25 Ways to Relieve Anxiety

by Jason on May 13, 2009

1. Breathing Exercises

Take a moment to close your eyes and focus only on your breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose. Feel your diaphram move up into your ribcage and extend your belly outward as you inhale.Slowly push out your breathe as you exhale through your mouth. Feel the stress being breathed out of your body. It is no longer a part of you. Each breath should take 6 seconds to complete. Spend 3 seconds slowly inhaling through your nose and the other 3 seconds slowly exhaling through your mouth. Take 5-10 breaths like this and you’ll instantly feel more relaxed.
2. Drink Green Tea

 L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea plants. It also promotes relaxation and modifies the stimulating effects of the caffeine present in green tea.What does that mean exactly? Well L-theanine is a caffeine antagonist, meaning that it offsets the “hyper” effect of caffeine. That is why many people will have a “soothing” cup of tea and not a soothing cup of coffee. Green tea contains more theanine than the other teas. Try drinking Green Tea in the morning for a more gradual and calming wake-up boost.
3. Listen to Music

Sit back and relax to your favorite tunes. I love listening to classic rock. If you’re feeling nostalgic, put on something that will transport you to another place in time.Escape and think of nothing but the music. Try to play songs with a positive or uplifting message. Really it’s up to you. Just enjoy and have fun.
4. Take a Foot Bath

 Even if you don’t actually own a foot bath, you can fill up a large bowl with warm water and have a nice long soak.Put in some bath salts to give your feet a soft smooth feel. Add some flowers and lavender if you like to really add to the pampering quality of this experience. Put on some relaxing music and sit in a comfy chair while your soothe your cares with this moment of Zen.
5. Meditate on Gratitude

Take a few minutes to think about all the things you are grateful for. It could be as simple as feeling grateful for the food in your fridge or the way your puppy dog loves you. Take the time to appreciate all the gifts you have in life and how lucky you are to have them. When you show thanks for the good in your life, more good will attract itself to you.I spend 5 minutes every morning meditating on gratitude while I take a shower. It’s amazing how it always starts me off in such a great mood for the day.
6. Exercise

 Although Cardio Exercise like running or bike riding is more effective for relieving anxiety, weight lifting works well too. Really, just getting to the gym in general and burning off some steam is a wonderful way to feel better. Exercise doesn’t just provide a physical release. You’re also providing a mental release as well.By exercising, you counterbalance your negative thoughts with a positive feeling that you are taking steps towards improving your health. In effect, you cast aside worry and calm your mind with the natural high of working out.
7. Get Rid of the Clutter

Feng Shui is the art of creating a serene and relaxing home. Part of this study involves clearing the clutter from your environment. Clutter creates a sense of confusion and chaos. By cleaning up your home, you’re essentially clearing out the clutter from your mind.I feel so much better after doing just a little bit of housekeeping. I find it extremely relaxing to be in a clean home.I personally like getting rid of old clothes. If I haven’t worn them in a year, then they are wasteful clutter and can be given away.
8. Get a Massage

Take the time to treat yourself to a massage. You deserve it. A massage is not only relaxing, it also promotes healthy blood circulation and overall well-being.So go ahead, pamper yourself and feel good about it. Afterall, you’re not just doing something good for your mind. You’re also promoting a healthy body.
9. Go for a Walk

Nothing clears my head like a nice brisk walk. This is even better if you have beautiful backgrounds of nature to stroll through.Whenever I visit my extended family (they live in the country), I always make time for a 10 minute walk around their lake. As you walk, think about the rhythm of your body as you stride from one step to the next. It’s calming to focus on your breathing. Concentrate on each breath and empty your thoughts as you move along.
10. Aromatherapy

 Connecting certain fragrances to an emotionally uplifting situation will trigger a relaxation response. For example, try lighting some of your favorite incense or fill your home with the aroma of potpourri while you sit back and meditate your worries away. If those aromas are too strong for you, you can buy a less pungent smelling Glade air freshener. They just plug into any outlet and you can adjust the amount of fragrance that they release. I personally love using Glade plug-ins. Vanilla is my favorite. It’s a gentle scent that eases my mind.
11. Do Charity work

