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TOP 10 Ways to Reduce Anxiety

TOP 10 Ways to Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety is like that one annoying, overly critical friend who questions everything you’re doing, pokes their nose into your business just to give their uninvited negative commentary, and steps on your confidence with a big crunch.

Now, how does one get rid of this unwanted friend? Here are some tips and techniques which are so easy, that everyone can try them to reduce their feelings of anxiety and cut that toxic friend right out!

1. Identifying Triggers

Usually, feelings of anxiety have an underlying trigger or cause that brings them out. A trigger can be explained as a specific situation, action, or life event that might instigate certain emotions. Triggers might differ for everyone, but once you recognize what they are, it gets easier to learn how to develop coping strategies. Some efficient ways to identify triggers are:


Negative experiences from the past, can bring out feelings of anxiety in the present. It is quite common that we don’t process the bad things that have happened to us, because that’s how our brain protects us from being hurt. Although, it is essential that we introspect, process, and accept past traumatic events, so that they don’t affect us in the present or in the future.

Present life stressors:

If you’re struggling with any adversities such as unemployment, health issues, death of a loved one, family or relationship conflict, they might be a cause for your anxiety in everyday functioning.


Maintaining a daily diary is the most proficient method of identifying triggers, and is suggested by mental health professionals as well.. Tracking daily experiences, how they made you feel, and what kind of behavior resulted from them is a highly recognized way of pinpointing the little things that might have an impact on your state of mind, and cause anxiety.

Food or other Substance Intake:

Being mindful of your diet can help prevent negative emotions. It is a known fact that certain foods, like processed/frozen foods, sugar and caffeine can make you prone to anxiety. Consuming alcohol, or even taking medicine for a cold, can trigger feelings of anxiety. Hydration, and well balanced meals help reduce the effect of these foods.

 Identifying Triggers


2. Ground Yourself using your 5 Senses:

When you’re overwhelmed with anxiety, your mind starts to wander far away, forcing you to think of all the possible worst case scenarios. What you need to do is, bring it right back to the present moment by using your sense of sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste.


Look around you. Name the things you can see and start describing them in detail. ‘I see a potted plant. The leaves are green in colour. Some of them have a shade of yellow in them. The pot is quite tall and sits on a shelf in my room. I can also see a lamp on my table, radiating a bright white light.’


What do you smell around you? Is it the smell of the fresh cup of coffee sitting on your table? The perfume you put on this morning? Or the soap that you washed your hands with.


Close your eyes and listen carefully for the sounds around you. A bike engine rumbling down the road, the sound of the rain hitting the ground, the sound of the cabinets closing in your kitchen.


The wind from the window is hitting your face. You can feel the soft pillow you’ve rested your feet on, and the paper against your fingertips as you flip through the pages of a book.


If there is a food or drink around you, be mindful of its taste in your mouth and what flavors you can point out, or which ones are your favorite. Or, simply have a sip of water and feel it go down your throat.

Practicing this grounding technique every time you feel the anxiety taking over, will increase your awareness of the present moment and calm the nervous system. It will walk your senses through your environment, and eventually turn into a habit.

using 5 senses

3. Breathing Exercises:

Anxiety is related to the nervous system. Intense feelings of anxiety are caused when the nervous system detects a threat, and goes into fight/flight/freeze mode.

One of the most important ways to calm the nervous system, is to increase the supply of oxygen to the brain. This can be done by specific patterns of breathing.

The 4,7,8 breathing technique has been proven to alleviate anxiety. Here’s how it goes:

  • Exhale through your mouth.
  • Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a count of 4.
  • Now, hold your breath for a count of 7.
  • Finally, exhale through the mouth to a count of 8.
  • Repeat this pattern 3 to 4 more times.

Another technique is the diaphragmatic breathing exercise:

  • Sit in a position where your shoulders are relaxed.
  • Place one hand on the stomach, and the other on the chest.
  • Take deep breaths through the nose.
  • Breathe in such a way that your stomach inflates and deflates with each breath, and your chest stays relatively still.
  • Part your mouth a little, press your stomach softly, and exhale through the mouth.

Breathing Exercises

4. Regulating your Internal Clock – Sleep and Wake Cycles:

Your internal body clock coordinates your physical and mental functions. It ensures that you sleep at night, and stay awake during the day, and controls what time your body desires the most and least amount of sleep.

However, when this cycle gets disrupted, your body starts to ask for sleep at unusual times, which are not set by your internal clock. Like feeling extremely sleepy in the middle of the day.

This irregular cycle negatively impacts an individual. Several health issues and emotional dysfunction are the result of this improper cycle, one of them being anxiety.

Maintaining a regular sleep and wake cycle, means sleeping at the same hour every night, and waking up at the same hour every morning. This helps improve energy levels and productivity, and also reduces the risk of health problems and feelings of anxiety.

Sleep and Wake Cycles

5. Positive Visualization:

As the name suggests, you learn to use your imagination to picture a relaxing situation in order to calm your mind. Visualization involves the use of mental images, as a way of reducing feelings of anxiety and hypertension. The key is to use positive thinking and building best case scenarios.

