How To Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most endemic aspects of the modern world. This is why it’s important we all know the best approaches to ensure we all know how to beat this common affliction.
From cold water immersion to meditation, breathwork, and other practices, the key to reducing anxiety involves diversifying your toolbox.
How Can You Reduce Anxiety Fast?
Reducing anxiety fast is about encompassing the right practices. Here, we are going to dive into meditation, breath work, cold exposure, sound healing, movement therapy, and yoga.
What Are the Seven Types of Meditation?
Meditation is something that is commonly used to calm down. The 7 types of meditation include:
Loving Kindness Meditation.
Each one has the fundamental goal of being present within yourself. Many people don’t have the opportunities to practice meditation, and this is why breath work has become a popular method as it can bring about the same results quicker.
Why Is Breath Work So Powerful?
Breathwork is so powerful because it taps into the autonomic nervous system and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system while also suppressing the sympathetic nervous system in the space of a few minutes.
Breath work sends messages along the vagus nerve which stimulates a relaxation response, and can also improve the body’s immune system, raise the core body temperature, and can relax the entire body.
When Should You Not Do Breath Work?
There are times when we should not do breath work.
For example, it’s not advised for people with a history of cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure.
Because breath work is a very intense practice and can result in major physical and emotional release, it can be traumatic to some people, because it releases tension and pent-up energy within the subconscious of the person.
What Is the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique and the 5-5-5 Breathing Technique?
Ensuring that you do breathwork properly is about choosing the right methods for you. That’s where less intense methods such as the 4-7-8 and 5-5-5 techniques can be beneficial to help you calm down. The 4-7-8 method involves:
Inhaling through your nose for a count of 4.
Holding your breath for a count of 7.
Exhaling through your mouth for a count of 8.
The 5-5-5 method is the same except you are breathing in for 5, holding for 5, and exhaling for 5.
What Are the Benefits of Cold Exposure?
Cold exposure is one of the most critical components people are reducing anxiety in the modern-day, and is used by everyone, from an endurance athlete to anyone that’s looking for a healthy body and mind.
Cold water immersion, such as a cold shower or an ice bath, is an amazing way for you to regulate your exposure to anxiety.
Of all the cold shower benefits and health benefits of regular winter swimming, it doesn’t just help with delayed onset muscle soreness, stimulate the blood vessels to promote healthy blood circulation and enhance mental performance, but cold water triggers the relaxation response in a similar way to breath work.
Because cold water therapy involves you exposing yourself to cold temperatures, you are, in essence, stimulating the body’s natural healing powers because it boosts the immune system.
Enduring cold water swims means you are not just lowering your core temperature but you are pushing blood around the body, giving it the nutrients it needs.
One of the critical components of cold water immersion is that it can relax you because you are exposing yourself to stress.
Other cold water health benefits include increasing healthy brown fat which reduces body fat, it stimulates hair follicles and provides a revitalised body cleanse.
Those that undergo routine cold water swimming can feel their anxieties dipping because they are being exposed to something incredibly stressful.
It’s important that when you are undergoing this, you are doing it safely and ensuring that if you are ice bathing or undergoing any form of cold water immersion you have a hot shower afterwards and a warm beverage so your body can warm back up.
Sound Healing and Its Effects on Anxiety
Sound healing uses sound, music and specialist instruments played in therapeutic ways. Sound healing comprises a number of different approaches, including:
The Bonny Method.
Each aspect uses different approaches to improve your emotional and physical well-being, depending on the method. As soothing sounds can help re-tune your brain, this helps you cope with stress better as well as get relief from physical symptoms of tension, such as chronic headaches and migraines.
How Does Movement Therapy Reduce Anxiety?
Movement therapy is a practice that is also referred to as dance therapy. Movement therapy involves movements to help people deal with various ailments, such as:
The aim of movement therapy is to enhance well-being and can involve numerous activities such as stretching and dancing, and can be a part of physical exercise.
The goal is to encourage people to express their feelings by moving their bodies in a safe atmosphere.
For anybody who wishes to connect with their body more, they can benefit from movement therapy.
These days, physical activity like movement therapy is being used by a variety of age groups and populations and is considered an alternative approach, especially amongst people who are not of an extrovert nature. However, it is a very welcoming environment for people due to its non-judgmental nature.
Through expressing yourself you are purging the anxieties and being in an environment that is non-judgmental can help you to improve your confidence and feel fewer inhibitions so you can work through the anxieties.
How Does Yoga Reduce Anxiety?
Yoga is part of meditation, and when we think of anxiety as a response to stressful circumstances, yoga therapy can help people because they are not being asked to rationalise themselves.
Instead, they focus on building tools that can help them to recognise their thoughts, feelings and actions that cause anxiety. In a yoga class, people are focusing on movements to rid the body of anxiety.
The practice behind yoga is to reduce tension. As we manifest tension as a form of anxiety, using yoga movements to stretch and improve our posture and/or manoeuvrability can help us to recognise the signs of tension while also using practices to treat anxiety.
These would include relaxation techniques that focus on breath, mindfulness of our senses, as well as cognitive reframing.
Final Thoughts on Anxiety
Anxiety can stem from a number of areas. From the physical tension to trauma arising from a stressful situation and our perspective of ourselves.
Anxiety is individual to the person, which is why if we want to learn how to reduce anxiety there needs to be a large toolbox available.
From meditation to breathwork and cold exposure, as well as movement therapies like yoga, pilates, and dance, learning how to reduce anxiety and calming our innermost self means that we are better able to deal with the stresses of the modern world while ensuring that we have a toolbox that allows us to tap into our inner strengths.