When you help others, you take the focus off yourself. Taking the focus off yourself is a big part of overcoming anxiety. You internalize less and simply live in the moment, taking pleasure in the world around you. Feel good about yourself for doing a positive thing for others.
12. Read

 Escape to another place and time. Live in someone elses shoes for a while and leave your troubles behind. Reading is actually another form of meditation.You leave your own thoughts and simply follow a scripted story. You’re essentially just going along for the ride and forgetting the world around you.I doesn’t matter what you read as long as it takes your thoughts elsewhere. This is a healthy break from things and will relieve anxiety within minutes.
13. Write out Your Thoughts

If you feel anxious or upset, write down your thoughts in a letter or diary. Sometimes, getting it all out on paper can feel like you’re getting out of your system. Don’t meditate on your negative thoughts. Simply spill them out in front of you. Feel the words leaving your your mind and making room for a more peaceful state of consciousness.
14. Take a Hot Bath

Let your muscles relax and sit in peace as the water calms and soothes you. Light some candles to create and even more tranquil environment. Play music to heighten the effect. There’s no rule that says you can’t turn your bathroom into a getaway spa if only for an hour.A bonus to this is buying special soaps, shaving creams or shampoos that will further your pampered “timeout”. Treat this as a special treat and really go all out.
15. Avoid Caffeine

This may sound like a bit of a tough one. I myself used to be a bit of a caffeine addict. And guess what? This was right around the same time my anxiety was at its worst. Sound like a coincidence? Not really.It’s easy to think that caffeine heightens you mood. Afterall, it’s a stimulant. But the crash that you get from a strong caffeine high is enough to bring on extreme anxiety and depression. So do youself a favor and start weening yourself off the caffeine train.I now start every morning with Green Tea and I eat a Granny Smith apple with my breakfast. Granny Smiths have been proven to actually wake you up just as much as a cup of coffee in the morning.
16. Stretch

 Every night before bed, take 5 minutes to stretch. Even if it’s just touching your toes, every bit helps.When you stretch, you relieve tension in your back and muscles. You’ll feel calmer and more relaxed instantly. This is a great way to prepare for a fantastic night’s sleep.If you prefer not to stretch right before bed, you can stretch before going to the gym. It helps circulation and prevents injury as well. This anxiety reliever takes just minutes and it really does wonders. As a side benefit, you’ll feel so much better physically. Since I started stretching, I’ve noticed significantly less muscle cramps and soreness after a workout. I can honestly say this technique has made me feel younger and more vibrant.
17. Eat Chocolate

Chocolate releases phenylethylamine in the brain. This so called “chocolate amphetamine” causes changes in blood pressure and blood-sugar levels leading to feelings of excitement and alertness. It works like amphetamines to increase mood and decrease depression. It’s been said that chocolate creates a feeling of “being in love”. I just like the taste myself. But if you needed some extra convincing to eat a piece of chocolate, know that it’s been proven to relieve anxiety.
18. Smile

 Smile and think of a time when you were most happy. Think of a funny moment, a family member you love or a time when you dared to try something new.Smile and think positively. Throw your negative thoughts out of your head and shield them off with a broad, life-loving smile.Share your smile with others. When you smile at someone, they can’t help but smile back at you. It’s part of human nature. Smile and bring joy into the lives of others. Smile and keep that smile for as long as you want to. The choice really is yours.
19. Guided Imagery

Guided Imagery is just a fancy way of saying visualize something that calms you. When you feel anxious or stressed, close your eyes. Picture a serene setting where you’d love to escape to.For me, my visualization involves laying in a beautiful grassy field under a wise, angular tree that stretches high above me. The sky is clear, sunny and ominous with breathtaking clouds. There are no bugs in my vison and the temperature is just perfect. A cool breeze engulfs my body in a refreshing whisper. I’m barefoot and the grass cushions my body with soft feathery support. I feel as light as air and my mind drifts off into sleepy bliss.Get the idea? It’s good to make your vision as detailed as possible. Become completely emersed in the escape and leave your anxiety out of the picture.
20. Sex

