It’s no secret that anxiety comes and goes as it pleases, with no care as to whether or not it’s taking over your life. In 2020, anxiety and depression have hit so many of us like a runaway train that’s lost all control. An anxious mind is not easily quieted, but there are a few things you can do to proactively stand your ground whenever anxiety attacks.
Here are 8 easy ways to quiet your anxious mind.
1. Declutter your space
Whether it’s your room, your office, or your car, a cluttered space is a cluttered mind. Be on-guard and clean up your living places BEFORE anxiety attacks. That way when the uncontrollable, and untimely symptoms of anxiety kick in, you’re already one step ahead of the curve.
2. Write stuff down
Journaling is a great way to clear your head and fight back against an anxious mind. You can write about personal experiences and your day, or if it’s a stronger defense weapon, you can write about things that make you feel peaceful. Make a list of places where anxiety can’t touch you, or zone in on one particular thing, and write out all of the detailed ways it makes you feel at peace. Put aside the to-do list, and journal your way to a fresh, clear mind.
3. Phone a friend
Regis Feldman would have been a fan of this tip. When anxiety hits and your anxious mind takes over, phone a friend and talk it out. Call someone you know and trust. It should be someone who knows your battles and understands your symptoms, but most importantly it should be someone who just knows how to listen. Most times when it comes to having an anxious mind, it’s not a matter of fixing the problem, it’s simply a matter of expressing yourself. There is no solution to anxiety, but talking about it suddenly takes some weight off your shoulders.
4. Connect with Mother Nature
It’s said time and time again, but when it comes to treating a variety of mental illnesses, you just can’t beat that vitamin D. When anxiety hits, get outside, soak up the sun, take in a breath of fresh air, and let the beauty of God’s creation overpower the anxious thoughts that plague your mind. You don’t have to go on a ten-mile bike ride or hike up a mountain to get outside. Take a step back, and have a walk around the outside of your house. It’s the little things that calm an anxious mind.
5. Turn off the TV
When anxiety creeps in, it can be easy to resort to shutdown mode. Binge-watching shows on Netflix will never quiet an anxious mind, it will only neglect it. Turn off the TV and do something with yourself to combat the anxiety, not let it fester. You have little control over when and how it attacks, but the control you DO have should be used to your advantage.
6. Learn to say “no.”
A lot of people who suffer from anxiety are also terrible people pleasers. It isn’t surprising if you think about it, but knowing that your anxiety and pleasing people likely go hand-in-hand, it’s not a bad idea to guard yourself against the attacks. It can be hard to say “no,” but it’s important to remember that not everything is your job. Sure, it would be awesome if you could volunteer at the church this weekend, but if it means you’re compromising your mental health and overall well-being, then saying “yes” is really no help to anyone. Be strategic and protective over your recharge time, it’s one of your greatest defenses against an anxious mind.
7. Stash away the phone
Just like the television won’t quiet an anxious mind, neither will your cell phone. In fact, it’s probably making your circumstances worse. When anxiety creeps in one of the greatest things you can do is turn off your phone, and focus on yourself. There are more people today with anxiety and mental illnesses than ever before in history. I have no doubt there’s a correlation between that staggering statistic and the fact that every single person on the planet has a never-ending to-do list at their fingertips. Turn off the notifications, and focus on keeping your mind healthy.
8. Do nothing
Yep, you read that right. Sometimes the best way to quiet an anxious mind is to simply do nothing. This doesn’t mean sit in front of the TV and do nothing, or scroll through Facebook and do nothing. When your anxious mind takes over, stop what you’re doing, put everything down, turn everything off, and just BE. Do nothing. Sit in your chair, close your eyes, and simply exist. That’s it.
Anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes, and an anxious mind can be found in just about anyone. Don’t let it win the day. Fight back with these eight practices for quieting your anxious mind, and improve your mental health today!