worry

Worries can prevent us from doing things we should be doing. When this happens, write down the reason you’re feeling anxious and plan to think it through later. By the time you get back to it, it is likely many of the worries you’ve noted will not be an issue anymore.

Question your thought

Anxious thoughts can spiral out of control and become irrational. When you find this happening try to question your thoughts by asking yourself questions such as “is this worry realistic?” and “what is the worst possible outcome?” Read our article on faulty thinking.

Learn to say no

Do not take on too much. Learn to say no without feeling guilty and learn to respect and take care of yourself. Set healthy boundaries.

Keep track of your anxiety

Keep a diary to track which situations make you feel most stressed and how you respond to them. Record your thoughts and feelings and what you did as a result; this can help you get a greater understanding of triggers and your responses.

Take breaks

When experiencing stress and anxiety, make sure you plan your day to allow for short breaks. Stepping away from your task to have a break and recharge will help reduce stress and make you more productive.

Slow your breathing down

Take two minutes to concentrate on slowly exhaling over 4-6 seconds. No matter how quickly or deeply you breathe in, breathe out ever so slowly. Focus on your attention purely on breathing and keep bringing your mind to the breathing if you wander. If your brain tells you to breathe out fast, fight it. If you do breathe out quickly for a breath or two, no worries! Just get back to it.

Talk about it

Voicing your concern, worries or feelings to an attentive and trusted listener can feel very helpful. Talking about your stress often diffuses it. Try it. If there’s no one in your environment to talk to, consider counselling.

Muscle relaxation

Stress can cause our bodies to tense up, so learning how to relax your muscles is important. Tense a group of muscles as you breathe in and relax them as you breathe out. As it turns out, if your body feels relaxed you feel less anxious.

In summary, there are things you can do to reduce stress and anxiety. Addressing mental, emotional and physical health properly have been proven beneficial. Learn more about how HeadWay Clinic’s integrated services can help you identify sources of anxiety and stress while creating plans to help you reach your goals.