 I find it impossible to feel anxiety when I am completely carried away with lovemaking. Sex is healthy, good for the mind and body.It rejuvenates you and makes you feel completely alive. This anxiety reliever should not be overlooked. When you are completely swept away by the love of your partner, you forget about all of life’s stresses.Take a vacation from the anxiety in your mind. Instead, fill your head with the thoughts of love for another. Then indulge yourselves and think of nothing but the moment.
21. Repeat a Mantra

As the Law of Attraction States, thoughts are things. So when you think negatively, negative things will come into your life. Conversely, when you think positively, positive things will come into your life. Having a Mantra is a great way to control your thought pattern and relieve anxiety.When you’re feeling anxious, have a mantra or short prayer memorized that you can repeat in the moment. Everyone’s mantra will be different and tailored to their own anxiety but my mantra is:“I am a kind, loving person. I strive everyday to be the best I can be and all good things flow to me from the universe. Any worry or stress I have now will not make a difference in the longterm of my life. My life is good and will continue to be good. I am blessed for all that I have. The only opinion that matters in life is the opinion of myself. I love myself.”You can make your mantra whatever you choose. Make it something that speaks to your mentality and comforts your soul. Repeat your mantra in times of doubt and confusion. Hold firm that it is the truth. Your mantra will be your relaxing touchstone.
22. Eat Your Favorite Food

 I’m not telling you to go out and binge eat to get over your anxiety. Obviously that’s not a healthy strategy. However, you are allowed to indulge in your favorite comfort foods when things get particularly stressful.My comfort food is sushi. I like it when it’s super fresh and the rice is still slightly warm. I add a little hot Miso soup to the mix to really make me feel cozy. This is my relaxing meal. What’s yours?
23. Go by or Near Water

This could be as simple as laying by a pool or walking along the shoreline of your favorite beach. Water naturally has a calming effect on us.The calming effect is thought to be derived from the peaceful time when we were in out mother’s womb.Some other ideas for going near water could be visiting an aquarium, watching a beautiful lightening storm from your window, taking a walk around a lake or even simply taking a hot shower.
24. Grab Your Blankie

Your “Blankie” is symbolic. It can be anything that gives you comfort. My “Blankie” is my wedding ring. In times of high anxiety, sometimes I just look at my ring. I’ll think of my husband and the love we have for one another. I am instantly soothed.Maybe you have a lucky charm as your blankie? A necklace? A favorite sweatshirt? A great pair of jeans?Your blankie can be anything. Think of it when panic arises.
25. Use the Tactics Taught in Panic Away

 When anxiety and panic hit, they can hit Hard. that’s why I like to have step by step techniques that I can implement on the spot. Panic away is the best anxiety and panic attack program I have ever found in all my years of researching on the Internet. Use their tactics to not only relieve anxiety, but extinguish it PERMANENTLY from your life. You can start the Panic Away program right now here.

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{ 38 comments }

billy anlers December 6, 2009 at 4:32 am

hi jason thanks for sending me how to stop anxiety and panic attacks i had them on and of for 4 years now over the past years i had loads of test frm blood to exrays you name it as like every bodey else i did not knoe what i had the doc did not tell me i had to find out on the net i get a lot of chest pain i put that down to anxiety as the pain is there day after day i have the panicawy book it great it help me a lot it nice to talk to somebody else

zoltan- self esteem dude January 6, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Being a massage therapist I prefer #8 besides all of the other techniques mentioned above for stress release. It’s essential to use at least of these tips to calm yourself down and to strengthen your immune system and refresh your mind. Great ideas.

