What Helps With Anxiety?

Feeling overwhelmed and anxious can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. But fear not, because there are effective strategies that can come to your rescue! In this article, we will explore some powerful tools and techniques that can provide relief and help you manage anxiety. From deep breathing exercises to engaging in activities that bring joy, you’ll discover practical ways to soothe your mind and find a sense of calm amidst the chaos. So, let’s delve into the world of anxiety management and equip you with the knowledge to conquer those anxious moments.

What Helps With Anxiety?

Recognizing Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety can manifest in various ways, and recognizing the symptoms is the first step towards managing it effectively. Understanding what anxiety feels like is crucial because it allows you to identify when you are experiencing anxious thoughts or feelings.

Understanding What Anxiety Feels Like

Anxiety is often described as a sense of unease, worry, or fear that can be overwhelming. It can make you feel restless, on edge, or irritable. You may experience excessive sweating, trembling, or a racing heart. Additionally, anxiety can interfere with your concentration, making it difficult to focus on tasks or relax.

Recognize Physical Symptoms

Anxiety can manifest physically, and recognizing these symptoms can help you identify when you are feeling anxious. Common physical symptoms of anxiety include shortness of breath, chest tightness, headaches, stomachaches, muscle tension, and fatigue.

Identify Psychological Indicators

In addition to physical symptoms, anxiety can also have psychological indicators. These may include excessive worrying, racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, feeling on edge or restless, irritability, and a sense of impending doom. It’s important to pay attention to these psychological indicators as they can provide valuable insights into your anxiety.

Categorizing Your Anxiety

Anxiety can be classified into different categories based on the specific symptoms and triggers you experience. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) involves excessive worry and tension about everyday activities. Panic Disorder is characterized by sudden and intense episodes of fear, accompanied by physical symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath. Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by an intense fear of social situations and a fear of being judged or embarrassed. By recognizing the specific category your anxiety falls into, you can better understand your experiences and seek appropriate treatment.

Therapeutic Approaches

Various therapeutic approaches can help individuals manage and alleviate anxiety symptoms. These evidence-based therapies provide strategies and techniques to gain control over anxiety.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT focuses on identifying and transforming negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with anxiety. It helps you challenge irrational thoughts, develop coping strategies, and gradually face anxiety-inducing situations. CBT aims to empower you by equipping you with skills to change negative thinking patterns.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT is often used to treat individuals with severe anxiety and emotional dysregulation. It combines elements of CBT with mindfulness practices to promote emotional balance and improve distress tolerance. DBT emphasizes skills such as mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is based on the principle of gradually exposing yourself to anxiety-inducing situations or triggers. Through repeated exposure, you can learn to desensitize yourself to anxiety-provoking stimuli and develop more adaptive responses. This therapy can be highly effective in treating specific phobias, social anxiety, and panic disorder.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal therapy focuses on your relationships and how they impact your emotions and anxiety. It helps you enhance communication skills, navigate conflicts, and establish healthier relationships. By addressing interpersonal issues, IPT aims to reduce anxiety symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Mindfulness-based Therapies

Mindfulness-based therapies, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), involve cultivating present-moment awareness and non-judgmental acceptance. These practices can help reduce anxiety by teaching you to observe your thoughts and emotions without reacting to them.

Medical Treatments

In some cases, medical treatments may be necessary to alleviate anxiety symptoms. Medications can be prescribed by a healthcare professional to help manage anxiety alongside therapy and self-care strategies.


Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders. These medications work by balancing brain chemicals and can help reduce anxiety symptoms.


Benzodiazepines are a class of medications that act as central nervous system depressants. They are prescribed for short-term management of severe anxiety or panic attacks. However, they carry the risk of dependency and should only be used under close supervision.


Buspirone is an anti-anxiety medication that is often used for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. It works by stimulating certain brain chemicals responsible for relaxation and reducing anxiety symptoms.


Beta-blockers are primarily used to treat high blood pressure but are also prescribed to manage physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heart rate and trembling. These medications work by blocking the effects of adrenaline, which can help alleviate physical symptoms associated with anxiety.


Antipsychotic medications are occasionally prescribed for severe anxiety when other treatments have not been effective. They help regulate brain chemicals that may contribute to anxiety symptoms.

