8 Easy Ways to Beat Anxiety
Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness and intense fear that impacts your thinking and how your body feels. Intense worry can hijack your thinking and one can get stuck in a looping thought pattern.
In everyday life, some things are bound to make us nervous and uncomfortable such as taking a major exam and a big game. However, teens and school-age children with anxiety always get a sinking feeling in their belly or a tightening of their chest— even with simple things like entering the classroom, completing classwork, or talking to people.
Anxiety can affect one's daily life and ability to attend school, make friends, participate in social events, assert oneself, or enjoy memorable events such as proms and sports. It can really hold kids back and limit their growth.
Physical anxiety attacks can go beyond emotional response and lead to somatic anxiety symptoms such as increased heart rate, muscle tension, pain, panic attack, high blood pressure, and sweating. They can be scary and super uncomfortable. Anxiety builds in the body over time, so it can be hard to connect physical anxiety to stress.
One may experience anxious feelings once in a while due to a stressful event and social interactions. Most of the time, addressing the cause of stress also eliminates anxious thoughts and uncomfortable sensations. However, some kids can be anxious for a little longer.
Kayla had anxiety most of her life and by the time she came to me in college, she never recalled not being anxious. She was sick of anxiety holding her back and “taking space in her mind,” so she used CALM PEMF ™ coupled with somatic therapy in our BrainBehaviorReset™ Program. Kayla was able to quiet her busy mind and not be so held back by her fears and worries. She was also able to use keep regularly use CALM PEMF™ to keep her nervous system regulated and calm.
Here are some relaxation techniques for coping with anxiety, navigating stressful situations, and improving overall health.
8 Tips to Beat Anxiety
#1 Essential Oils
Some natural scents exude nature's positive energy and bring down our stress levels, replacing worried thoughts with feelings of relaxation and comfort.
Essential oils can be defused, directly applied to the skin with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or ingested.
Inhaling essential oils stimulates the olfactory system, the portion of the brain that connects with our sense of smell.
Essential oil molecules enter the nose and mouth, pass through the lungs, and reach the brain and other parts of the body — carrying a soothing sensation that evokes feelings of security.
Upon reaching the brain, essential oil molecules penetrate our brain's emotional center, the limbic system, which encompasses the Hypothalamus, Thalamus, Amygdala, and Hippocampus. The Limbic System influences our emotions, memory, attentional systems, hormones, and immune system. Essential oil can lower cortisol and stress levels.
Adults and young children love essential oils because they are easy to use and provide quick relief. Essential oils bring feelings of comfort and relaxation in a feel good way. They can enhance rest and boost our immune system, leading to a healthy life!
There's an essential oil for everyone. Finding yours is quite an enjoyable journey.
Our favorites include sunflower oil. Apart from being relaxing and possessing numerous health benefits, it makes the skin glow and is also great for the hair.
Some oils can improve your well-being in multiple ways. For example, eucalyptus is a natural pain reliever that also enhances relaxation. It's great for your mental health.
Essential Oils For Relaxation:
- Sweet orange
Essential Oils for Sleep:
Essential Oils for Anxiety:
#2 Herbal Tea For The Brain
A long time ago, rough winds blew the leaves off the trees and carried them into a boiling pot. And the first tea was created.
A cup of tea slows down time and lets you appreciate your surroundings. It smells good, and it stimulates ideas and positive emotions. Tea is a reminder that no matter how confusing things can be, they will pass.
The story may just be a legend, but regularly drinking tea has numerous benefits. It fosters heart health and reduces stress. It makes you calmer, stronger, and younger.
Green tea is popularized by the Queen of England and the tea culture. And it's definitely worth the hype. Green tea contains bioactive compounds that burn fats, fight cancers, and improve brain function.
One of the chemical compositions of green tea is EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) and it is an antioxidant that has many health benefits including improved focus.
Ginseng is famous in Asia and an essential component of the 5,000-year-old Traditional Chinese Medicine.
It is a natural anti-anxiety medication that also lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The herb increases energy and stimulates brain function and memory-boosting capabilities.
Further studies reveal Ginseng extracts effectively enhance cognitive functions, such as alertness, attention, sensory-motor function, and auditory reaction time.
Ginseng supports the central nervous system in many cognitive processing factors.
The Ginsenosides in ginseng increase dopamine and norepinephrine concentrations in the cerebral cortex. Regularly drinking ginseng extract may result in positive growth in the neurodevelopment of an immature brain.
Multiple evidence suggests that ginseng components possess neuroprotective properties that regulate inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors.
Chamomile is an ancient Egyptian wonder that remains relevant in the 21st century. It calms the nervous system, reduces inflammation, and fosters a sense of wellness.
The famous herb is a safe sleep enhancer that's also a great way to treat anxiety, fever, pain, inflammation, sleep, dental, eye, and skin problems.
