10 Ways to Alleviate Anxiety

Monday, February 14, 2022 | By JP Emerald Coast

Woman utilizes techniques to alleviate anxiety with tips from Journey Pure

Anxiety is a state of intense fear or apprehension caused by anticipation of future danger or distress. It is often accompanied by physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, and sweating. Anxiety occurs in the brain when a person perceives an imminent threat (real or imagined). This perception triggers the release of stress hormones, which activate the body’s fight-or-flight response. This response causes physiological changes, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, to help the person prepare for potential danger. But a medical explanation of the physiological changes involved doesn’t actually help relief your anxiety, does it?

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce anxiety and stop worrying. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a popular method of anxiety relief that involves identifying and challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive and productive ones. Other anxiety-reducing techniques include relaxation practices such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, and mantra meditation, such as TM. Additionally, getting regular exercise and engaging in social activities can help to reduce anxiety levels. Taking steps to address anxiety can help people gain control of their thoughts and feelings so they can lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Here are 10  practical tips for overcoming the symptoms of anxiety. These anxiety relief tips combine reactionary and preventative methods for relieving stress and worry in your daily life. Whenever fear arises, and particularly stressful situations occur, use the information that provides reactionary methods to restore calm at that moment. On the other hand, preventative strategies can be practiced as daily habits to reduce feelings of anxiety, so fewer stressful and emotional instances occur over time.


Deep diaphragmatic breathing is one of the most potent tools for anxiety disorder relief. In fact, research at the National Institutes of Health has produced conclusive evidence that it is an effective way to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety and stress. When you breathe deeply, you turn off the body’s fight-or-flight response and replace it with the relaxed response of the parasympathetic nervous system. Slowing down your breathing and focusing on strong, deep breathing patterns lowers your heart rate and can bring a sense of calm to your body. Everything around you slows down. By focusing your attention on your breathing, you can further calm your nerves. You can use this anxiety disorder relief method whenever your stress levels rise.Practice the four-four-four breathing pattern. Inhale deeply to a count of four, gently hold your breath to a count of four, then exhale to a count of four.

Repeat this for at least two minutes or ten times to fully calm your nervous system and regain focus on the present moment. Other helpful breathing techniques include using your imagination to move the breath to the areas of your body that are the tensest. This is an instructional practice in yoga to help release tension in tight muscles and joints. When you inhale, pretend the breath is drawing up the top of your head. As you exhale, move the breath to your hips, neck, shoulders, or back, often feeling the tensest during anxiety attacks or stressful events. This repeated pattern will ease your mind and clear your negative emotions and thoughts. It gives you the time and space you need to collect your feelings and to think about your subsequent actions. Forming this habit whenever the rush of anxiety arises will help you be healthier and more productive throughout your day. The deep breathing habit also acts as a buffer to prevent your anxiety disorder from taking control of your emotions. The more you remember to bring your focus back to your breath when anxiety wells up, the more improvement you will see in your overall happiness.


One of the most important health topics to come to light in the past few years has been the issue of developing good sleeping patterns. Research has shown that patterns of insomnia can eventually lead to depression and the development of anxiety disorders such as panic attacks. A major study has shown that adults with insomnia are five times more likely to develop depression. Generally speaking, adults receiving fewer than 4.5 hours of sleep on average each night are at greater risk of developing anxiety symptoms.If you’re not getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, there may be severe consequences. Lack of sleep impacts your physical health, directly tied to your overall anxiety and stress levels. Getting enough sleep allows your body to relax, keeping anxiety levels low throughout the day.The issue of sleep and stress is a vicious cycle. If you’re too stressed out, you may not sleep properly. If you don’t sleep properly, you’re more likely to feel stressed out. Treating your sleeping patterns as a habit will help you to ensure you’re getting a total of 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Proper sleep is a basic method of preventing stress and anxiety and should be treated as a top priority.


Sometimes you may need to be your coach. If you feel the flood of nervousness that takes over your entire body, one of the best and most immediate measures you can take is to state in your mind that you must remain calm. This is sometimes referred to as the power of auto-suggestion. Thoughts that you transmit repeatedly and often enough will eventually impact your psyche. These thoughts will become regular patterns that run through your mind whenever you feel immediate threats.


Something that may come naturally — as opposed to happening consciously — when an anxiety attack strikes are that your mind may become distracted by something else. Often anxiety arises in a flash and will eventually dissipate as you get back on track with the next item on your to-do list or if an unexpected phone call comes in. But if your anxiety causes a particularly frantic emotional state, then it may require a more directed effort to distract yourself. Finding a distraction is an effective way to calm your emotions almost immediately.Since it’s difficult for the brain to focus on more than one thing at a time, focus on something other than the anxiety disorder symptoms you are experiencing. Distract yourself through work, entertainment, or a relaxing walk. If you concentrate on something else, you may even find you forget about whatever was giving you anxiety.Though actively distracting yourself is a reactionary way of alleviating anxiety, it may give you the space to come back to whatever was causing you stress and deal with it in a clearer headspace.


