How to cope with anxiety and defeat anxiety once and for all - proven practical tips

Today we will talk about what anxiety is and how to cope with it. If you often feel psychological discomfort, uncertainty about the future and your strengths, mood swings, and anxiety, then you are probably faced with anxiety. But without correcting the condition, it can turn into anxiety. "What is the difference?" - you ask. Read on.

Anxiety is a stable personality quality, while anxiety is a temporary state (emotion). If traumatic situations are repeated frequently, negative factors constantly influence, then uncertainty and anxiety become permanent, which significantly worsens the quality of life. Anxiety can be corrected and measured. But as always, first things first.

How Anxiety Occurs

Anxiety usually occurs in response to stress. As soon as a person is faced with a stressful situation, the body begins to actively produce adrenaline. It triggers certain physiological responses so that a person can either run away from danger or fight it. A similar reaction has been preserved since ancient times, when people had to defend themselves from predators.

Modern man also faces a lot of negative situations. Stress can arise due to being late for work, an accident, a quarrel with a loved one, divorce and other reasons. Despite the fact that these situations are not at all similar to an encounter with a predator, the body’s reaction nevertheless has not changed in the process of evolution. A person feels anxious:

  • nausea;
  • dizziness;
  • trembling in the body;
  • increased sweating;
  • labored breathing;
  • cardiopalmus.

This is a normal protective reaction of the body to emerging stress, which the brain perceives as danger. However, some people experience this condition all the time. Such unreasonable anxiety significantly reduces the quality of life.

A person does not know how to cope with unreasonable feelings of anxiety. It appears suddenly for unknown reasons, when there is no real danger. For example, among women with children, there are mothers who constantly worry about their children. They worry that something bad might happen to the child. Although there are no objective reasons for this.

If this sounds familiar to you, then you are mentally running into the future, where for some reason everything is certainly bad. And now you can’t find a place for yourself, you stress yourself out, and start rushing from side to side. In fact, such pathological anxiety also has reasons. Most often it develops due to ongoing tension or internal unresolved conflicts.

The stronger and more often it manifests itself, the higher the likelihood that it will end in an anxiety disorder. The person will develop neurosis, which is associated with a constant unreasonable feeling of anxiety and internal tension. About a quarter of the world's population has already encountered this disease. Fortunately, this can be treated with psychotherapy and provided that the patient himself is committed to recovery.

Are panic attacks a disease?

Today, panic attacks are indeed considered a disease that can be successfully treated. In order to make such a diagnosis, it is necessary to first exclude pathologies and disorders of the body.

It is recommended to measure an ECG (24-hour Holter monitoring is better), take the necessary tests (including thyroid hormone tests), and consult a therapist. If no physiological abnormalities are detected, it’s time to consult a psychotherapist or try to take control of anxiety and cure panic attacks on your own.

First, let's determine in which cases the help of a psychologist or psychotherapist is mandatory, and in which cases you can handle it yourself. Treating anxiety and panic attacks is impossible without understanding both the symptoms and the causes.

How to distinguish anxiety from anxiety

A distinction must be made between anxiety and anxiety. The latter is temporary. While anxiety is a stable personality quality. Frequent repetition of traumatic situations and the influence of negative factors lead to a person constantly feeling anxiety and uncertainty.

It is normal to feel anxious sometimes, but anxiety must be dealt with. Otherwise, it will develop into despair, panic and ultimately destroy the person’s personality. However, the person himself does not always realize that he suffers from severe anxiety. And from the outside it can be difficult to notice such a condition.

A person with a high level of anxiety can be identified by the following signs.

  1. He reacts too emotionally to failures.
  2. His performance decreases in stressful situations or when deadlines are pressing.
  3. He is so afraid of failure that he is willing to give up his desire to succeed.
  4. He perceives the entire world around him or most objects as potentially dangerous.
  5. Success inspires him, but failure “kills” him.

People with low levels of anxiety tend to have the opposite reactions. For example, they perceive failure as a much greater motivator for action than success.

With increased anxiety, a person exhibits somatic reactions:

  • itching, rash appears;
  • heart rate increases;
  • respiratory function is impaired;
  • gastrointestinal tract problems arise;
  • sweating increases;
  • coordination of movements is impaired;
  • disturbances in the functioning of the genitourinary system appear.

