Well-Being//

Joy Bauer’s 6 Ways to Ease Anxiety

How this celebrity nutritionist finds calm and mindfulness each day.

 Feeling a little frazzled? You’re not alone! Here are few easy ways to manage anxiety and feel more calm, zen and at peace. Try these six tips today!

“OM” down 

Taking some time to meditate or even just do some deep breathing can help manage stress and bring on feelings of calm. You can meditate anywhere—your home office, bedroom, living room—and for as long as you’d like. In simplest terms, it involves focusing your attention, eliminating outside thoughts and distractions, and slowing down your breathing. There are different types (guided, mantra, mindfulness, Tai Chi and yoga are a few examples), and you can easily search online for tips on each. If you wanted to take a moment during your day to just do some deep breathing, that helps cut stress levels, too. To do this, find a quiet, comfortable place to sit down. Take a normal breath, then take a slow, deep breath. Breathe in slowly through your nose. Pull air through your chest, letting your stomach rise as your lungs fill up (to the count of four). Then, exhale slowly through your mouth (to the count of four). Do this a few times until your heart rate slows and you feel more relaxed. Repeat as often as you’d like throughout the day. 

Get your sweat on 

You know that feeling after you finish a workout? Sweaty and a little tired, sure, but also glorious, accomplished, energized. That! That’s why every health expert recommends a workout—aside from all the health perks, studies show a bout of exercise can also help reduce feelings of stress. It increases production of feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which can boost mood. Whatever type of activity you like—yoga, stretching, jogging, biking, a dance video—whatever makes you happy, schedule some time to do it. 

Stream a de-stressor 

Netflix-bingeing has always been a hobby of mine, when I’m able to steal some downtime on the couch. And now with so many streaming channels—Amazon, Apple, Hulu, Prime Video, and more—the options are endless. While I love a good murder mystery, comedies and laughter is the best medicine in this instance. I tune into personal faves, like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Schitt’s Creek or one of the classics (like The Office, Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development), and suddenly, the whole crew’s watching, huge grins on their faces, feeling more at ease. Research shows we’re onto something—laughter can help minimize the stress response. It decreases heart rate and blood pressure. It stimulates circulation and relaxes muscles. The result: You feel relaxed and less stressed. Ah, that’s something to smile about! 

Enoy a zen-filled beverage 

Whip up a deliciously calming beverage and sip your way to serenity. My ChaosCalmer features chamomile tea, which acts as a mild sedative and may help ease anxiety. For a cold bevvy, try this Cucumber-Lemon Spa Water, which is refreshing and stars immune-boosting vitamin-C rich lemon as well as light and soothing LaCroix Lemon Sparkling Water. Or make this quick and easy relaxing brew that I call Orange-Chamomile Anxie-TEA: Add a few sliced oranges to a cup of hot chamomile tea, making sure to squeeze in some of the fresh juices to sweeten the taste and brighten the aroma. It’s a comforting beverage with two ingredients (orange and chamomile) that can help calm your nerves and relieve tension. Whatever drink you decide on, make sure to sit down in a comfy space and spend several minutes enjoying your zen-filled bevvie. 

 Reap the healing power of music 

I come from a family of musicians. At gatherings and holidays, we usually break out into song, and a dance off commonly ensues. My whole family loves to sing (in my case, not terribly well) and we hugely appreciate the healing power of music. Whenever I’m feeling stressed—whether it’s work strain, family stress or anything else—one of my favorite ways to get happy and to unwind is to turn on a favorite tune (James Taylor and Bruce Springsteen are my go-tos) and sing along. One or two feel-good songs in and I’m automatically lighter and looser. I highly recommend it—it’s very cathartic. 

Play the happy chef 

This will come as no surprise to, well, anyone, but I find cooking to be a great way to burn off stress. It’s something you can do at home and it’s super satisfying (you feel connected to the food you’re eating and end up with a healthy, wholesome meal when all is said and done). You can be creative, and experiment to concoct a delicious meal. (Or, if you’d prefer, you can follow a recipe to a T if that’s easier.) You can do it alone to some quiet music, or round up the kids and do it as a bonding activity. Some of it is mindless—prep, cleaning, chopping—while other parts require a bit more focus and attention. I love the smells, the aromas that fill the kitchen, and the whole house. I love the freedom to imagine and create. I love providing for and taking care of my family; it’s a way to show my feelings for them. In the end, it’s fun and can be a form of therapy if you enjoy it. 

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