It is certainly possible to reduce your anxiety levels, but to do so requires a willingness to try out different tools. Not everyone responds to the same strategies for dealing with anxiety, so it is important to recognize what works for you. Understanding what will reduce your stress more effectively is critical. In this article, we discuss three habits to pick up that can help with reducing anxiety.
1. Using Temperature As A Coping Tool
Our bodies may respond with fight or flight reactions when we feel anxious. When these physiological reactions occur, it can be difficult to calm down emotionally because we feel anxious physically and emotionally.
Using cold water through a cold shower, dunking your head in ice water, or going surfing can help regulate the parasympathetic nervous system. The cold water essentially shocks the body out of the intensity of anxiety so that you can physically calm down and, from there, use additional tools to cope.
If your anxiety levels have left you feeling unsafe, warm water can also be used as a soothing mechanism, almost as if you were receiving a warm hug. Another approach to feeling supported is to use a weighted blanket.
Always listen to your body and pay attention to whether it is telling you to cool down or warm up. To ensure that your blanket holds up over time, consider learning how to wash a heavy blanket correctly.
2. Trusting Yourself And Maintaining Conviction
Sometimes anxiety is the result of negative beliefs that we hold about ourselves. For some people, the feelings around these negative beliefs can trigger anxiety. Instead of panicking, trust that anything negative that has occurred has understandable roots and that you can let go of your doubts, or work to change, with the conviction of self-trust and self-compassion.
Asserting your own self-trust can give you footing or an anchor to get a grip on your anxiety and prevent it from taking over. Sometimes, it’s about giving ourselves grace, hugging our emotional support animals, letting go of uncertainty, and trusting the process. If you’ve hit a wall with your anxiety, let it go.
3. Stopping The Replays
Anxiety becomes problematic when we fixate relentlessly on it. Everyone deals with anxiety, and while some anxiety is worse than others, our ability to control it will ultimately make or break how healthy we feel on an emotional level. Once you have dealt with your anxiety, either through affirming something to yourself, choosing to let it go, or another productive strategy, the next step is to stop the replays.
With less obsession in your mind, you can experience reduced anxiety levels and get back to the present moment. Anxious replays are anxious thoughts that go off in a loop. Even if you’ve logically dealt with them, they come up anyway, making you overthink to no end.
When these urges arise, recognize them, tell yourself that you’ve already handled this effectively, and actively let go of the thoughts again. You will probably need to do this many times, but maintaining your conviction can make stopping the replays easier.
Find What Clicks With You
Many habits that effectively reduce anxiety are mental games and strategies that take practice. Consistent application of these methods will result in better anxiety reduction over time. Be patient and move forward, knowing you can teach your mind to work for you, not against you.
If anxiety reduction tools are not enough, speak with a psychiatrist to see if prescription medications for anxiety may be a valuable part of your wellness toolkit. Keep trying things until you find what clicks for you.