In addition, overly anxious people are prone to depression, emotional and professional burnout. They are often not satisfied with themselves, their lives, or their chosen profession.

GAD - fear of everything, always and everywhere

There is such a concept as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) - this is one of the forms of anxiety disorders, with one caveat - the duration of this kind of disorder is measured in years, and affects absolutely all areas of a person’s life.

We can conclude that it is precisely this monotonous state of “I’m afraid of everything, I’m afraid always and constantly” that leads to a complex, painful life.

Even ordinary cleaning of the house, not done according to schedule, upsets a person, going to the store for a necessary thing that was not there, calling a child who did not answer on time, but in his thoughts “they stole, killed”, and many other reasons why There is no need to worry, but there is anxiety.

And all this is generalized anxiety disorder (also sometimes called phobic anxiety disorder).

Causes of increased anxiety

Most often, anxiety develops in an individual in childhood. Several factors can provoke its development.

  1. Contradictions in the position of parents, teachers, supervisors, as well as differences in their own attitudes and actions. As a result, the individual experiences an internal conflict.
  2. Inflated expectations and demands. For example, a person sets the bar too high for himself. Or parents require their child to study only straight A's.
  3. A person’s actual needs are not satisfied or he is completely deprived of them (sleep, food, rest, etc.).
  4. A person realizes that his abilities do not correspond to his capabilities.
  5. Lack of social, professional or financial stability.

In psychology, increased anxiety is defined as a personality disorder that needs to be overcome.

Emergency situation - what to do?

In emergency cases, an attack of panic and anxiety can be relieved with medication, and also only by a specialist; if he is not present at the time of the peak of the attack, it is important to first call medical help, and then try with all your might not to worsen the situation.

But this does not mean that you have to run and shout “help, help.” No! You need to show calm by all appearances; if there is a possibility that a person could cause injury, leave immediately.

If not, try to talk in a calm voice and support the person with the phrases “I believe in you. WE are together, WE will get through this." Avoid saying “I feel it too”, anxiety and panic are individual feelings and everyone feels them differently.

Psychologist's advice

To independently reduce the level of anxiety, psychologists recommend the following.

  1. Put aside anxious thoughts . “This will only happen tomorrow, so today I won’t think about it, but rather read a book.” This method also helps to get rid of negative thoughts. You can read more about this in the article “How to get rid of negative thoughts and defeat destructive thinking.”
  2. Switch attention . For example, watching a fire burn or water running in a river, a person gradually calms down. Experiences fade into the background and no longer seem important.
  3. Reduce importance . “This is just an estimate. Yes, it will be very unpleasant for me to get a C or a D, but I prepared well. If something happens, I can retake the exam.”
  4. Remember and re-experience situations in which you were successful or proud of yourself.
  5. Do exercises . Sport helps overcome stress, increase brain activity, and take a fresh look at the situation.

Here's another good way to combat increased anxiety. Write down in your journal or notepad all the worries you are experiencing right now. After a month, read your notes. Most likely, none of this will come to fruition. Then you will understand that you were in vain to worry and come up with “horror stories”.

And then there’s the depression...

Anxiety-depressive disorder, as a form of neurosis, according to experts, by 2021 will take second place after coronary heart disease among disorders that lead to disability.

The states of chronic anxiety and depression are similar, which is why the concept of TDR appeared as a kind of transitional form. The symptoms of the disorder are as follows:

  • mood swings;
  • sleep disturbances for a long period;
  • anxiety, fears for yourself and loved ones;
  • apathy, insomnia;
  • low performance, decreased attention and memory, inability to learn new material.

There are also vegetative changes: increased heartbeat, increased sweating, hot flashes or, conversely, chills, pain in the solar plexus, gastrointestinal disorders (abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea), muscle pain and more.

Anxiety-depressive syndrome is characterized by the presence of several of the above symptoms over several months.

Recommendations on how to quickly relieve anxiety

Recommendations from specialists will also help to cope with growing worries and quickly remove the feeling of fear in adults.

Breathe deeply

During times of stress and anxiety, our breathing becomes rapid and shallow. The amount of oxygen reaching the brain is reduced. Therefore, if you need to quickly calm down, use deep breathing techniques. Inhale for 4 counts and exhale also for 4 counts. At the same time, try to breathe using your diaphragm. This type of breathing is more natural and deeper.