Rain January 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm

@ #7, How’d you get a picture of my room? (JK.) @ #19, My visualization is a forest at the very beginning of fall, the leaves are red, brown, and orange. The temperture is around 65f and I’m surrounded by nothing but trees and the peaceful sounds of nature (and sometimes a friend of family member, if I’m missing them at the moment.) Thank you for all the tips :)

Apple January 22, 2010 at 8:18 am

i have been really stressed out because of snchool. i am in the 7th grade and i am having tons of homework and on top of that i have to memorizing a part of a book. but the catch is it has to be for at least 4 min long and you get counted off for every word you miss! But i found out to relieve my stress and anxiety is to be with my pets. i have two kittens and a dog! so pets relieve my stress!

Ben March 3, 2010 at 11:02 pm

But green tea has caffeine in it! Especially good green tea.

Actually, aside from that little quibble I loved your article, and I’ve used several of your techniques to good effect.

Keep on keeping on.

Ben

Sally March 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm

thanks so much for this. It really helps. Every night i can’t sleep from anxiety and depression; but this really helps. Playing card games with my mom is the best way to feel happy when im depressed. What really works is streching, breathing slowly, and eating chocoalte & smiling/laughing. I feel so much better when i do this :) thanks soo much!

joe dingleberry April 6, 2010 at 4:35 am

Great tips! Except for the sex! Reltionships is a big part of my anxiety, so doesn’t look like I’m making love anytime soon!

NJ April 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Hey these tips are perfect but I ordered the kit on the link and it never came.. scam or some mess up…

absalom May 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Green tea has lots of caffeine. If caffeine makes you anxious you should probably avoid green tea

Bobby May 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Stash makes a delicious decaf green tea. I highly recommend it. I would also add to the list; find a creative outlet. Whether it be painting, writing, playing a musical instrument, etc. Find a creative talent and nurture it. Not only is it therapeutic, but let’s face it; the world desperately needs some creativity right now!

Rawr May 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm

For the past 8-9 months ive had a lot of stress and anxiety from everyday things and even a few ppl, insecurities , etc. im 14 years old and i have to live up to family names … its hard and frudtrating therefore stressful … a lot of these things from the list above i do practice … some f them dont even work anymore …. and that makes me depressed , great lol

Imel August 10, 2010 at 12:28 am

Thanks for the tips! Being stressed is an envitable situation. Thanks for the tips. It helped me to reduce stress. Will share with my friends, and, hey that also a way to reduce sterss – sharing :)

Tony December 24, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Number 20 works best for me……I don’t know why. I do want to start deep breathing exercises and drinking green tea. Hey maybe I can do deep breathing exercises during a session of number 20 and finish it off w green tea.

Just Sarah.. December 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm

ANOTHER WAY: If someone you know is stressed, or nervous. Tickle them. It naturally releases endorphins, which makes you happy. It works for me as well as a bunch of people I know. Try it. It works. :) :D <3

darren February 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm

ahhhhhhh none of these work with me
just seem to be gettin worse and worse everyday

Jim February 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm

You mention green tea in your article and that it contains L-Theanine (an amino acid that creates a feeling of calm without feeling drowsy).
Taking L Theanine supplements has been one of the only things that has helped reduce my feelings of chronic worry and anxiety. For people who are sick and tired of constant worrying and feeling anxious I do recommend these supplements. Do a search for L-Theanine supplements on google and try them.

Ariel March 19, 2011 at 5:50 am

I sometimes feel nervous… Like that feeling you get in your stomach right before you go on stage! And these work great except for the sex one. Sex is exactly why I feel Anxious and nervous right now! D: but other than that, I recommend listening to music and eating chocolate. Also, the key is to stay warm. I’ve found that if you’re cold, it just makes everything worse! You start to shiver and maybe even feel more anxious. Well, that’s how it is for me anyways…
But yeah, great tips! Thanks for helping!

nene April 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I TRIED SO MANY WAYS TO HARM MYSELF BECAUSE I DIDNT WANT TO BE HERE ANYMORE I DIDNT WANT LIFE!! but now i have a 2 year old son that i have to be herer for and is my life i couldnt live without not oneday i have found no ways to relieve my stress i need help real help not medicine i need love and i feel its nowhere not from my family and i dnt have friends so i have no one to turn to no one to listen to me im sad most of my time im lonely and i dnt have anyone to lean on for any help!! im sick im sick n all i want is for my life to change i cant figure out why i think so negative why i dream of hurtin others I DREAM OF DEATH my brain want stop thinking i think to much i try to stop but more negative things jus appear im lost i need help will someone help me im 19 years old an sometimes im jus ready to jump!!!

