Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
There are times when anxiety can catch us off guard, making it challenging to navigate our daily lives. In these moments, quick fixes can be invaluable for providing temporary relief and helping us regain our equilibrium. While these fast and effective strategies are helpful in the short term, it’s crucial to acknowledge the importance of long-term solutions for managing anxiety more sustainably.
In our previous post, “How to Approach Anxiety with a Mindful Mind,” we explored the power of mindfulness meditation and other practices that provide a solid foundation for coping with anxiety in the long run. However, in this post, we’ll focus on the benefits of quick fixes for anxiety, shedding light on various techniques to help you find relief when you need it most.
As we discuss these quick fixes, it’s essential to remember that they are not a substitute for more comprehensive approaches to managing anxiety. Instead, they should be viewed as complementary tools that can be used with mindfulness and other long-term strategies, helping you build a well-rounded arsenal for combating anxiety in all its forms.
Quick Fix #1: Watching Comedies
Laughter truly is the best medicine when it comes to easing anxiety. Watching comedies and enjoying humor can shift our focus from stress and anxiety, providing a much-needed mental break. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, which promote a sense of well-being and help reduce the intensity of anxiety. Additionally, humor can offer fresh perspectives on our problems, allowing us to approach anxiety-inducing situations with a lighter, more resilient mindset.
Tips for finding and enjoying comedic content
- Keep a list of your favorite comedy shows and movies: Having a go-to list of your favorite humorous content makes it easy to find something to watch when anxiety strikes.
- Explore new comedy genres: Whether it’s stand-up comedy, sitcoms, or sketch shows, there’s a wealth of funny content available. Feel free to try something new and see what resonates with you.
- Share the laughter: Watching comedies with friends or family can amplify the mood-boosting effects of laughter and strengthen social bonds, further reducing anxiety.
- Follow comedians and comedy channels on social media: This will provide a regular stream of funny content to your feed, offering quick bursts of humor throughout your day.
- Attend live comedy events: Attending a live comedy show can be an even more powerful way to experience laughter and connect with others who share your sense of humor.
Quick Fix #2: EFT Tapping
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), also known as tapping, is a self-help method combining cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, and acupressure elements. EFT involves tapping specific meridian points on the body while focusing on the anxiety-inducing situation or emotion and repeating positive affirmations. This process is believed to help clear emotional blockages, release negative energy, and restore balance in the body’s energy system.
The benefits of EFT tapping for anxiety relief
- Quick and easy to learn: EFT tapping can be quickly learned and practiced by anyone. There are numerous online resources, including video tutorials and step-by-step guides, to help you get started.
- Immediate results: Many people report experiencing a reduction in anxiety after just a few minutes of EFT tapping. This makes it an ideal quick fix when you need fast relief from anxiety symptoms.
- Versatile technique: EFT tapping can be adapted to address a wide range of anxiety-inducing situations, from performance anxiety to social anxiety and even phobias.
- Non-invasive and drug-free: EFT tapping is a natural and non-invasive technique that does not require any medication, making it a safe and accessible option for anxiety relief.
- Complements mindfulness practices: EFT tapping encourages you to tune into your emotions and bodily sensations, promoting greater self-awareness and complimenting mindfulness practices in managing anxiety.
Read our post “EFT Tapping: A Powerful Tool To Transforming Your Life“.
Quick Fix #3: Getting Busy
Distracting yourself with engaging activities can be an effective way to reduce anxiety in the short term. By immersing yourself in tasks or hobbies that require your full attention, you can momentarily shift your focus away from anxiety-inducing thoughts and emotions. This can provide temporary relief and help you regain control and calmness.
Ideas for staying busy and focused on reducing anxiety
- Exercise: Physical activity releases endorphins, which can help improve mood and reduce anxiety. Choose an exercise you enjoy, such as walking, swimming, or yoga, and make it part of your daily routine.
- Creative pursuits: Engaging in creative activities, such as painting, writing, or playing a musical instrument, can help you express your emotions and redirect your focus away from anxiety.
- Mindful hobbies: Choose hobbies encouraging mindfulness, such as gardening, knitting, or cooking. These activities require concentration and can help you stay present at the moment.
- Socialize: Spending time with friends and family can provide a valuable support network and offer a welcome distraction from anxiety. Engage in group activities, attend events, or catch up over coffee.
- Volunteer: Helping others can give you a sense of purpose and boost your self-esteem. Look for volunteer opportunities in your community that align with your interests and values.