Listen to relaxing music

Music therapists collaborated with Manchester group Marconi Union to create a music track called “Weightlessness”. This melody was written to help people relax as much as possible. The study claims that listening to the track reduces a person's overall level of anxiety, slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and the level of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Scientists have called this melody the most relaxing song in the world. I found a video of her for you. You can continue reading to the soothing melody. Just try not to fall asleep.

Take a power pose

If you are experiencing anxiety, for example before an important meeting or interview, then you need to take a power pose. One of its variants is the superman pose - legs wide apart, hands on the belt, chin pointing slightly upward.

Basically, a power pose is any pose in which your body begins to take up more space, such as the starfish pose. Raise your arms up to form the letter V. Raise your chin slightly, too, and smile. Imagine that you have won a competition and are standing on the highest step of the podium.

If you stand in a power pose for at least 2 minutes, your anxiety level will noticeably decrease. You will feel bold and confident.

A study conducted by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard University, found that doing a power pose for two minutes increased testosterone levels and decreased cortisol levels.

Testosterone is also called the dominance hormone. It is its high level that gives a person confidence. Cortisol is a “stress hormone,” so the lower it is, the easier it is for a person to cope with nervous tension.

A position of power triggers physiological changes in the body, but does not affect how others see you. Therefore, it is best to practice this pose alone with yourself.

Talk through your emotions

When you feel overwhelmed by anxiety and worry, don't keep these emotions inside. Speak out loud sensations and feelings. This method calms the nervous system. The right and left hemispheres of the brain begin to work harmoniously.

During anxiety, the right hemisphere, which is responsible for feelings and emotions, is most active. Verbalization helps to engage the left hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for logic and words. As a result, feelings become more meaningful, and the storm of emotions subsides.

Complex of manifestations

Symptoms of anxiety disorders are divided into two groups:

  1. Somatic symptoms . Characterized by pain, deterioration of health: headaches, sleep disturbances, darkening of the eyes, sweating, frequent and painful urination. We can say that a person feels changes on the physical level, and this further aggravates the anxious state.
  2. Mental symptoms : emotional stress, a person’s inability to relax, fixation on the situation, constantly turning it over, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate on something, inability to remember new information, irritability and aggression.

The transition of all of the above symptoms into a chronic form leads to such unpleasant consequences as neurosis, chronic depression and stress. Living in a gray, scary world, where there is no joy, no laughter, no creativity, no love, no sex, no friendship, no delicious dinner or breakfast... all these are the consequences of untreated mental disorders.

Ways to overcome anxiety

If you often experience internal anxiety for no reason, and obsessive thoughts prevent you from sleeping well at night, the following ways to overcome pathological anxiety will help you. By the way, in one of the articles I already wrote about how to get rid of obsessive thoughts.

Massage session

This is a very pleasant and at the same time effective way to help overcome anxiety. Especially if a person stays in it constantly. Scientists conducted a study in which people with high levels of anxiety went for a massage. They received Swedish massage 2 times a week. One session lasted 45 minutes. The massage course was 6 weeks.

Swedish massage is a classic type of massage, during which the muscles are intensively warmed up. After just 5 massage sessions, the symptoms of anxiety and depression in the subjects decreased significantly. At the same time, the level of cortisol in the blood decreased. And the level of dopamine and serotonin (hormones of happiness and pleasure), on the contrary, increased.

Pleasant touches and hugs have a good therapeutic effect and contribute to:

  • improving mood;
  • strengthening the immune system;
  • decreased blood pressure and tachycardia;
  • establishing close connections between people.

Sleeping while bundled up

To calm the baby, he needs to be swaddled. This feeling is similar to the one he experienced in his mother's womb. He felt safe there. Interestingly, this method also works with adults. When sadness or anxiety arises in your soul for no reason, you want to wrap yourself in a warm blanket or blanket. This helps you relax and calm down.

The feeling of being in a cocoon amazingly calms the nervous system. All you have to do is sleep a little under a heavy blanket, your anxiety will decrease, and your soul will become much lighter and calmer. If you are often visited by melancholy, then I advise you to read an article about what to do when you feel bad. In it you will find other ways that will bring relief.


