Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders. Anxiety can manifest with overwhelming symptoms and make it difficult to focus on daily tasks. Thankfully there are ways you can learn how to calm down anxiety symptoms and take control.
All of the most basic tools you can use to figure out how to calm anxiety down involve mindfulness and meditation techniques. These are tools that help you pull yourself out of any fears or worries about the future or the past and stay focused on the present.
Focus on Your Breathing
Breathing techniques are another way that you can learn how to calm down when feeling anxious. Breathing techniques don’t have to be overly complicated. If you need to calm down from anxiety, you can:
- Take a moment to find a comfortable seat or a safe place to stand
- Close your eyes to help turn your attention inward
- Focus on slowly inhaling and exhaling, blocking everything else out of your mind
How you choose to apply breathing techniques might vary from one person to the next. One common way you can learn how to calm down anxiety is called “Square Breathing.” It gets its name from the idea of a perfect square.
With a square, all four sides are the same length. The goal of square breathing is for your inhalation, your pause at the top of the inhalation, your exhalation, and the pause at the bottom of your exhalation to be the same length.
If you are feeling anxious, you can practice Square Breathing by pausing, inhaling for four seconds, holding your breath for four seconds, exhaling for four seconds, and pausing for four seconds before you inhale again.
These types of breathing techniques can teach you how to calm down anxiety when you start to feel things getting out of control. Bringing your awareness back to something within your control, like your breathing, is an established mindful technique.
Identify Your Key Sensations
This method can teach you how to calm anxiety down by focusing on your five senses, one at a time.
It is a form of mindful meditation where you start by picking something small. that could be:
- The temperature of the space you are in
- The feel of your fingertips rubbing together
- The feeling of your clothing against your skin
- The wind blowing through your hair
From there, you can add a secondary sensation, like smells, in your immediate area.
You can learn how to calm down anxiety by adding as many additional senses as possible, like the sounds in your area, starting with sounds farthest away from you and identifying subsequent sounds that get closer and closer until you reach those sounds which are in your immediate area.
Another way you can learn how to calm down when feeling anxious is to take breaks. Sometimes the very thing causing us anxiety is what we are doing, thinking about, or trying to avoid.
Breaks look different from one situation to the next. For example:
- If you are at home and feeling anxious, you can calm your anxiety by doing something that requires minimal cognitive Focus and has a lot of mindful repetition, like washing dishes or vacuuming. Doing things like washing dishes helps you focus your attention on key sensations like the feel of the warm water against your skin.
- If you are at work or home and overwhelmed with anxiety, you might take a break by taking a quick walk. That walk can be very simple, up and down your driveway or up and down your street. If you have the ability, you can take a break by walking in a local nature reserve or park.
- If you are in public and feeling overwhelmed, you can calm down from anxiety by taking a quick break in the form of stepping off a busy sidewalk, finding a place to sit down for a minute, and utilizing breathing techniques and essential sensations for mindful awareness.
Get Professional Help
If you have a legitimate anxiety disorder, you can learn how to calm your anxiety down by getting help from a professional treatment center. Water Gap Wellness Center offers outpatient treatment that can teach you how to calm down from anxiety, prescribe medications you might need for acute symptoms, and encourage healthy coping skills.
Call Water Gap Wellness Center today to learn more about our anxiety treatment.