Believe it or not, anxiety is normal to experience. In moderation, anxiety can be a helpful motivator. It helps us to stay focused on preparing for that big interview, meeting, or upcoming event. Anxiety, in itself, isn’t a bad thing. In ancient civilizations, our ancestors developed the fight-or-flight response that is a hallmark of anxiety. They could either choose to stay and fight through danger or flee from it. Anxiety was developed as a way to keep us safe from dangerous situations that could potentially be fatal.

While anxiety in moderation is normal, at some point, it can become chronic. Unfortunately, millions of people throughout the world deal with chronic anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD.) In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental health concern that people experience.

As hard as it is to struggle with anxiety, the great news is there are many ways to reduce anxiety. Here are just a few of them.

Deep Breathing Techniques

Have you ever noticed that when you become anxious, you find breathing harder? You might notice that your breathing pattern becomes shallower and more rapid, almost as if you are going to hyperventilate. Sadly, this is just one of the many physical effects that occur due to anxiety. However, you may be surprised to learn that you can counteract anxiety by using specific breathing patterns.

When your nervous system becomes activated, it alerts your body that something is wrong. By practicing deep breathing techniques, you tell your body, “It’s okay; we can calm down now.”

Box breathing is one of the most simple breathing techniques you can practice. Like anything else, it takes practice to get the hang of it. So, it’s best to practice any technique for calming anxiety down when you aren’t as anxious. To practice this:

  • Slowly inhale for four seconds
  • Hold your breath for four seconds
  • Slowly exhale for four seconds
  • Repeat as needed

Grounding Exercises

As we become anxious or worried, it’s common to have a constant cycle of negative or troublesome thoughts go through our minds. Known as rumination, it’s a cycle that can be difficult to beat when you are so used to it. Just like we can use our breath to counteract anxiety, we can use our brain to counteract these anxious thoughts.

You can think of grounding exercises as a distraction for your brain. It forces you to stop thinking about worrisome thoughts and focus on something entirely different. While there are different grounding techniques you can try, one of the ones that people find the most success with is as follows:

  • Identify five things you can see.
  • Identify four things you can hear.
  • What are three things you can touch?
  • What are two things you can smell?
  • What is one thing you can taste?

Working through this distraction exercise takes some time. By the time you finish it, you should notice that you have become less focused on the thoughts rushing through your head and more focused on the present moment.


Self-care isn’t just a popular buzzword that cycles around social media. It is more than just taking a bubble bath or hot shower at the end of a long day. Self-care is also about the very fundamentals that all humans need.

While eating unhealthy snacks and desserts may make us temporarily feel great, in the long run, they can be more damaging to your mental health than you realize. So, stick to a diet enriched with nutrients and vitamins that help the human body. Of course, still treat yourself, but you should aim to have a well-rounded diet as much as possible.

Exercise can go a long way in improving your mental health. It releases feel-good endorphins such as serotonin, which naturally promote feelings of happiness and calm. Even a short walk can accomplish that!

If you are struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more about anxiety treatment.