Meditation is one of the most effective methods for anxiety relief and has been shown to help people stop worrying and gain greater peace of mind. Through regular practice, individuals can learn how to create a sense of inner calm and relaxation, allowing them to step back from anxiety-inducing thoughts and focus on more productive activities. Research has found that mindfulness meditation can reduce anxiety symptoms, improve mood, and help individuals better manage stress. It can also reduce the physical responses to anxiety such as increased heart rate and shallow breathing. By focusing on the present moment, individuals can become more aware of their thoughts and emotions without attaching judgment or anxiety to them. Transcendental Meditation, which is a form of mantra meditation, has also been proven effective in clinical research and it is easier for most people to learn and practice because it doesn’t require the discipline that mindfulness meditation does, but delivers the same physiological ‘relaxation response’ With regular practice, anxiety levels may be reduced over time and individuals will learn how to cope better with anxiety-inducing situations. In addition, meditation can also help reduce the amount of cortisol—the stress hormone—in the body. This helps bring the body and mind back into balance and promotes feeling of calmness and relaxation.


An anxiety disorder can take many forms and have many different causes — it depends entirely on the person. However, one common trait among those who suffer from anxiety is an overwhelming sense of worry when faced with challenges. People who aren’t inclined to feel anxious are like this because they can immediately distinguish between events or situations they can control and those they cannot. If they determine these events are not within their control, they don’t feel any threat or worry.On the other hand, those who suffer from an anxiety disorder feel a solid connection to each problem or situation that arises. If you suffer from anxiety, you may feel like you want to help or solve each case.

It becomes incredibly stressful and even painful if you cannot. However, it is essential to assess each situation by asking yourself some basic questions. This will immediately slow down your mind and emotions and ease a sense of anxiousness.Can you directly face the problem that’s stressing you out? Or is an imaginary “what-if” causing you anxiety? By distinguishing between solvable and unsolvable stressors, you know what issues to face and what problems to ignore. In many cases, unnecessary anxiety is caused by unsolvable worries.If you determine it is an unsolvable worry that you cannot control, such as canceled soccer practice or a delayed flight, then take solace in knowing this is something out of your hands, and you can move on without anxiety. Remind yourself that it won’t matter in a day, a week, or a year from now.


Similar to item six above, those who feel anxious usually do not accept uncertainty and feel stressed thinking about the possibilities ahead. You may feel your mind instantly gravitate towards worst-case scenarios. You may do your best to mitigate uncertainty by scheduling in your plans and thinking forward, but the reality is there will always be things that come up you did not foresee. Don’t beat yourself up over this.Chronic worriers are unable to cope with unpredictability. Accepting that the “unknown” is part of life can take a heavy weight off your shoulders. Learn to face situations that are out of your control.The only thing you can do is handle them quickly and efficiently when they do arise without stressing or worrying. Cultivating this mindset will help to prevent feelings of anxiousness over time.
By facing those fears directly, you eliminate the chance for your brain to imagine unnecessary fear. Having a sound support system around you, such as friends, family, and community, helps ease these challenges as they present themselves.


No one said that carrots will ever make you happy, but they won’t make you sad. Junk food, fast food, and processed foods loaded with unidentifiable artificial ingredients are a recipe for emotional disaster. Not only does our skin, waistline, and mood change when we consume poor-quality foods, but we don’t absorb nutrients and minerals that are the building blocks of our bodies. These components are required for us to function correctly, and when they are deficient, they can influence how our bodies are fueled, how we digest, and even the function in our brains.


Self-care is all too often overlooked in the pace of modern life, but it is perhaps more important than ever. Self-care is, at it’s core, an act of respect and love for yourself. It means prioritizing your own needs, including your mental health and peace of mind. For most, that’s easier said than done when juggling so many responsibilities like our children, spouses, work, households, and families. Add to that the daily grind of being in recovery and the commitment to staying clean and sober, and sometimes self-care gets pushed further down the list.

Anyone who faces addiction will know that self-care is not selfish; it is necessary for survival. If we could take that lesson and implement it in other factors of our lives, we can better take stock of what’s going on around us, take the necessary steps to nip stressors in the bud before things get worse, and even set a precedent that we matter. That our feelings, no matter if they pop up at a convenient or inconvenient time, are worth stopping and taking stock off. Self-care can be a warm bath, alone-time with a book, treating yourself to something you’ve had your eye on, or giving yourself the grace when you mess up and understanding that there’s no need to punish yourself.


Sometimes we attempt all these beautiful things, and we walk out the door with a green juice, our pedometer, had a great warm bath, and a pedicure, and yet that nagging heaviness on our hearts and minds won’t go away. The stresses of life are real and complex, and not everything can be washed away by a beach walk or a good salad. When you know that things are heavier than you can handle, speaking to a mental health professional is the best thing you can do for yourself and those you love. A professional will identify and talk you through these thoughts, help you plan and approach these feelings, get past them, and place them before the next time. Talking about them can figuratively “purge” them from your mind, and sometimes doing this in a setting with no judgment and no expectation is exactly what we need. As the words come from our mouths, we sometimes see them in a new light. Only now do we have the help of a professional to navigate and understand our next steps. However, the most critical component is that you take action to control your anxiety instead of letting it control you.

If you are struggling with an anxiety disorder and chronic worrying, seeking professional counseling will help you take control of this disorder. The experienced team at JourneyPure Emerald Coast will provide you with the resources and treatment you need to overcome anxiety. Our world-class facility is here to help you recover from the combination of anxiety and depression that has resulted from addiction. Learn more about our anxiety treatment services so you can begin to enjoy your life once more.

In summary, identifying and accepting that anxiety is a part of life and identifying when these triggers approach is key to managing stress. We can’t change the world we live in, but small steps can add up in changing the environment, the influences, and our choices in how we tackle each day as it comes.

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