Cynthia May 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Chocolate and Green Tea was said to trigger anxiety though. Now I am not sure which is correct.

Hemant June 5, 2011 at 9:06 pm

In line with #4 (Take a Foot Bath) and #8 (Get a Massage), Acupressure is another great way to reduce stress and anxiety. The common Foot Reflexology massages that are available at malls and airports these days use Acupressure. Acupressure Fitness (Acufit) Mats is a product that helps you Do Your Own Foot Reflexology massage by walking on this Acupressure Mat for 5 minutes a day. As the right amount of pressure is applied to the Acupressure points on the foot, the brain gets signals to release endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain and stress relievers. Check out these Acupressure Mats at http://acumats.com.

Jayne June 18, 2011 at 10:31 am

I have an anxiety disorder so anything to relieve stress and anxiety really helps thanks.

Jayne June 18, 2011 at 10:33 am

It also helps to stay positive. thanks again.

Gaby July 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I’m 21 years old, I have always suffered from anxiety but there were just times in my life were it got really bad, luckily i believe myself to be very strong willed and my courage and optimism always helped me get out of those dark times. Anxiety is a very scary condition to have, no one that has never experienced it could understand the powerful it can get if you don’t seek help. So to all my fellow anxiety sufferer my advice is to not give up and to always have a positive outlook in life. These tips here are great it makes me happy to see this kind of post online because i know that somehow it will help one us relieve our anxiety. I have been able to live a normal life anxiety free with the help of many of this tips that are listed here. But since I recently started a new job with greater responsibilities and better opportunities you can guess the anxiety somehow resurfaced, of course this time it’s different because it’s something new. And that’s how anxiety is, when you are up against a new challenge or new things* the unknown usually associates with our subconscious fears and thus provokes anxiety. I recently started Yoga and Meditation classes, let me tell you in my short life of 21 years it’s one of the best decisions I have made so far. At first I felt a little unsure about it, but it does wonder to relieve my anxiety. I can see myself being on the “normal” standard in a few weeks again. So I really recommend Yoga and Meditation to anyone that is in desperate need of relief. It’s gradual but you’ll start to see changes in a short period of time, just be patient and believe in yourself.
Oh and just on a quick note the ones that help me on this list are #1, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #12, #18, #19, #20, #21, #25 … there’s a wide variety to choose from guys! =) but whatever it is always always always stay positive!!!

Best Wishes

Lisa August 22, 2011 at 2:35 am

nene- Please do not feel alone. If you’ve had this problem for a long time, it won’t go away on it’s own and sounds like you may have post-partum depression also. Get therapy from a professional, not only someone who will prescribe medication but listen as well. You should be able to get a referral from your primary physician, OB/Gyn or from your child’s pediatrician. You do need to be here for your son and being here includes taking care of yourself mentally and physically. Good luck. People do care even if they’re strangers.

may i add September 5, 2011 at 10:13 am

I have really bad anxiety. I think I’m depressed as well. I’m 27, I have a six year old. I started having attacks after I had my son, bc the relationship I was in was abusive, for seven years, I’ve been put down by my family as well..they throw in my face that I had a child at such a young age and expect me to fail and struggle the rest of my life bc of it. I’m about to get my college degree, associates, first in my family to graduate, I plan on going on for my bachelors. Bc. Of this anxiety, I have become my own worst enemy. I lost my confidence as self esteem, I don’t give myself any credit, I keep myself from going to better my life as far as going for better jobs because I don’t feel lke I’m good enough for anything. My anxiety comes up everytime at work or my social life cuz I deal with the spotlight effect. I think I need cognitive behavior therapy but I don’t have insurance. I really need to stop this now because it is destroying what I can potential become in life. It just sucks.

