Dealing with an anxiety disorder can be overwhelming especially when you regularly suffer from panic attacks. While the symptoms of anxiety are unpleasant, it’s important to remember that they’re not permanent. You can learn how to get reduce anxiety for good. Whether you practice deep breathing or check out some mental health services as a coping strategy for your panic disorder is up to you, though. In this article, you’ll learn how to get rid anxiety, using proven examples to manage anxiety symptoms.
12 Ways to Get Rid of Anxiety
1. Seek professional help
Above anything else, and before we recommend anything else, it’s very important that you consider finding a therapist first, especially if it has come to the point where your anxiety is interfering with the rest of your daily life.
If your anxiety is affecting your work, relationships, and daily happiness, seek professional help.
A therapist will likely do some cognitive behavioral therapy with you to help you replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, label your thoughts, and more. For example, if you tend to think in terms of worst case scenarios, a therapist might note that you’re catastrophizing. They’ll work with you to help find evidence against the thought you have, so you become less afraid when those thoughts surface.
Anxiety disorders tend to be thought disorders. So, working on rethinking a thought, or examining it closely can actually help you cope with your anxiety symptoms.
2. Do something relaxing
For those of you with a generalized anxiety disorder, what relaxes you? Even if it’s something you feel like is an indulgence, don’t feel guilty turning to it if helps with your anxiety. Of course, it’s never worth sacrificing your health when there’s healthier ways to relax.
For some people it’s listening to music, for others it’s playing video games, and for others it’s doing something artistic such as painting, or maybe you like dancing around your house.
What are the things you do, that when you are doing them, you’re in the zone or you feel completely calm? For a lot of people, it’s a hobby or past-time. And if it gets you into a flow state, you’ll get rid of anxiety quickly.
Of course, there’s other ways to relax such as taking a vacation or getting a massage. Consider trying a sensory deprivation tank as well. It’s a good way to get away from your thoughts and to a serene and relaxing place.
Whatever you decide, find your relaxing place and visit it often.
3. Go for a walk or exercise
If you’re having a panic attack, go for a walk or exercise. When fight or flight is triggered, doing those behaviors of either fighting (like punching a heavy bag, not a person) or running (or walking, or dancing) is actually going to make you feel better.
This is easier said than done. If your anxiety is caused by leaving the home, being alone, or being in public, going for a walk or the gym to get rid of anxiety isn’t the answer.
But getting your blood flowing is. Even if you can’t go for a walk or to the gym, see if you can do a few jumping jacks or pushups in your home. Anything to get you moving and doing something physically active that’s not only good for your body but good for your brain.
If you need a little help (or company) try a guided mindful walking meditation. Not only will it get you some exercise, it’ll ensure you’re not allowing your mind to stray too far to worries and anxieties. Instead, mindfulness grounds you in the moment and allows you to truly enjoy your walk and gain some peace of mind.
4. Learn from the Stoics
The ancient Greek and Romain Stoics understood the concept of the dichotomy of control very well.
Something is either in your control or not in your control.
Things you can control are how you feel or how you respond to things that happen to you. You can’t control what happens to you or what happens around you.
Understanding this is important because it allows you to focus your energy and thoughts on what you can control, and relieve yourself of the anxiety that comes with worrying about things that you can’t control.
5. Spend more time with friends and family
Spend more time with your friends and family to help you reduce anxiety and improve your mental health.
This isn’t about venting to them or sharing your feelings of anxiety with them. While you can certainly do that, this isn’t the point.
Being around people that you care about and trust, and that care about you, is just good for the brain. It can help improve your mood, make you happier, and let go of your anxiety more.
There’s comfort in spending time with people who make you laugh, make you feel good, and appreciate what you have and who you know.
Find the people that make you feel this way and try to spend more time with them. We’re social animals that evolved to work in tribes. Find your tribe and spend more time with them, it’s good for your mental health.
6. Create a routine
Incorporating these tips on how to reduce anxiety and stop even a panic attack to your daily routine is a must. And having a morning routine will also help minimize severe symptoms.
The easiest way to do this is to literally schedule the time into your calendar to work on getting rid of your anxiety and panic attacks.
Become this militant and disciplined about it.
If it’s affecting you enough, you should put more energy into working to get rid of it and reduce stress.
Schedule in your daily relaxation time. Add time in your calendar for your mental health. Plan time for your friends and family. Set reminders to go for walks or exercise.
