When anxiety symptoms occur, it can be difficult to “shake off” the feeling. The following tips will help you to instantly reduce your anxiety disorder symptoms to a manageable level in moments of distress. Some of these may seem simple, but they have clinically proven to be very effective countermeasures.
1. Take Deep Breaths
When we experience anxiety, our heart rate increases, the breath quickens, and the body begins to tense. Shallow breathing, in particular, reduces the oxygen available to the brain, and inhibits our ability to think clearly.
2. Move Your Body
If you feel tension in your body, stand and jog in place, shake your arms and legs to release nervous energy. Continue to take deep breaths as you move your body. If time permits, engage in exercises such as running, aerobics, yoga, weight-lifting, swimming, etc., to both reduce stress and increase your cognitive ability. Multiple studies have shown a positive correlation between movement, physical exercise and stress reduction across different age groups.
3. Put Water On Your Face
You can also try putting some cold water on your face, which triggers the mammalian diving reflex, and instantly slows the heart rate. If you’re wearing make-up, you can put cold water behind and in front of your neck instead.
4. Avoid Caffeine and Sugar
If you drink caffeinated beverages, or eat surgery snacks or foods, avoid them during periods of anxiety. Research shows that both caffeine and sugar can increase stress level. Caffeine, in particular has been shown to increase diastolic blood pressure, anxiety, and sweating.
5. Drink Chamomile Tea
Studies indicate that drinking caffeine-free chamomile tea has a calming effect, often quickly. Research from the University of Nottingham Medical School suggests chamomile has a relaxing effect on blood vessels, as well as muscle fibers.
These tips should help you in the heat of the moment to temporarily manage your anxiety. However, it’s important to work with a medical professional in order to overcome anxiety long-term. Dr. Rodriguez is a top Florida psychiatrist for anxiety disorder treatment. Contact us to book an appointment by calling 888-551-6281.