6 Tips to Help with Anxiety

Try These Steps to Calm Your Brain + Body

1. 4-7-8 Breathing

  • empty the lungs of air

  • breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds

  • hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds

  • exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a "whoosh" sound, for 8 seconds

  • repeat the cycle up to 4 times

  • Practice this 2-3 times a day

2. Get Back to the Present

Anxiety causes you to be in your head. Try 5-4-3-2-1. Notice:

  • 5 things you see 

  • 4 things you hear

  • 3 things you feel 

  • 2 things you small

  • 1 thing you taste

This grounded technique helps get you slow down and be in the moment.

3. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

 Include protein as part of your meals and snacks. Drops in blood sugar can increase anxiety.  

4. Decrease Caffeine

Caffeine has many effects including increasing anxiety, stress hormones, and hinders the calming neurotransmitter GABA.

5. Make Room For It

Allow yourself to ride the wave of anxiety. 

  • Identify what you’re feeling  

  • Accept it (rather than fighting it or avoiding what you are experiencing)

  • Express it in a way that is honoring to you—journal, share with someone, sit with it with self-compassion  

6. Discover Your Values

And do things every day in them. What’s important to you? Adventure? Connection? Learning? There are hundreds of values to choose from. Choose a value each day and set goals towards it.

When to seek help: 

  1. You are feeling anxious more days than not for months.

  2. Your anxiety is out of proportion to the actual likelihood of the anticipated event.

  3. The anxiety is getting in the way of your relationships, causes distress at work, school or home.

  4. You are avoiding things you used to enjoy due to anxiety.

  5. Anxiety is interfering with the life you want to live.

Information provided by Kori Hintz-Bohn, MA, LCPC of The Anxiety Center at Renew. For more information visit anxietycenterkc.

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