- Set goals: Setting and working towards achievable goals can help create a sense of accomplishment and reduce anxiety. Break larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps to maintain focus and motivation.
- Maintain a routine: Establishing a daily routine can help provide structure and stability, making it easier to manage anxiety. Prioritize self-care activities, such as exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep, to support your mental well-being.
Quick Fix #4: Breathwork
Breathing techniques can be a powerful tool for anxiety relief. They help activate the body’s relaxation response and counteract the stress response. Some effective breathing techniques for anxiety relief include:
- Diaphragmatic breathing: Also known as belly breathing, this technique involves inhaling deeply into the diaphragm rather than the chest. To practice, place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Inhale slowly through your nose, feel your belly rise, and then exhale slowly through your mouth.
- 4-7-8 breathing: Inhale for four counts, hold the breath for seven counts, and exhale for eight counts. Repeat this cycle several times to promote relaxation.
- Box breathing: Inhale for four counts, hold the breath for four counts, exhale for four counts, and hold the breath for another four counts before starting the cycle again. This technique can help to calm the nervous system and focus the mind.
- Alternate nostril breathing: This yoga technique involves inhaling one nostril, holding the breath, and exhaling through the opposite nostril. The process is then reversed, and the cycle continues for several minutes.
How breathwork connects to mindfulness practice (Wim Hof Method)
Breathwork is closely connected to mindfulness, as both encourage present-moment awareness and focus on the breath. The Wim Hof Method, a popular breathwork technique, combines controlled breathing exercises with cold exposure and meditation to reduce anxiety and promote overall well-being. Individuals can develop greater self-awareness and better manage stress by concentrating on their breath and engaging in mindfulness.
The Wim Hof Method’s breathing exercises involve taking 30 to 40 deep, rapid breaths followed by a breath hold and a recovery breath. Practicing these exercises can help to activate the body’s relaxation response, increase oxygen levels, and reduce anxiety symptoms. Additionally, incorporating the Wim Hof Method into a broader mindfulness practice can provide a more holistic approach to managing anxiety and promoting mental health.
Additional Quick Fixes
- Going out in the sunlight: Exposure to natural sunlight can help regulate the body’s production of melatonin and serotonin, which play a role in mood regulation and anxiety reduction. Spending time outdoors in the sun, even for just a few minutes, can help improve your mood and decrease anxiety. Read about other benefits of the sunlight in our post “Beyond The Healthy Glow“.
- Exercise: Engaging in physical activity has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, releasing endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a quick workout, or a yoga session, incorporating exercise into your daily routine can help keep anxiety at bay.
- Listening to calming music: Research has shown that listening to soothing music can relax the body and mind, helping to reduce anxiety. Create a playlist of your favorite calming songs and listen to them whenever you need quick anxiety relief.
- Aromatherapy: Essential oils, such as lavender, bergamot, or chamomile, have calming effects on the nervous system. Using a diffuser or applying these oils to pulse points can help to alleviate anxiety quickly. Read more about the aromatherapy and its benefits our post “Aromatherapy 101“.
- Progressive muscle relaxation: This technique involves systematically tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body. By focusing on the physical sensations of tension and relaxation, you can become more aware of bodily sensations and redirect your attention away from anxiety-provoking thoughts.
- Visualization: Creating a mental image of a calming or peaceful scene can help to shift your focus from anxiety to relaxation. Find a quiet place, close your eyes, and imagine yourself in a tranquil environment, such as a beach or a forest, focusing on the sights, sounds, and smells of your imagined surroundings.
Remember that while these quick fixes can temporarily relieve anxiety, it’s essential to invest time and effort into developing long-term strategies, such as mindfulness practices, to maintain your mental health and well-being.
Having a variety of quick fixes at your disposal can be immensely helpful in managing anxiety, especially during challenging moments or when you need immediate relief. These quick fixes can help reduce anxiety levels and provide control over your emotions, allowing you to navigate difficult situations better. It’s essential to find the best strategies for you and be open to trying new techniques, as what works for one person may be less effective for another.
While quick fixes can temporarily relieve anxiety, it’s crucial to remember that long-term strategies, such as mindfulness practices, are necessary for sustainable anxiety management and overall mental health. If you haven’t already, be sure to explore our previous post on how to approach anxiety with the mindful mind, which discusses the transformative potential of mindfulness in managing stress and improving overall well-being. By incorporating quick fixes and long-term strategies into your mental health toolkit, you’ll be well-equipped to cope with anxiety and lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.