anonymous September 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm

NENE i hope you see this, please dont give up on life. i know you feel like no one cares, but someone loves you. someone will love you. and i know someday you will be able to feel and give that love back to your son. i know im just a stranger but i care. dont give up on life, youre a beautiful person and someone does and will love you

p.s. write back

em September 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I have tried all of these. None of them work for me. I have severe anxiety and it gets in the way of my schoolwork. I want to get rid of it without professional help or medication

Ish September 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Despite having everything, money car house work luxury youth beauty security any women I want – I lack nothing in my life. Why am i still stressed? will these things mentioned above help me get rid of this unknown stress?

Martin.H January 20, 2012 at 9:10 am

Sometimes , i find masturbation a stress reliever? what do you think? anyways tnx heaps for those tips

Anonymous March 12, 2012 at 12:55 am

NENE

I hope you read this. I am suffering from the same. I thought I was crazy. I asked myself countless times why can’t I just be normal. I wanted to die everyday. I wanted my life to end. I now know that I am normal. I know that I have anxiety, depresion and bi polar disorder but that doesn’t define who I am. I plan on going to therapy. I know I am not 100% recovered but I am already begining to feel a change and that is because I am reading something called the secret which is somewhat like the Mantra. Techniques on how to control thought. I choose everyday not to give up because I am more than anxiety and I have so much to give. Believe in yourself. Remember that you are not alone in this. I may not know who you are but I care about you and your son loves you. Remember that it is a process. Healing is possible. Its something that you will look at down the road in life as an obstacle. I wish you the best in life.

Always remember, you have a kind heart, you are strong, you are an important individual who deserves the best out of life.

Evelyn April 16, 2012 at 2:02 am

What great tips to relieve stress and i like that they are natural ways. I love number 3 using music as a way to calm your nerves and muscles. A great course that explains this is Soothing Stress Relief Sounds Course. I heard about this new course on twitter!

Has anyone else heard about it too? Because i want to know when it will be available so i can get a copy!

family counseling May 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm

These may look like a lot of steps, but they are well worth the effort. Controlling your body is one way to control your emotions and your life. Great tips! These are amazing suggestions to relieve any kind of stress or anxiety.

mario May 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm

For those who can find no answers – I can tell you from personal experience along with many others – Jesus is the answer – go to your nearest Christian church and tell the preacher or the people in the church that you need God’s help and they will show you what to do. Jesus is real , give God a chance !

Bee June 5, 2012 at 1:32 am

Breathe, close your eyes, and know that it will all pass. FIND A DISTRACTION immediately, like chores or playing with a pet. Cry if you need to.

Aleshia June 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm

There is no way to extinguish anxiety completely from your life, for one, anxiety is a natural feelin were all born with and two, you must have anxiety in your life to notice when things aren’t goin right. Anxiety is a natural normal part of everyone’s lifestyle. You can not and should not want to eliminate it entirely but learn to cope with it and use it only when it is needed.

Aleshia June 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I would also like to say, great tips. Stretching and deep breathing are big ones. Very important ad for everyone who has tried them and said they didn’t work., you need to remember everything takes time. You can’t be a professional the first time you try it :) always have an open mind and don’t feel discouraged when something isn’t working for you jut yet. Keep trying because it took you a while to get to where to are and it’ll take a little while to get to where you want to be :)

taliah July 14, 2012 at 12:41 am

seriously…just go out and face your problems. the best way to stop being so nervous is to face your issues. you’ll never get better by stuffing your face with chocolate or hugging a blanket every time your anxious…

Jason August 22, 2012 at 9:53 am

Taliah, I love your brutal honesty and despite an initial feeling to defend members who don’t agree, I commend you on your approach. It’s valid for some to just bite their lip and jump full force into a situation that triggers anxiety. In fact, this theory is the cornerstone of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Thank you kindly for your contribution.

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