Psychiatrist and Professional Help

Seeking professional help from a psychiatrist or therapist is an important aspect of managing anxiety effectively. These professionals can provide guidance, support, and evidence-based treatments to help you navigate anxiety.

The Role of Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists are medical doctors specializing in mental health. They can diagnose anxiety disorders, prescribe medications, and monitor their effectiveness. Psychiatrists may also provide therapy or work collaboratively with therapists to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

Finding the Right Therapist/Psychiatrist

Finding the right therapist or psychiatrist is essential for effective anxiety management. It’s important to consider their experience and expertise in treating anxiety disorders. Seek recommendations, research their qualifications, and schedule initial consultations to ensure a good fit.

The Importance of Regular Check-ups

Regular check-ups with your psychiatrist or therapist are crucial to monitor your progress and adjust treatments as needed. They can provide ongoing support, reassess the effectiveness of medications or therapy, and help you make any necessary modifications to your treatment plan.

Teletherapy and Online Options

In recent years, teletherapy and online counseling have become increasingly popular and accessible. These options provide flexibility and convenience for individuals seeking professional help from the comfort of their own homes. Teletherapy and online counseling can be valuable resources for those unable to attend in-person appointments.

What Helps With Anxiety?

The Role of Lifestyle Changes

Making certain lifestyle changes can significantly impact anxiety levels and overall well-being. Highlighted below are some important areas to focus on.

Importance of a Healthy Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet can support your mental health and reduce anxiety symptoms. Incorporate nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid excessive sugar, processed foods, and caffeine, as they can contribute to anxiety symptoms.

Exercise and Anxiety

Regular physical exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety symptoms by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Engaging in activities like walking, jogging, swimming, or yoga can release endorphins, improve mood, and promote relaxation.

Sleep Hygiene

Adequate sleep is crucial for managing anxiety. Establish a consistent sleep routine, create a relaxing environment, and avoid electronics before bed. Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to promote a restful night’s sleep.

Limiting Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Limit your consumption of these substances, as they can disrupt sleep patterns, increase heart rate, and trigger anxious thoughts or feelings.

Quitting Smoking

Smoking is not only harmful to physical health but can also worsen anxiety symptoms. Nicotine is a stimulant that can increase anxiety levels. Seek support or resources to quit smoking and enhance your overall well-being.

Relaxation Techniques

Incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine can help manage anxiety and promote a sense of calm.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises can be done anytime, anywhere, and can help reduce anxiety. Take slow, deep breaths, focusing on your breath flowing in and out. This technique can help activate the body’s relaxation response.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and then releasing different muscle groups to promote relaxation. Starting from your toes and moving up through your entire body, contract each muscle group for a few seconds, then release the tension. This practice helps relieve muscle tension and enhance overall relaxation.


Meditation is a practice that involves focusing your attention and eliminating the stream of thoughts that may contribute to anxiety. It can be done in various ways, such as focusing on the breath, repeating a mantra, or visualizing a peaceful scene. Regular meditation can improve mindfulness and resilience in the face of anxiety.


Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Practicing yoga regularly can help improve flexibility, release tension, and enhance overall well-being.

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery involves using your imagination to create a calm and peaceful mental image. This technique can help redirect your focus away from anxious thoughts and induce a state of relaxation. Guided imagery can be done through audio recordings or with the guidance of a therapist.

What Helps With Anxiety?

Alternative Therapies

In addition to traditional therapeutic approaches, alternative therapies can provide additional support for anxiety management.


Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into specific points on the body to promote relaxation and balance energy flow. Some individuals find acupuncture helpful in reducing anxiety symptoms and promoting overall well-being.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can alleviate muscle tension and promote relaxation. It can help reduce anxiety by increasing the production of endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers.


Aromatherapy involves using essential oils to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Scents like lavender, chamomile, and bergamot are known for their calming properties. Use essential oils in diffusers, baths, or as part of massage therapy to enhance relaxation.

Herbal Remedies

Certain herbs, such as chamomile, valerian root, and passionflower, have calming properties that can help reduce anxiety. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying herbal remedies, as they may interact with medications or have potential side effects.


