Well-Being//

6 Powerful Relaxation Techniques for Anxiety

If you’re looking to reduce your stress, add these tools to your toolbox.

Talaj/Getty Images
Talaj/Getty Images

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “How do I stop a panic attack naturally and quickly?” The answer is way more complex than what many people think. Unfortunately, you cannot snap your fingers and have the anxiety disappear. Wouldn’t that be nice? However, there are many relaxation techniques for anxiety that can quickly take you out of an attack. The effects are not immediate but they can certainly decrease the power of the anxiety attacks and the fear you feel.

6 Powerful Relaxation Techniques for Anxiety

Relaxation techniques for anxiety are something every warrior needs to have in their toolkit. By doing simple actions, such as deep breathing techniques, you can slower your heart rate, calm your mind, soothe your thoughts and lessen the severity of your anxiety attacks.

The best part? Once you know that you can use relaxation techniques for anxiety to manage the attacks, you don’t fear them as much. Thus, they don’t occur near as often or as intense.

Let’s take a look at the most powerful coping methods for anxiety.

1. Focused Deep Breathing Technique

Proper deep breathing is one of the best things you can learn. Although the technique is simple, it’s exceptionally effective. So, when your mind tries to dismiss this relaxation technique for anxiety as not enough, don’t listen to it. When done properly, deep breathing techniques work!

How do to proper deep breathing?

  1. Take long, slow deep breaths into your belly
  2. As you breathe in, focus on your breath instead of the anxious thoughts and sensations
  3. As you breathe out, imagine the anxiety leaving your body
  4. Repeat

The steps to proper deep breathing are quite simple; the hard part is focusing which is why we always recommend practicing these steps every day, even when you aren’t anxious. Then, when you have an anxiety attack, you’ll be able to execute this relaxation technique effortlessly and flawlessly.

2. Mindfulness Meditation

We’ve talked about mindfulness meditation a million times before and that’s because it works!It’s a powerful relaxation technique for anxiety and one that we didn’t believe in or even like ourselves, until we started to feel the effects of it.

What may surprise you is that mindfulness meditation isn’t sitting around chanting voodoo sayings and channeling the other side. This is a huge misconception.

Instead, mindfulness meditation is a relaxation method that uses breathing and focus to calm the mind by bringing your attention to the present moment. By perfecting this technique, you’re able to take your focus elsewhere when having a panic attack.

So, instead of being sucked into the black hole of negative thoughts you can stop yourself and direct your attention somewhere else, which lessens the intensity of the anxiety attack.

How to do proper mindfulness meditation?

Mindfulness meditation takes next to little effort to do but to truly reap the benefits, you have to practice.

  1. Find a comfortable place to sit
  2. Focus on your deep breathing
  3. Bring your attention to the present moment (how your body is feeling, what are you hearing, what are you smelling, etc.)
  4. When your mind drifts away from the present moment, gently bring it back

Research has shown that practicing regularly mindfulness meditation can decrease anxiety by up to 50%.

Although mindfulness meditation seems easy, it will be surprisingly difficult when you first start. After all, your mind has been able to run wild and now, you’re trying to tame the beast. It will fight back a little but with regular practice, you’ll be able to control your mind fairly effortlessly.

Online programs for mindfulness meditation

We recommend using mindfulness meditation programs, as they guide you through the process. They can be incredibly helpful as you embark on this new journey, teaching you the proper steps to using this relaxation technique for anxiety. Here are some of our favourite online programs for mindfulness meditation:

7 Minute Mindfulness

This powerful mindfulness meditation program helps you practice and perfect this coping method in as little as 7 minutes a day. By doing so, you’re able to naturally activate your body’s relaxation response, making 7 Minute Mindfulness a great program to have whenever you’re feeling anxious. The good news is that because it’s online, you can download it right onto your smartphone and use it whenever you need.

15 Minute Mindfulness

Our newest obsession is 15 Minute Mindfulness, an online program that uses mindfulness meditation to manifest everything you want in life. It’s similar to the prior, only each session is 15 minutes long to effectively reprogram your brain to improve your mental health.

Manifestation Miracle

We actually just wrote a huge article on the benefits of Manifestation Miracle, an online program that uses mindfulness meditation to get achieve what you want. It does focus a lot on using manifestation to come into money, but it also teaches you the methods to using the law of attraction for anything you wish to receive, including anxiety relief.

3. Body Scan Technique

The body scan relaxation technique for anxiety is like the hybrid method of breath focus and mindfulness meditation. It uses these methods to relax your muscles and to release tension, while also bringing your attention away from the anxious cycle of panicking thoughts.

How to do the body scan technique?

To use the body scan technique, all you need is your body and your mind. Easy enough, right? This relaxation technique for anxiety is powerful, as it can increase your mind-body connection which is a great way to decrease body disorientation or feeling “out-of-body”.

  1. Take a couple of moments to breathe deeply to relax your mind and body
  2. Continue to breathe deeply and focus on one part of your body for a couple of seconds or minutes
  3. Notice the physical tension or any sensations you feel
  4. Relax that part of the body
  5. Move onto the next part of the body and repeat

We absolutely love this relaxation technique for anxiety because you notice tensions that you’ve been ignoring. This method brings awareness to them, so you can unscrunch your shoulders, unfrown your brow, unclench your jaw, etc. to feel less stress altogether.

4. Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is a relaxation technique for anxiety that combines mindfulness meditation, deep breathing and something pretty to distract your mind. It uses your imagination to conjure up soothing places, experiences and scenes in your mind which helps you relax and focus.

How to do guided imagery?

If you’re looking for an easy coping method for anxiety, guided imagery is it. Here are the steps to doing this relaxation technique:

  1. Choose imagery that you find soothing (nature sounds, forest bathing, colourful mandalas, etc.)
  2. Find a comfortable place
  3. Turn on guided meditation and listen to the words
  4. Breathe, relax, and listen

Types of guided imagery

There are many different forms of guided imagery. Here are some of our favourites:

5. Aromatherapy

There’s a common misconception that aromatherapy is just the process of smelling nice things. However, the science behind it is powerful. By smelling different scents, you’re able to activate different parts of the brain to achieve what you want. For example, smelling lavender naturally calms your nervous system.

How to use aromatherapy?

The ways to use aromatherapy for anxiety are endless. Here are some of our favourites.

Eliminating anxiety from your life takes acceptance of the feelings, proper self-care, stress manage and the use of coping methods on a regular basis. The good news is that learning the relaxation techniques for anxiety is a great step in the right direction and one that can loosen the grip that anxiety has on your life.

Originally published on anxiety-gone.com.

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