How to Relax When You Have Anxiety

If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, then you may be comforted to know that you are not alone, or on the opposite side of this, you may be upset to learn that so many people in the world have anxiety disorders.

The latest data shows that in England, six in ten people will be diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and in the United Kingdom, over eight million people will experience an anxiety disorder at any one time.

These numbers are staggering, and if you are someone who frequently deals with anxiety symptoms as well as battling anxious thoughts in daily life, then you will want to know just how you can relieve anxiety and reduce your stress levels so you are not constantly having to deal with these physical symptoms.

Today’s article is focused on how to relax when we are feeling anxious and what we can do to stop making anxiety symptoms worse.

What Anxiety Disorders Are There?

There are a handful of anxiety disorders that you may have seen in people but are not able to put a label on the exact name of what they have.

Here are a few for you to know more about.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

This involves a persistent feeling of anxiety or dread which can cause people to develop issues in their daily life, making them feel anxious all the time with negative thoughts that can lead to an anxiety attack.

This can go on for months at a time and some of the symptoms of anxiety that they will experience are –

  • Fatigue
  • Feeling restless
  • Being irritable
  • Finding it hard to concentrate
  • Headaches, fast heart rate, muscle aches, and random pains

Panic Disorder

People who suffer from a panic disorder will experience frequent panic attacks which can make it hard for them to focus or do anything.

A panic attack is when someone will feel intense fear, as well as discomfort, and will feel like they are losing control even if there is nothing around for them to be triggered by.

They will avoid places and people because they are afraid of having another panic attack as well as feeling symptoms such as –

  • Racing heart
  • Trembling and tingling
  • Chest pains
  • Sweating profusely

Social Anxiety Disorder

This makes people feel anxious about being watched or judged by others, causing intense anxious feelings when they are in situations where they have to be social, raising their stress hormones (cortisol levels) which affects their body as well as their mental health.

They may find it hard to go to work, school, or just be anywhere that has many people.

They have some of the same symptoms of anxiety as the disorders above, but they will also experience symptoms like –

  • Difficulty making eye contact with others
  • Stomachaches
  • Feeling incredibly self-conscious about what they look like and how they act

There are also phobia-related anxiety disorders, and they are linked to things such as flying, driving, animals, and so on.

How to Relax When You Have Anxiety

If you have experienced anxiety most of your life, it is not easy to calm anxiety and get on with the day when you feel it persistently.

However, there are ways to manage anxiety and help you get your mind in a place that can handle it when it gets too much, from seeing a mental health professional to doing some quick deep breathing relaxation techniques before going anywhere.

Accept Your Anxiety For What It Is

You may look at this and think to yourself “How is that going to help me?”

This is understandable as you are looking for ways to proactively help yourself, but, this can be a good start as it will have you face what is going on inside you and stop you from running away.

You have anxiety, no it does not disappear, but there are ways that you can show up for yourself and help you work through it to the best of your ability.

Recognizing it for what it is can help reduce anxiety inside you, and stop you from immediately going towards negative thought patterns which are stifling you and elevating your feelings of anxiety at certain points.

Start Each Day With Breathing Exercises

Taking in deep breaths when you wake up and before you go anywhere can help you regulate your nervous system and stop you from breathing too heavily which can make your anxiety rise once again.

Sit somewhere quiet with minimal to no distractions, and just sit there with your eyes closed.

Breathing deeply will soothe your body and your mind getting you ready for the day.

Make sure to exhale slowly and steadily so that you are relaxing your mind so it can take you away from where you currently are, like a mental vacation.

Go Online For Some Assistance

There are different breathing exercises online that you can check out.

Professionals can show you how to do it properly so it has the desired effect that can provide you with what you have been looking for.

Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

Caffeine, as well as alcohol, is a stimulant for your body, so it won’t be something that will help you calm down after a long day, instead, it will pep you up and make you feel jittery.

It has been noted that caffeine can actually make anxiety worse when consumed in high doses.

Alcohol can make anxiety worse instead of reducing it.

If you are drinking alcohol to make yourself feel better, it will have the opposite effect on you and cause you to feel worse as time goes on.

Do Your Best to Distract Yourself

When anxiety is poised to overtake your mind, you need to find something that will fill it with other thoughts and activities that won’t make those anxious thoughts rise back up again.

Even if you just removed yourself from your room and went on a small walk, this can help you shake off that gloomy feeling and put you in another setting that can help you feel better and stop you from focusing on the anxiety inside you.


If you don’t fancy going on a walk, go somewhere quiet and do a 10-minute meditation to calm your mind and distract yourself from your thoughts.

Play Some Games

This doesn’t mean hopping on your Xbox or PlayStation.

You might want to try a physical game such as a word search or doing a jigsaw puzzle, something that won’t be too stimulating, especially if it is at night as the blue light can wake you up even more.

Keep a box of these in your house or by your bed so they are in easy reach to get your mind off whatever you were thinking about.

Get Some Exercise

Many people swear that exercise helps them out when they need a good distraction and that it will not only support their physical health but their mental health as well.

You don’t have to go over the top and do an elaborate and hard physical activity, you can do something gentle just as long as it keeps you moving and helps you burn off whatever frustrations and anxious thoughts you are having.

You might want to do activities such as –

  • Going for a long walk
  • Doing high-intensity training (HIIT)
  • Cleaning the house
  • Dancing to music
  • Going for a run
  • Hiking/nature walk

Whatever makes you feel less anxious and worried.

Speak With Your Friends and Family

If you need to get out what you are feeling, then it can be quite beneficial to speak to a trusted family member or a close friend about what you are going through so you can get their perspective too.

You may have built up this thought in your head, blowing it out of proportion and causing you to overthink and focus on one aspect of it.

Talking it out with someone can help you see it from a fresh perspective and stop you from going over the top and pushing yourself deeper and deeper into that rabbit hole.

You may find that it isn’t that big of a deal at all and you are able to find a solution to it by speaking to someone else about how you are feeling and what you are going through.


All of us deal with anxiety in different ways, but, if the way you are currently dealing with it is not working out properly and you find that you feel worse, not better, now is the time to change up your thinking and try and different path.

Sometimes we can handle it ourselves, but other times we need a fresh perspective from a close friend or a mental health professional, so find the right type of help for you and utilize that in any way that you can.

It is a long road, but you will get there with the right tools and determination.