Easy, everyday techniques to reduce anxiety and help the mind feel more free.
For more on how to deal with anxiety, find out about PsyBlog’s anxiety ebook, “The Anxiety Plan”.
1. Put anxiety into words
Labelling anxiety — putting the feeling into words — can reduce anxiety, research finds.
In fact, the more fearful words people use to describe their anxiety, the more their anxiety reduces.
However, the study also found that people don’t expect that labelling their emotions will reduce anxiety.
But, recordings of their skin conductance show that it does.
2. Mindful dish washing
Mindful dish washing can decrease stress and calm the mind, a new study finds.
People in the study focused on the smell of the soap, the feel and shape of the dishes to help them enter a mindful state.
The mindful group showed a 27% decrease in nervousness.
They also reported a 25% increase in mental inspiration.
Doing the dishes in a mindful way also increased the pleasurable feeling of time slowing down, the researchers found.
Just five sessions of Swedish massage is enough to improve the symptoms of anxiety, new research finds.
Levels of cortisol — known as the stress hormone — were also reduced.
People who took part in the study also saw reduced depression symptoms.
Swedish massage is the type of deep-tissue massage that people are most familiar with.
4. Connect with nature
People who feel connected to nature have lower levels of anxiety, recent research finds.
Nature seems to provide people an escape from busy urban environments — a way to let their minds recover.
It may be that it is not even necessary to be in nature to get the benefit, as long as one feels connected to it.
Read more about why nature reduces anxiety…
5. Acts of kindness
At the end of the study it was those who’d performed the acts of kindness who felt more comfortable in social interactions.
The acts of kindness seemed to help people deal with worries about rejection.
Omega-3 supplements reduce anxiety and even lower inflammation in healthy people.
A high quality study has shown that the supplement reduces anxiety by an average of 20%.
On top of this a new review of 13 separate studies containing 1,233 people has shown that omega-3 supplements can reduce symptoms of major depression
7. Take action to reduce anxiety
Learning to value taking action is an important way of reducing the harmful effects of neuroticism.
People high in anxiety and neuroticism dislike taking action, recent research reveals.
Neuroticism is a personality trait that is strongly linked to anxiety, sadness, irritability and self-consciousness.
When faced with major or minor decisions in life, neurotic people tend to avoid taking action.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
→ Read more about PsyBlog’s anxiety ebook, “The Anxiety Plan”