6. Rent a comedy and watch it. Let yourself laugh out loud. The act of laughter stimulates endorphins that help blow stress hormones (which contribute to that feeling of anxiety) out of your system the way a good thunderstorm can blow away hot, humid weather.
7. Follow the Relax, Detach, Focus steps. Created by Marcia Reynolds, M.Ed., author of Outsmart Your Brain! Get Happy, Get Heard, and Get Your Way at Work, the routine goes like this:
- Relax your body from the toes up.
- Detach from your thoughts.
- Center yourself in the moment (e.g., feel your head upon the pillow, or your feet on the ground, etc., depending on where you are).
- Focus on who you want to be and how you want to feel.
8. Turn on the news and watch the disasters unfurl. It will help you put your own problems into perspective and realize it’s a large world, filled with both triumph and disaster. The challenges in your life that make you anxious may not seem as great when you put them in world context.
9. Don’t borrow future problems. Many people get into a cycle of predicting and worrying about future concerns, says Larina Kase, Psy.D., a psychologist at the Center for Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania and president of Performance and Success Coaching. Ask yourself, “Is this something I know can happen and is it something I can do something about right now?” If the answer to either of these questions is no, tell yourself you will revisit it later.
10. Simply experience your anxiety for 45 minutes. That’s usually all it takes for you to become used to it and for the anxious feeling to dissipate, says Dr. Kase. The worst thing you can do is try to ignore it, she says, because anxiety tends to fight back if you push it down.
Next: Learn how to name your fears to deal with anxiety