Top Things You Can Do to Ease Your Anxiety

Do you feel an urge to ease your anxiety because it has grown larger than life? Or perhaps it's small, but it's a constant nagging, gnawing presence that's starting to wear you down. Whatever the scope and nature of your unique anxiety, you can tame it and create a peaceful life. Below you'll find the top things you can do to ease your anxiety, whatever it's like. 

Each of these top things you can do to ease anxiety involves an empowering perspective. They're about you rather than about anxiety itself. After all, what you focus on is what grows. 

The top actions to ease anxiety fall into three broad categories:

  • Body
  • Mind
  • Spirit

Humans are holistic beings. Anxiety may be brain-based, but it is influenced by our external world, and it impacts our entire interconnected system of mind, body, and spirit. Tending to all three helps you grow into the anxiety-free person you want to be in a balanced, well-rounded way. 

Top Ways to Nurture Your Body and Ease Anxiety

Your body holds a great deal of anxiety. Anxiety can negatively impact any part of your body, from breakouts on the skin to nausea to chest pain and so much more ("Physical Side Effects of Anxiety in the Body"). Treating your body well and helping it heal will relieve anxiety. Some ways to do that:

  • Focus on nutrition and eating foods that help anxiety like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats, avoiding processed, refined, and junk foods.
  • Drink water.
  • Minimize caffeine.
  • Eliminate alcohol and other harmful substances.
  • Exercise regularly, doing something that you enjoy.
  • Pause frequently to breathe deeply (it instantly causes physiological changes in the brain).
  • Practice yoga or tai chi.
  • Treat yourself to a massage.

Best Ways to Boost Your Mind to Ease Anxiety

Your mind is the thinking part of yourself. It can seem like your mind behaves on its own with no consideration for what you'd rather think about. After all, very few of us choose to overthink with anxiety. While you quite likely aren't thinking anxious, negative thoughts on purpose, it is your mind, and it's a part of your greater whole. By tending to it gently, you can begin to shift your thoughts to positive, peaceful ones. Try nurturing your mind with these approaches:

  • Pay attention to your thoughts, and reframe them when you need to. "I'll fail." becomes, "I've prepared, and I know what I'm doing. The outcome doesn't have to be perfect for me to succeed."
  • Notice your emotions, and practice mindfulness for centering. When you are upset over something in the past or the future, return your thoughts to the present. Observe your surroundings, and experience it with your senses.
  • Write affirmations--simple statements of encouragement--and place them in prominent places. Read and repeat them to yourself often. 
  • Experience flow. Engage in an enjoyable activity and let your anxious thoughts and feelings drift away. 

Best Things You Can Do for Your Spirit to Ease Anxiety

An inadequate definition of spirit is the essence of who you are. Spirit exists deep within you and far beyond you. For some people, an important part of spirit is religion, while for others, spirituality is independent of religion. When you take time to tend to your spirit, you grow bigger than your anxiety. 

Activities in the realm of spirit involve anything that connects you to something bigger than yourself. Some of the top things in this category are:

  • Experiencing awe and wonder, looking up at the stars or marveling at a drop of dew on a leaf
  • Appreciating beauty to see the good rather than ugly anxiety
  • Being curious and learning
  • Feeling gratitude for what is right in your life

Of all of these effective activities to ease anxiety, is there a top of the top? Perhaps. Whatever it is, though, is unique to you. Gradually try these activities (trying all at once will be overwhelming and much less effective). Keep what works, and make them a regular part of your life. That way, you and your life will transcend anxiety.  

Tags: ease anxiety

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2019, December 19). Top Things You Can Do to Ease Your Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 22 from

Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of numerous anxiety self-help books, including The Morning Magic 5-Minute Journal, The Mindful Path Through Anxiety, 101 Ways to Help Stop Anxiety, The 5-Minute Anxiety Relief Journal, The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, and Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps. She has also written five critically acclaimed, award-winning novels about life with mental health challenges. She delivers workshops for all ages and provides online and in-person mental health education for youth. She has shared information about creating a quality life on podcasts, summits, print and online interviews and articles, and at speaking events. Tanya is a Diplomate of the American Institution of Stress helping to educate others about stress and provide useful tools for handling it well in order to live a healthy and vibrant life. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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