You can imagine a situation or place where you feel the most at peace. It can be a destination like a serene mountaintop, a beach, or a huge field of flowers. Or, it can simply be watching a funny movie with your family, or hanging out with your friends at a cafe. To envision it further, you could also add the little aspects in your imagination that would stimulate your 5 senses.

Apart from reducing anxiety, this exercise has been proven to boost confidence, implement positive thinking in everyday situations, and also induce positive self talk.


6. Animals and Reducing Anxiety:

It’s no doubt that pet owners feel all the negativity slip away when they spend time with their cute companions. Dogs and cats specifically, are known to reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, stress and loneliness.

In fact, mental health professionals also use a treatment method known as Animal Assisted Therapy, where pet animals who are trained specially to deal with individuals with mood disturbances and other disorders, are assigned to patients.

It has been found that simply touching your furry friend can reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and say goodbye to anxiety. If you are not the biggest fan of dogs or cats, don’t worry!  Birds, fish, rabbits, hamsters, horses, tortoises and even crickets will do the job perfectly.

animals and anxiety

7. Self Care – Pampering the Body and the Mind:

The entire point of self care, is to indulge in what you desire in the moment. It can be anything and everything. Taking a day off from school work or from your job, watching movies for a good laugh, taking a trip somewhere, hanging out with your friends, or even booking a day at the salon.

Listening to what you need, apart from the basic necessities, has a huge impact on your mental health. We often get so wound up in mundane tasks and activities that we forget to look for things that are beyond our obligations. Leisure time is extremely important to unwind and rejuvenate, and most of the time, a much needed break or a ‘mental health day’ is just what you need to get rid of those intrusive thoughts that cause feelings of anxiety.

take care of yourself

8. The Great Outdoors and Getting your Body to Move:

What most professionals suggest for reducing negative emotions like anxiety or sadness, is to induce movement in your body. And this method gives even better results when practiced outdoors.

The root of this goes back to the ancient man. Being in nature and doing things like hunting and gathering, was what the brain was wired for, initially. Even with urban life and technological advancements, your brain will always know and love nature, and feel better when surrounded by it.

Something about green, open spaces or taking a walk in a field scientifically reduces anxiety and stress levels. Exercise or any physical activity is also proven to have the same effects. You can go on a long hike, do workouts, or even dance your heart out, and your brain will produce a chemical known as endorphins, and it will immediately get rid of any negative feelings.

explore outdoor

9. Un-Digitalize:

Surely your mother tells you this everyday, but staring at screens for a long time does have a negative impact on mental health. Sometimes it’s due to information overload, that your mind creates feelings of anxiety, like watching or reading the news for too long.

Or looking at Instagram pictures of ‘influencers’ live a completely different, picture perfect life.  It leads to overthinking and excessive worry which can have long lasting effects on mental health too.

Spending less time on screens helps reduce these negative feelings and make you focus on what’s current for you, and also prevents other health issues like headaches or strain on eyes, which also result in a negative state of mind.


10. Being Connected with Loved Ones:

Maintaining your relationships with family, friends, and those who matter to you, has also been linked to reduced feelings of anxiety and stress. Human connection is a fundamental need, and impacts both physical and mental health greatly.

At the end of the day, man is a social animal. Communicating and spending time with others increases happiness, while on the other hand, staying isolated and engaging in solitary activities, puts one at a higher risk of depression and anxiety.

Moreover, showing compassion to others, volunteering, or engaging in acts of kindness also has positive consequences on the mind. So the next time you help someone by giving them directions, feed a homeless person, or volunteer to work with non-profit organizations, remember that you will reap what you sow, and the good deeds you do will also benefit you and your emotional health.

loved ones

What do you think?

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Riya Rajkotiya

Well Written
Very Informative
Keep it up

Ayushi Mishra

Very informative !!


Wow excellent. Keep it up

Brinda S

Well written!


thank you! 🙂

Anita sharma

Wow….thats an awesome share riya, now a days where human race is facing excessive depression levels your write surely gonna help us to revive our inner and happy self.
Keep sharing your lovely write ups.


Very informative

Nidhi Dahiya

Very helpful and amazing concept…keep going

Pulak Kaushik

Very nice!!!

Kunjan Sheth

Very informative:)

Lutfia Khan

really needed this. great work!


useful information to overcome anxiety

Anukrita Bharaktiya

Excellent work.
The article is well written, Interesting, engaging, easy to understand, and very informative. The topic chosen is also great.
Keep it up!! Enjoyed reading the article.

Sanskriti sharma

The way this covid has just made everything go upside down… This article is real help.

Disha Dhage

beautiful! 🙂

Disha Dhage


Simone Morarka

A very interesting read! Great use of images :))

Simone Morarka

Looking forward to more of your work!!

Simran Rai

This article is quite helpful…

Simran Rai

Thanks for sharing!

Jigyasa vashistha

Amazing content

muskan grover

I loved the article! I have been searching for ways to reduce anxiety, but none of the articles have explained it better than you have! great job with the pointers!