What you eat also greatly affects your internal state. Some people, in the fight against anxiety, begin to abuse alcohol or indulge in sweets. Under no circumstances should this be done! Therefore, eliminate certain food groups from your diet.

  1. Alcohol . It certainly helps you relax, but only for a short time. Once the effects of alcohol wear off, feelings of anxiety and restlessness may increase significantly. You should not fill it with a new portion of alcohol - you will completely undermine your mental and physical health.
  2. Sugar and starch . Cookies, sweets, pies, cakes. It's impossible not to love them! Eat one - and now you are happy and calm. But it's not that simple. In addition to the risk of gaining extra pounds, these products cause a sharp rise and an equally sharp drop in blood sugar levels. Therefore, very quickly after you eat a piece of cake, euphoria gives way to emotional tension and stress. And the hand reaches for the cake again.

Now let's talk about what you need to eat to feel calm. Scientists have proven that the state of the intestinal microflora has a strong impact on a person’s emotional state. Billions of bacteria live there. They send different signals to the brain that change our mood.

Therefore, it is very important to eat foods containing probiotics. They increase the number of beneficial bacteria and destroy pathogenic microflora. Probiotics can be found in the following foods:

  • kefir;
  • yogurt (pay attention to the composition);
  • sauerkraut;
  • kimchi;
  • soybean products.

But don’t rush to eat only these foods. Introduce them into your diet gradually. Especially if you haven't eaten them often before. The fact is that when pathogenic microorganisms are destroyed, toxins are formed. They can increase symptoms of anxiety and depression and cause physical illness. So be consistent and careful.

And another important component that should be present in every person’s diet is Omega-3 polyunsaturated acids. According to research, Omega-3 reduces anxiety levels. At least 2 times a week, try to eat:

  • fish;
  • seafood;
  • leafy vegetables;
  • walnuts;
  • linseed oil.


Scientists have long proven that sport is beneficial not only for physical, but also for mental health of a person. With regular training, the body produces endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and other “happiness hormones”. But adrenaline and cortisol decrease. Therefore, after training a person feels tired, but satisfied.

Try escaping your anxiety on a treadmill or in the park. Swim away from her in the pool. Choose the type of physical activity that you like. Don't push yourself until you lose consciousness. Sport should be fun!

There are a lot of options:

  • cardio training (running, swimming, cycling, Nordic walking, etc.);
  • dancing (tango, hip-hop, ballet, etc.);
  • power training;
  • aerobic exercise (yoga, Pilates, stretching, etc.).

In the end, you can download a special application on your phone, which already has ready-made training plans depending on your level of physical fitness. It’s not at all difficult to devote 30-40 minutes to warm up every day. The main thing is to start!

Examples from life

Anxiety can also be thought of as thoughts that unreasonably run ahead. That is, a person imagines himself in a place where he is not currently present.

For example, students during a lesson fall into this state when the teacher wants to start a survey and looks at the magazine.

The only question in this situation is “why?” Because the teacher is still in thought and doesn’t know who to ask. There are many options for the outcome of this situation. If you think logically, then such a phenomenon as anxiety is completely inappropriate in this case.

But you were unlucky, and it so happened that the teacher’s gaze fell on you on the list. A person who gets ahead of himself may become constrained and, in the worst case scenario, reach the point of loss of consciousness. But in fact, nothing has happened yet. The teacher didn't even ask the question. Again, “why?”

Read more: How to stop being angry: 5 practical exercises

It is important to always ask yourself the sobering question “why?”

The teacher raised the student, but until he asked a question, there was no cause for alarm.

The teacher asked a question - there is no reason for alarm. In this case, you can try to answer it.

You didn’t answer, the teacher gave you a negative grade - there is no reason to worry. You need to think about how to correct an unsatisfactory grade. Because you can’t remove a bad mark from the journal, but you can get several positive points.

Let's consider another situation that everyone has been in - waiting for a bus. In addition, if you are late, then waiting becomes an unbearably draining task. But your worry will not speed up the bus, which is quite logical. Then why worry?