Homeopathy is a branch of alternative medicine that uses highly diluted substances to stimulate the body’s healing response. Homeopathic remedies individualized to the person’s specific symptoms may be helpful in managing anxiety. However, it’s important to consult with a qualified homeopath to ensure safe and appropriate usage.

Exposure to Nature and Outdoor Activities

Spending time in nature and participating in outdoor activities can have a positive impact on mental health and help alleviate anxiety symptoms.

The Benefit of Sunlight/Vitamin D

Exposure to sunlight allows your body to produce vitamin D, which plays a role in mood regulation. Spending time outdoors and soaking up natural sunlight can improve your mood and reduce anxiety.

Gardening and Grounding Techniques

Engaging in gardening or other grounding activities like walking barefoot can provide a sense of connection to the earth and promote relaxation. Gardening can be a therapeutic hobby that allows you to focus on nurturing plants and reconnecting with nature.

Outdoor Exercise

Combining physical exercise with the benefits of spending time outdoors can have a synergistic effect on reducing anxiety. Outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, or simply walking in nature can not only improve physical health but also boost your mood and reduce anxiety.

Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy involves interacting with animals to promote emotional well-being. Whether it’s playing with a pet, volunteering at an animal shelter, or participating in equine therapy, being around animals can provide comfort, reduce anxiety, and enhance overall well-being.


Ecotherapy, also known as nature therapy, utilizes the healing properties of nature to improve mental health. It involves guided outdoor activities, such as nature walks or wilderness expeditions, and can be an effective approach for reducing anxiety and promoting overall wellness.

Building a Support Network

Developing a support network is essential for managing anxiety. Having people who understand and support you can make a significant difference in your overall well-being.

Family and Friend Support

Reach out to family and friends who can provide emotional support and understanding. Share your experiences with them, and let them know how they can help you during moments of anxiety. Having a support system can offer a sense of comfort and reassurance.

Professional Support Groups

Joining support groups facilitated by mental health professionals can be beneficial. These groups allow individuals with similar experiences to connect, share coping strategies, and provide support. Professional support groups provide a safe and non-judgmental space to discuss challenges and receive guidance.

Online Communities and Forums

Online communities and forums dedicated to anxiety provide a platform for individuals to connect, share experiences, and exchange advice. Participating in these online communities can offer a sense of belonging and provide opportunities to learn from others who are managing similar struggles.

Reaching Out for Help

If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help. Contact a mental health professional or a helpline to discuss your concerns and explore available resources. Asking for help is a sign of strength and can lead to effective support and treatment.

Setting Boundaries with Negative Influences

Identify and set boundaries with negative influences in your life. This may involve minimizing contact with individuals who contribute to your anxiety or establishing clear boundaries in relationships. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people who uplift and encourage you.

Self-care and Coping Mechanisms

Engaging in self-care practices and developing coping mechanisms are crucial in managing anxiety and promoting overall well-being.

Journaling and Expressive Writing

Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal can provide a cathartic release and allow for self-reflection. Expressive writing can help you gain clarity, reduce anxiety, and process emotions.

Art Therapy

Art therapy involves using creative activities like painting, drawing, or sculpting to express emotions and reduce anxiety. Engaging in artistic endeavors can provide a sense of calm and act as a form of self-expression.

Mindfulness and Gratitude

Practicing mindfulness and gratitude involves being present in the moment and cultivating a sense of appreciation for the things around you. Engage in activities that bring you joy and take time to notice and savor the small things in life. This can help shift your focus from anxiety to gratitude and promote overall well-being.

Creating a Safe Space

Designate a physical space in your home or workplace that promotes relaxation and peace. Personalize this space with calming elements like plants, soft lighting, or soothing music. Having a safe space where you can retreat to during times of anxiety can provide solace and a sense of security.

Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations

Setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself is crucial in managing anxiety. Break tasks into manageable steps and celebrate your achievements along the way. Be kind to yourself and remember that progress takes time. Embrace a growth mindset and focus on self-compassion rather than perfection.

By recognizing anxiety symptoms, exploring therapeutic approaches, adopting lifestyle changes, practicing relaxation techniques, and building a support network, you can effectively manage anxiety and improve your overall well-being. Remember, everyone’s journey with anxiety is unique, and finding what works best for you may require trial and error. Be patient, be kind to yourself, and never underestimate the power of support and self-care in overcoming anxiety.