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While it comes on a sliding scale—from the occasional experience to ranging severities of anxiety disorders—we all deal with anxiety in our lives. When things get to be too much, taking just five minutes to try one of these 10 strategies could help calm you down and rise above the anxiety.
1. Acknowledge your anxiety
Allowing yourself five minutes to lean into that feeling and break down what exactly it is about your situation that is causing you discomfort and worry can be a strong first step to overcoming it.
2. Write in a journal
Using a journal can be an effective way to organize your thoughts and work through what exactly it is that is making you feel anxious.
3. Stand up to the to-do list
Sometimes the simplest thing you can do to relieve the anxiety is to focus on the present moment by identifying one simple thing you can do now to take control over what is making you anxious.
4. Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique
Sitting up straight, place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth. With your mouth closed, breathe in through your nose and count to four. Hold your breath and count to seven. Breathe out through your mouth and count to eight. Repeat these steps three times or until you feel calm.
5. Give the 3-3-3 rule a try
Look around and name three things that you can see, identify three things that you can hear, and then move three parts of your body (for example, rotate your ankles, roll your shoulders back, and wiggle your fingers).
6. Take a lavender oil supplement
Studies have shown that using lavender aromatherapy can help ease anxiety—a great reason to put a few drops of lavender essential oil in your diffuser next time anxiety makes an appearance.
7. Drink a cup of green tea
Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to reduce stress responses in humans to create feelings of calm. L-theanine is available as a supplement.
8. Take a yoga break
If going to a yoga class seems like too much in your state of worry, a quick search on the internet or your favorite yoga app can reveal a treasure trove of 5-minute yoga sequences that can help ease anxiety in the comfort of your own home.
9. Watch a funny video
Spending five minutes to take a break and watch a funny video or two can reduce your stress response and provide a relaxed feeling to help lift your mood above the anxiety.
10. Immerse yourself in a song
Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, as well as benefit blood pressure, heart rate, and quality of sleep.