For those of you with anxiety, you probably know what a barrier it can be to feeling good. You may have begun to realize how important it is to have some tricks for managing it when it is especially intense. Below is a list of everyday items you can use to cope with anxiety and regain a sense of tranquility.
1. A Heavy Blanket
Research has shown a heavy or weighted blanket can help with symptoms like insomnia and anxiety by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps de-stress your body.
2. A Bath with Epsom Salts
A soothing hot bath raises your body heat which helps regulate mood and anxiety. Sprinkling in some Epsom salts adds magnesium-sulfate which has been shown to calm anxiety and lower blood pressure. You can also try adding lavender or vanilla essential oils.
3. Your Phone
You can use progressive relaxation to relieve an anxiety attack. There are a number of apps you can download to your phone that feature guided progressive relaxation and other guided meditation. In progressive relaxation, you focus on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group. This can help you focus on the difference between muscle tension and relaxation. You can become more aware of physical sensations. Try the free Pacifica- Stress and Anxiety app.
4. Pencil and Paper
For many people, simply writing a list is a great way to handle stress. Organizing your thoughts or to-dos on paper can provide you with a feeling of organization that brings you back to feeling calm. Another strategy is to write a list of what you’re grateful for to help focus your thoughts on what’s positive in your life. It is impossible to overstate the potential value of cultivating a sense of gratitude in your life. Among other things, by focusing on the positive things in your life, you are better able to maintain perspective on the things in life that cause you anxiety.
5. Chewing Gum
For a super easy and quick stress reliever, try chewing a stick of gum. One study showed that people who chewed gum had a greater sense of well-being and lower stress. Additional research demonstrated that flavored gum can provide further stress-relieving benefits. Researchers have a variety of theories as to why this is, but, since it is something most of us tend to have on hand anyway, there is no harm giving it a try!
Another great read: 7 Benefits of Gratitude