Even kids can enjoy a cup of chamomile tea in the evening.
The healing properties of chamomile hail from the natural compounds of the dried plant flowers, such as terpenoids and flavonoids.
Magnesium is one of the most needed nutrients in the brain and body, as it fuels hundreds of activities in the human body. This includes:
- Regulate the body's stress response
- Supporting the nervous system
- Aid in energy production and glucose metabolism
- Maintain cognitive function, paying attention, and healthy social behavior.
- Synthesize glutathione, an antioxidant that detoxifies the body
Naturally, the body's most used nutrient is bound to be depleted. Unfortunately, most Americans are not getting the minimum daily requirement for this vital mineral due to constant stress and improper diet.
Magnesium shortage may affect brain and body functions, which leads to increased feelings of stress. Stress, in turn, causes anxiety and other physical and mental health conditions such as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and more severe symptoms.
Supplementing with magnesium is among the most effective ways to lower stress hormones, promote better sleep, provide sustainable energy, and soothe the nerves.
Magnesium is among the safest supplements for stress regulation. It's incredible how magnesium acts so fast in the body. Most people with social anxiety disorder feel calmer within minutes.
Magnesium is also naturally present in avocados, legumes, and nuts.
#4 The Calming Point
There are many ways to lower anxiety including using meridians to calm the energy flow within the body.
The calming point is a vital energy point right in the center of the palm of your hand. Try this valuable exercise to reduce anxiety.
- To find your calming point, make a fist with your left hand and mark the point where your middle finger reaches your palm.
- Apply pressure on your calming point with the thumb of your right hand for a minute while breathing deeply and steadily.
- Relax your jaw and drop your shoulders.
#5 Sleep Sounds and Calming Sounds
Music can calm a busy mind. If intrusive thoughts come as you settle in bed, tune in to YouTube or a meditation app for sleep-inducing and calming music. There is also brain changing music that helps to regulate brain waves.
#6 EFT Tapping
EFT is a self-help technique for reducing common symptoms of stress and anxiety, which borrows concepts from ancient Chinese acupressure and modern energy psychology.
It's an easy-to-learn technique that involves gently tapping on the body's meridian points while repeating a setup statement that acknowledges one's source of discomfort and assures self-acceptance.
Quick Guide for EFT Tapping Anxiety Relief
- Find a relaxing space – this could be your bedroom or a quiet corner in your office. Close your eyes and imagine a white light emitting energy.
- Statement setup – Create a positive and honest statement acknowledging your discomfort and assuring self-acceptance.
“Even though I missed my deadline, I am a good student .”
- Always start by tapping on the karate chop point while saying the setup statement to yourself. This sets you up for success.
- Tap through the nine Tapping points while saying your Setup statement. Focus on how you feel. This sends a calming message to your brain and allows you to think about the situation without feeling emotional distress in your body.
- Take deep breaths.
- When you feel better, shift your mental focus into more empowering thoughts.
- Go through the nine tapping points three times. Rate your anxiety levels from 0 to 10, with zero being the point of calm. If your score is higher than three, repeat the process. Keep going until you feel immediate relief.
The Nine EFT Tapping points:
- Karate Chop
- Eyebrow Point l(EB)
- Side of Eye (SE)
- Under Eye (UE)
- Under Nose (UN)
- Chin Point (CP)
- Collarbone Point (CB)
- Under Arm (UA)
- Top of Head (TH)
#7 Regular Exercise
Regular exercise promotes physical health and can improve attention and executive functioning too. It distracts you from negative thoughts and releases feel-good chemicals. Spending time outdoors doing aerobic activity is a good idea for people experiencing anxiety to maintain physical activity. A 30-minute walk is the best way to get fresh air and have social interactions with neighbors.
#8 Daily 4-7-8 Breath
In the middle of a stressful meeting, taking a step outside to breathe comes naturally. Deep breathing slows you down and relaxes you.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a way of breathing that calms you by creating a rhythmic breathing pattern.
The 4-7-8 patterned breathing:
- Breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds, then exhale from your mouth for 8 seconds.
- Repeat the breath cycle three times.
- Do this two to four times a day. Sitting or laying down is best.
Boath, E., Good, R., Tsaroucha, A., Stewart, T., Pitch, S., & Boughey, A. J. (2017). Tapping your way to success: Using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to reduce anxiety and improve communication skills in social work students. Social Work Education, 36(6), 715–730. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2017.1297394
Lalande, L., Bambling, M., King, R., & Lowe, R. (2012). Breathwork: An additional treatment option for depression and anxiety? Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy: On the Cutting Edge of Modern Developments in Psychotherapy, 42(2), 113–119. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-011-9180-6
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She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Medicine Mental Health Provider (CMHIMP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach. She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.