If we take a look at the statistics, we see that anxiety and stress levels are alarmingly high in the U.S. Nearly one in five adults suffers from anxiety, and according to a National Health Interview survey, three-quarters of Americans report high stress in their lives. These startling numbers highlight the need for real anxiety relief. But we don’t think this means that 20 to 75% of the population should turn to prescription drugs to cope with this problem.
We believe there is a safer, better route for most people.
While medications can calm you down quickly and dull symptoms, popping a pill does not help you cultivate legitimate coping strategies. We prefer to focus on steps you can take to calm down and manage anxiety that are simple, safe, and effective.
Relaxation techniques for anxiety can offer significant relief with no damaging physical, mental or financial costs. If you can master even one or two relaxation techniques, you will have the tools under your belt for a lifetime of anxiety and stress relief!
The Disruptive Impact of Anxiety
Anxiety disrupts our daily lives with persistent worry, jitters, panic attacks, fatigue, overreactions, isolation, and feelings of being overwhelmed and unbalanced. If you are stressed or anxious, you may eat more or less than you should, and you may try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Over a prolonged period, stress and anxiety can lower your immune system, rob you of necessary sleep, and even contribute to the development of heart disease.
Without effective methods to manage anxiety, you may feel out of control. If you don’t take steps to mitigate the problem, you may find yourself experiencing a constant state of tension and worry that gets progressively worse. Of course, seeing a professional is often the best course of action, but you shouldn’t underestimate the impact of proper sleep and healthy lifestyle changes.
These things may seem simple and obvious, but they go a long way. Learning healthy coping strategies, such as relaxation techniques, is an important part of taking control of your life. Relaxation techniques for anxiety allow you to help you help yourself.
How Relaxation Techniques Override Anxiety
Relaxation techniques for anxiety, such as mindful breathing, meditation, and positive affirmations, bring relief by forcing a break in the stress response and helping you regain a sense of control. These techniques can improve concentration, reduce anger and frustration, and boost your ability to handle problems. Repeated over time, relaxation techniques can improve confidence by easing anxiety symptoms and offering a new way to cope.
The Mayo Clinic suggests combining relaxation techniques with other coping methods, such as exercising, getting enough sleep, and seeking support from family, friends, and professionals. The Mayo Clinic reports that relaxation techniques provide many health benefits, including:
- Slowing heart rate
- Affecting blood pressure
- Moderating breathing
- Reducing muscle tension
Types of Relaxation Techniques for Anxiety
There are many types of relaxation techniques for anxiety that you can try. Breathing, meditation, progressive relaxation, positive affirmations, visualizations, aromatherapy, and music therapy are just some of the relaxation techniques that can help.
Start with one of the following simple relaxation techniques.
- Start the measured breathing technique by loosening up, shaking out both hands, dropping your shoulders, and relaxing your jaw.
- Draw in breath slowly through your nose while counting to four, hold your breath for a moment, then release your breath slowly while counting to seven. Repeat until you feel calm.
Bumble Bee Breath
- Start the bumble bee breath by relaxing your shoulders. Cover your ears with your thumbs, close your eyes, and take a long, deep breath in.
- Hold your breath for a moment, then breathe out slowly while making a long, low humming sound. Repeat.
If you’re suffering from anxiety, practicing meditation may be challenging at first, but if you keep up your practice, you’ll reap many benefits in the long run.
- Start by choosing a place to meditate that is quiet, away from people and loud noises, and that feels pleasing and comfortable to you. When you first begin a meditation practice, it is good to have consistency – sticking with one specific location, time of day, and meditation technique is ideal until the meditative state begins to come easier to you.
- You can use something that is pleasing to the senses during meditation, such as tranquil music, serene nature sounds, or a scented candle. You can lay flat on your back on the floor, sit with your legs crossed and your hands on your knees, or practice easy stretching during your quiet time.
- Meditation can be as simple as sitting in a calm space with your eyes closed for 10 minutes each day and focusing on your breath.
These techniques may seem simple, but they are surprisingly effective – and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all the relaxation techniques for anxiety that are available to you! Keep following our blog, as we’ll be covering more relaxation techniques in-depth in the future.