There's no one-size-fits-all fix for alleviating anxiety or stress, but here are some techniques that may help you.
Practise breathing techniques
The physical symptoms of anxiety or stress can be triggered by hyperventilation. This is when your breathing quickens and your body takes in too much oxygen, reducing the carbon dioxide in your blood. You need a certain amount of carbon dioxide in your body to regulate your reaction to anxiety and panic.
Try doing one of these breathing exercises to help calm you down and slow your breathing whenever you feel anxious:
The 4–7–8 technique: Breathe in for four seconds. Hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds.
Long exhale: Spend a bit longer exhaling than you do inhaling. Exhale fully, and then take a big, deep breath for four seconds. Then exhale for six seconds.
Practise muscle relaxation techniques
Also called a ‘body scan’, this technique helps you to focus on yourself and release tension you’re holding in your body.
Breathe in and tense the muscles in your face, squeezing your eyes shut. Clench your jaw and keep your face tensed for five seconds. Gradually relax your muscles over the time it takes to count to ten, then take a deep breath. You can say ‘relax’ as you relax. Next, move on to your neck and shoulders, and gradually move down your body. Be careful with any injuries or pain that you have. Get more info on how to practise progressive muscle relaxation here.
Focus on the present
Have you ever noticed that feeling stressed or anxious often coincides with dwelling on the past or worrying about the future? Focusing your mind on the present moment can help you feel a little more relaxed. Learn how you can do this here.
Take a break
Schedule regular breaks into your day. Excuse yourself for five to ten minutes, go to a different room, or put aside what you’re doing to take a walk around, try some breathing exercises, get some fresh air or do some light stretches to help you relax. Here are some more ideas for relaxation to help anxiety.
Talk to someone you trust about how you're feeling
Just talking to someone about how you’re feeling can take a weight off your shoulders. Make sure you trust the person, work out what you want to say to them, and then just go for it.
Do you need someone to talk to? Whether you're stressed, or there's something else going on in your life, we're here 24/7 to help.
All content in Sonder's Help Centre is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.
Article originally published by ReachOut.com.