Keep yourself accountable by setting reminders on your phone. Block out time to focus on the present moment and breathe deeply. Do what you need to do to actually follow-through with the advice you’ve been consuming on getting rid of your anxiety.
Start by looking at key times in your day that you can structure. Look at establishing a morning routine and night time routine. Anxiety is a force that can take over your life and leave you feeling helpless. However, adding structure to your life gives you back a semblance of control, giving you confidence.
7. Make lifestyle changes
When anxiety starts growing strong, it’s time to look at your life and consider making some serious lifestyle changes to counter anxious thoughts. Whether it’s regular exercise, using lavender oil for relaxation, cutting out processed foods, watching a funny video every day, adding good deeds to your to do list, or any other activities for managing your stress.
You need to do things that have a calming effect in your life. Research shows breathing from your stomach instead of your upper body can actually be really good for you. Studies also show that people who do acts of kindness tend to feel happier. Maybe it’s because we’re not worried about the worst case scenario because we see how much good we put out into the world. It’s simply a change in perspective. So, splash some cold water on your face and work towards treating your medical condition with everything you have. If you want to alter feelings of stress and stop anxious feelings, you need to make multiple changes in your life.
8. Practice deep breathing
An anxiety disorder can be slowly reversed using some breathing techniques. Not only will it lower your blood pressure, help you get restful sleep, reduce negative emotions, and calm the nervous system, it’ll also lower anxiety.
During intense worrying, breathing can help bring more oxygen to your brain, which helps promote calmness. Instead of breathing fast, take long deep breaths. Belly breathing is better than chest breathing too. It’s the natural way people breathe as babies, but somewhere along the way, we start breathing with our chests. Stress and anxiety can be combatted with breathing exercises. So, whether you need a good night’s sleep, to stay calm during a medical emergency, or you’re simply feeling stressed, take a deep breath in and out several times until you feel your anxiety become calmer.
This exercise is good for your well being. Plus, you don’t need to do it with a family member or team of medical professionals. Whenever you’re alone and struggling with anxiety disorders, just breathe through the stomach and exhale slowly. That’s how you can practice self care and deal with anxious thoughts. Plus, you can do this before your next therapy session.
Get rid of anxiety by trying this deep breathing for anxiety exercise from YouTube.
9. Let things go
If you can’t actually do something about the thing you’re worried about, or it’s not in your control, learn how to let things go or accept them as they are.
Sometimes the most liberating feelings come from simply accepting them.
The thing about anxiety disorders is that we suffer much more in our heads than in reality.
Are things actually as bad as you perceive them? Could things be worse? How would someone else respond in your situation and in your shoes? How would someone you admire or respect respond in your situation?
Work to come to terms and peace with your anxiety for the sake of your mental health.
Try this meditation for letting go on YouTube.
10. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a fantastic tool for people who suffer from anxiety. Not only can mindfulness help to get rid of anxiety, it can make you a happier and less reactive person.
We offer many different types of mindfulness meditation. Here’s one we recommend trying, specifically designed for anxiety.
11. Read more books
Books are a way to find mentors and get into the minds of great thinkers. When it feels like our minds are our worst enemies, and are only feeding us negative thoughts, reading someone else’s thoughts can help put as at ease and get rid of anxiety completely.
To start, pick up a few books in philosophy, self-help, self-improvement, and biographies. If you need specific suggestions, check out our list of meditation books.
You should consider having a good ambiance when you read. Maybe have some essential oils like lavender oil burning in a diffuser. That will also help you ease anxiety as you have heart palpitations while feeling anxious.
Whatever you choose, add it to your routine and ensure you keep yourself accountable, especially if you’re not a big reader.
12. Get off the internet for a while
When we said “read more books” in the last suggestion, we specifically called out books because just saying “read more” could be interpreted as “read more news” or “read more social media posts”. Most people spend far too much time online consuming headline after headline of what always seems like the end of the world.
Media companies have fine tuned their business in a way that it’s now optimized to get an emotional reaction from people. This emotional reaction, whether it be outrage or fear, creates more anxiety. The truth is, this is junk information. It’s not healthy and it’s filled with empty calories. You may feel like you’re being informed, because you’re actually just being served a slice of reality that wins the most attention. Take a social media detox and reclaim your sanity.
Now it’s up to you. The most difficult thing about anxiety is that it can wear you out and prevent you from even taking a small step in the right direction. That’s where your focus needs to be right now, to push yourself in the right direction and begin to overcome and defeat this anxiety.