How to Decrease Anxiety

by | Jun 13, 2022

There are many ways to decrease symptoms of anxiety. What works for one person may not work for another. Below are a few methods one could try for reducing anxiety symptoms.

Anxiety is not always a negative thing. Anxiety can motivate us to get things done. It can help us to be more vigilant. It also keeps us on high alert to protect us from when we are in danger. Although at times anxiety can be a useful emotion, often times people experience anxiety in excess. This can get to the point where they need some kind of relief from the anxiety. Fortunately, there are ways to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety.

Mindfulness Exercises

So many times when people experience anxiety symptoms they are either dwelling on the past, or dreading the future. Anxiety keeps people from living and appreciating the present moment. Mindfulness exercises are meant to ground a person to the present moment. Mindfulness can be practiced in a few different ways. Such examples of mindfulness interventions include meditation, journaling, and breathing exercises.

EMDR to Decrease Anxiety

Sometimes people experience anxiety in response to trauma. For example, if someone was in a car accident, every time thereafter they may experience anxiety when getting into a vehicle. A therapy like EMDR could help alleviate that anxiety. EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of therapy that helps one process difficult events that have happened to them with the use of bilateral stimulation. The result of EMDR is decreased distress around the difficult memory and less psychological symptoms.

Hypnosis to Decrease Anxiety

Hypnosis is not how it appears in Hollywood. There is no mind control in hypnosis, despite popular misconception. A person who is being hypnotized is in control the entire time. A hypnotherapist simply helps the person being hypnotized enter into a state of deep relaxation. It just so happens that when a person is in this state of mind, they are that much more suggestible. Their subconscious can more easily be reached with positive suggestions to help combat symptoms of anxiety.

Exercise to Decrease Anxiety

Exercise can take one’s mind off of the anxiety they are experiencing. A person who is exercising is gearing their focus toward the physical activity rather than anxiety. Many times when a person experiences anxiety they are tensing their muscles without even realizing it. Exercise decreases this muscle tension and helps the body feel physically more relaxed.

Getting the heart rate up changes brain chemistry, increasing the availability of important anti-anxiety neurochemicals, including serotonin, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and endocannabinoids.  The amygdala is our reacting system to real or imagined threats to our survival. Exercise activates frontal regions of the brain responsible for executive function, which helps control the amygdala.

Gardening and Plant Care

Taking care of plants is actually another way of grounding oneself to the present moment and practicing mindfulness. It’s a productive activity that can take one’s mind away from any anxiety they may be experiencing. Plant care has several physical benefits such as purifying the air and even curing illnesses. Research has shown that it also has mental health benefits. Research has shown that plant care decreases symptoms of anxiety and depression. It does this by increasing productivity and Serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical that sends signals between the nerve cells in the body. Serotonin has a few different functions. One of those functions is responsible for regulating mood.

There are other ways in which taking care of plants lowers levels of anxiety. The aroma of plants can be very soothing, plants can brighten up a room and improve not just the room’s aesthetic but also a person’s mood, and gardening helps release endorphins. Endorphins are hormones secreted in the brain and nervous system that trigger a positive feeling in the body.

Therapy to Decrease Anxiety

People experience anxiety for different reasons. Speaking with a professional can be very helpful in decreasing symptoms of anxiety because you can get specific assistance for whatever your particular issue is. Therapists can help people understand the root cause for their anxiety symptoms and help them come up with strategies to alleviate those symptoms based on whatever is causing the anxiety. If you’re currently suffering from anxiety I am here to help. Our sessions provide a safe space for your healing journey to begin. Please don’t hesitate to reach out today to ask any questions or request an appointment via my homepage.