I Suffer From Severe Anxiety and These Are The 5 Things I Do To Keep My Anxiety At Bay

I Suffer From Severe Anxiety and These Are The 5 Things I Do To Keep My Anxiety At Bay

Anxiety – it’s something not a lot of people like to talk about, but when you have it, it definitely controls your whole life. I should know, I’ve suffered from debilitating anxiety for over 15 years.

Obviously everybody handles stress and anxiety differently, and suffers from different levels – for some, it might be just some butterflies in their stomach while giving a speech. For others, just the thought of giving a speech can throw them into a full blown panic attack.

For me, there isn’t much rhyme or reason as to what triggers my anxiety, but over the years I’ve learned a few things that definitely can cause worse days – but I’ve also found small tricks that can really help keep my anxiety at bay. Here are the 5 that have worked best for me:

1. Exercise

Everybody knows exercise is good for their physical health, but research has actually shown that it is also crucial for our mental health as well. This is thanks to the body’s natural release of endorphins during physical exercise. Those endorphins interact with receptors in our brain and actually reduce pain, while improving our mood, and enhancing our self-esteem. Exercise also lowers stress hormones in our body, such as cortisol leading to long term benefits. In fact, research is showing that exercise can be more effective than medications for certain ailments!

I’ve seen this hold true first-hand. At it’s worst, my anxiety was preventing me from even leaving my house – it had completely stripped away my life and exercise was the one thing that broke that cycle and made it manageable for me again. It started with just simply finding a sport that I loved – I was never one to want to sit on a treadmill or hit the gym and lift weights, but introducing basketball into my life made all the difference. Even if it was just 30 minutes a day, it made a much bigger impact on my anxiety levels than any medication I had ever tried did!

Exercising regularly also can make us feel more confident in our physical appearance which, in turn, increases our overall confidence and mental well-being. In addition, it also helps improve our sleep quality, which leads us to…

2. Sleep

Sleep is crucial to reducing stress and anxiety, and a lot of times sleep and anxiety become a catch-22 – As we get more stressed, our sleep routine worsens, and as we get less sleep we become even more stressed. In fact, results from a recent study1 showed that losing just a small amount of sleep not only increases the feeling of exhaustion, but also leads to increase feelings of stress, anger, and sadness.

The key is figuring out how to break that cycle and start getting more sleep! The National Sleep Foundation has a great guide to getting better sleep which can be found on their website.

For me, the magic number seemed to be around 8 hours. I noticed if I started getting any less sleep, I would just wake up more prone to a bad anxiety day. Now, I try to keep the same routine day in and day out to make sure I’m getting those magic 8 hours of sleep.

3. Breathing Techniques

This was one I was extremely skeptical about. I always thought it was goofy, or that there was no way just breathing would actually help me stop a panic attack or lower my anxiety. But, luckily, I had a family friend who also suffered from anxiety and convinced me to at least give it a try.

One of the most common methods (and the one I use) is the 4-7-8 method. This rhythmic breathing technique not only can help reduce anxiety, but it also has been shown to help participants fall asleep quicker, manage cravings, and cope with anger.

On top of being extremely effective, the 4-7-8 method is extremely easy to use, and can be done wherever you are. All you need to do is find a comfortable seating position to start. Once you’re ready, follow these steps:

  1. Touch and hold the tip of your tongue to the skin directly behind your top front teeth.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Breathe in through your nose slowly for 4 seconds.
  4. Hold that breath for 7 seconds.
  5. Exhale slowly through your mouth for 8 seconds.
  6. Repeat 4 times.

That’s it! Plus the 4-7-8 method can be very useful outside of high anxiety situations as well. Studies2 have shown that by using this method twice per day, you could reduce anxiety, decrease fatigue, reduce hypertension, decrease the effects of asthma, reduce aggression, and even decrease migraines.

Introducing the 4-7-8 method into my routine has been a gamechanger for me – especially since this you can do it anywhere. Anytime I start to feel anxious or think a panic attack is coming on, I just step away and find a spot to cycle through the breathing – I can’t tell you how many times this has gotten me through situations I never would have made it through without it!

4. Muscle Relaxation

Along the same lines as breathing techniques, muscle relaxation can also reduce stress and anxiety. Stress tends to cause us to “tighten up,” however just like with our sleep the effects of stress on our muscles can be a vicious cycle.

While things like baths and massages can definitely help reduce tension and stress to help us relax our muscles, there are a few techniques you can do in the comfort of your home to help as well!

One of the most effective techniques works very well in conjunction with the 4-7-8 breathing method from above. You’ll want to find a comfortable spot to sit or better yet lay down. Try to focus on completely relaxing every muscle in your body, and don’t let your mind wonder from that task. Once you feel like you are not engaging any muscle, start clenching a single muscle group at a time and hold for 10 seconds. We like to start from our toes and work up to our head, so as an example we would start by clenching our toes and holding for 10 seconds then releasing. Next moving to our calves – tightening our muscles for 10 seconds then releasing, next our thighs, and so on. Work every muscle group you can through this exercise – toes, calves, thighs, butt, abs, chest, arms, fingers, neck, jaw.

If done in conjunction with good breathing methods this muscle technique can have astonishing results on the reduction of stress and anxiety!

5. Aromatherapy

Last but not least, my personal favorite, Aromatherapy. This has been a Godsend for me and my anxiety. I came across it after reading about a study3 that proved aromatherapy can not only help decrease anxiety4, but also improve sleep5. That was a pillar of why Himalayan Health was founded. In our research they found the most effective oils to be Lavender, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Bergamot, Lime, Marjoram, and Coconut – which is why we combined those into Calm Blend. We carefully selected each ingredient specifically based on its unique characteristics and how it interacts with the neurotransmitters to help relieve stress and anxiety – all backed by research and studies! Thanks to some of these interactions with the serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, and GABA neurotransmitters, Calm Blend also can improve joint pain, improve mood, boost energy levels, boost immunity, and aid in blood circulation.

I don’t go a day without using it now – and it's extremely easy to use. Calm Blend is perfect for use in a diffuser, which is how I use it on my desk every day, but we also offer a roll-on version that I carry everywhere with me. All it takes to help lower my anxiety is a small dab of the oil on my temples or wrists, or even the base of my neck and I start feeling anxiety relief within 30 minutes. I can’t tell you how many situations it has helped me through!

Are You Interested In Trying Calm Blend For Anxiety?

Calm Blend is a natural substance that may help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. If you have PTSD, generalized anxiety, or social anxiety, Calm Blend may be useful as a part of your treatment plan.

Calm Blend is a specifically formulated blend of all the best stress and anxiety fighting essential oils to provide pure relief. As well as providing the ultimate in relaxation, Calm Blend also supports healthy joints and blood circulation, a stable mood, and a strong immune system.

Calm Blend will work quickly to help relieve anxiety and stress, improve quality of sleep, reduce chronic pain and inflammation, and even improve your mood, focus and relaxation.

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