Don't make it worse

Most often, if a person applies at an early stage of the development of the disorder, doctors recommend several simple preventive measures after the situation has resolved:

  1. Healthy lifestyle.
  2. Getting enough sleep, proper quality sleep is the key to peace of mind, the key to overall health of the whole body.
  3. Eat properly . Varied, high-quality, beautiful (and this is also important) food can lift your spirits. Who would refuse a freshly baked, fragrant, hot apple pie with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream? Just these words make your soul feel warm, let alone the meal itself.
  4. Find a hobby , something you like, perhaps change jobs. This is a kind of relaxation, relaxation.
  5. Learn to relax and deal with stress , and for this, with the help of a psychotherapist or independently study relaxation methods: breathing exercises, using special points on the body, when pressed, relaxation occurs, listening to your favorite audiobook or watching a good (!) movie.

It is important to note that doctors and specialists use forced rehabilitation only in very severe cases. Treatment in the early stages, when almost all people tell themselves “it will go away on its own,” is much faster and of better quality.

Only the person himself can come and say “I need help,” no one can force him. That is why it is worth thinking about your health, not letting everything take its course and contacting a specialist.

Use lavender oil

Lavender oil has many healing properties and can be used as a natural remedy to relieve anxiety and other nervous conditions. The best time to use this remedy is in the evening.

There are many ways you can use lavender essential oil for calm and relaxation:

  • Add lavender essential oil to your bath and soak for 15-20 minutes. The water should be warm, not too hot. If you can get fresh lavender in your city, add the leaves of the plant to the water - it’s beautiful and very beneficial for the nervous system.
  • To fall asleep faster, place a few drops of oil on your pillow. Quality essential oils leave no residue. If you are still afraid of staining your pillow, drip the oil onto a napkin and place it on top.
  • Use lavender for aromatherapy in special lamps. The sweet floral-woody scent of the oil will help you relax and fall asleep quickly.
  • For tension headaches, apply lavender oil to a cotton swab or fingertips and slowly rub into your temples. The smell will relax you and relieve headaches.
  • If you are receiving a massage, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your base massage oil.
  • Smell lavender several times throughout the day. But be aware that it may cause drowsiness.

Go out into nature

Nothing calms our mind and soothes our soul like nature. Contemplating beauty, staying in the fresh air - all this has a very beneficial effect on the nervous system.

If you have neuroses or increased anxiety, you need to do everything to find time and opportunities for trips to nature. Not necessarily for a long time. Even one day spent in a quiet forest or by a lake will allow your mind to rest.

While in nature, try to relax as much as possible and not think about anything. Just observe the surrounding space, noticing all the details. Good company on vacation, where you can have a heart-to-heart talk and

Do you need to fight this feeling?

As a rule, after the question of how to overcome fear, another one arises: is it necessary to do this? If a feeling arises in the presence of danger or threat, then you should listen to it and not try to overcome it. This feeling is given to a person by nature and is one of the protective psychological mechanisms.

Irrational fears appear regardless of the presence of danger or threat; they are not even an intuitive premonition. The person experiencing them is not always able to even understand such sensations, much less control them. Psychologists call these sensations phobias. And they must be overcome, since these feelings not only poison a person’s life, but also drown out real, natural fear, dull the perception of real threats and dangers.

How to cope with a specific fear? How can you not be afraid to drive or enter an airplane?

How to overcome the fear of flying? How not to be afraid to drive a car? These are the most pressing issues, because so many people have to use air travel and cars.

It is important to understand the nature of fear. If a person has experienced a catastrophe, severe turbulence, or the hijacking of an airliner by terrorists, then there can be no talk of overcoming anxiety on one’s own. In such a situation, you need the help of a psychiatrist specializing in the rehabilitation of disaster victims.

However, in most cases, fear is not caused by the presence of negative personal experience, but by its likelihood and the incomprehensibility of the mechanism of flying or driving. That is, people know that a plane or a car can theoretically crash. They may not understand how a huge and heavy pile of metal can fly. Or they find it difficult to control the car.

So how to overcome the fear of driving and flying? Psychologists believe that such a phobia can be overcome by gaining positive experience. That is, you need to overcome yourself and fly somewhere or get behind the wheel. As soon as nothing bad happens, the phobia will disappear. If you constantly think about how scary it is to fly or drive a car, then the fears will take hold, become intrusive and constant. In this case, to overcome them you will need the help of a specialist.

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