Fear and Anxiety are two things that have crippled many individuals in pursuit of their hopes and aspirations in life. Unfortunately, this has been something that many individuals have been forced to live with. However, this article will list out 50 proven methods to reduce both fear and anxiety in hopes of giving individuals suffering from these ailments some effective coping mechanisms.
This list aspires to be a go-to guide, if you will, based on concrete research, proven methods, and common sense predicated upon the physiological, neurological, and biological principles which dictate how each of us interact with the world. This list will aspire to provide as much concrete, scientific backing as possible in order to ensure that there are no fraudulent claims that are being made within. Also, please note that while this list is extensive, it is not exhaustive. Therefore, we ask that if you believe there are any methods or techniques for conquering fear and anxiety that we have omitted from the list, then keep in mind that the addition of one would require the subtraction of another. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources littered throughout our sources that give excellent clues on just what would qualify.
Without further ado, we present our official list of 50 Powerful Ways to Overcome Fear and Anxiety:
- Stop Ruminating.
It has long been said that rumination is one of the key factors that lead to the facilitation of stress and anxiety among people. What is rumination? Rumination is the process of ‘thinking too much’ about a specific issue or problem. Often times, when we are sad or stressed, we tend to hyper focus on the source of our anxiety and stress and that, in turn, breeds even more stress and anxiety. Therefore, try to take your mind off of whatever is bothering you sometimes.
Nothing knocks out stress better than good ol’ fashioned exercise. Whether you’re going for a run or lifting weights, it has long been thought that classic exercise does the mind very well. So, if you’re ever feeling stressed or overwhelmed, one of the best things for you to do is to just take a step back and get some exercise in.
3. Controlling your Breathing.
Often times, anxiety and fear can manifest itself in many ways physiologically. One of the ways that one can help to alleviate these symptoms is through the use of breathing techniques. It has been shown in several clinical studies that controlling your breathing so that you are taking even and steady breaths for a period of time can aid in reducing the overall amounts of stress and anxiety that one faces.
Here’s a video by Meghan Livingstone that explains 3 techniques that you can use to reduce stress and anxiety:
Though an often purported way of reducing anxiety, this appears to be an underrated means of treatment. Meditation is highly effective in reducing fear and anxiety by taking your mind away from the issue altogether.
For those unaware, mindfulness is the practice of simply being aware of your present surroundings and what is going on around you. Depending on the source of your anxiety or fear, this can be a very helpful way of conquering the problem. By being mindful of your surroundings, you can avoid ruminating and thus keep your peace of mind.
One of the more classic ways to conquer fear and anxiety, if it derives from an external source, is to face it directly through imminent exposure to the very thing or idea that is causing you these feelings.6 However, one should be careful in doing this and possibly only undergo this technique under the advisement of an authority such as a therapist or other trained professional that can monitor your responses and adjust accordingly to ensure that you avoid committing unnecessary trauma.
7. Talk About the Issue.
Often times, having a companion or a friend whom you can review the issue with is very helpful in alleviating any fear or anxiety you may be feeling in a given moment. Do not underestimate the benefits of this very common and easy technique! The theory is that more interpersonal connection can facilitate the types of chemical releases in your brain that make you feel safer and thus less anxious.
8. Pick Different Foods.
While it seems minor, the food that you choose to eat could actually be having a substantial impact on the amount of anxiety that you may be feeling in a given situation. Much research has shown that a healthy diet can be used as a means of reducing the general levels of anxiety that one feels on a day-to-day basis.
9. Make Sure That You’re Getting Enough Sleep.
One of the most underestimated contributors to overall anxiety is lack of sleep. When you don’t receive enough sleep, you tend to be more susceptible to all sorts of negative emotions and cognitive deficits such as increased irritability and anxiety, poor concentration, and a host of other issues.
10. Reward Yourself.
Sometimes the best way for you to conquer anxiety is to just indulge in some common pleasures. It’s important, however, to make sure that you are not engaging in any harmful vices such as drugs or alcohol or other destructive behaviors. Which brings us to our next point.
It is no secret that the effects of drugs and alcohol can wreak havoc on one’s brain chemistry, causing a litany of negative effects. This is especially true for fear and anxiety as many drugs cause the amygdala, where many emotions are held, to become overactive. However, many individuals tend to rely on drugs and alcohol to help them cope with such anxiety and fear. But this is an ineffective strategy because these substances eventually end up exacerbating the problem itself. The best option for one dealing with these types of issues is to remove all drugs and alcohol from their lives.
12. Avoid Caffeinated Drinks.
Unfortunately, caffeinated drinks can be the ‘death of you’ when it comes to dealing with anxiety. The jitters that you receive from the caffeinated drinks are often enough to ramp your anxiety up to very high levels.
13. Take Care of Yourself.
One that can at least help to relieve social anxiety is to make sure that you look your best whenever you are around others. The old adage ‘You feel good when you look good’ has a bit of truth to it!
14. Practice Better Financial Management.
This one is huge. The better your financial position, the less stress you typically tend to have on your back. This connection is a bit more common sense than many of the other ones on our list. However, there is a scientific study to back this up as well.
15. Changing your Living Situation.
If you live in a high-crime area, or are in an environment where you do not feel entirely comfortable, this can easily add on to your stress, fear, and anxiety, as you are constantly confronted with stimuli all around you that are both threatening and uncomfortable.
16. Make Sure You’re in a Clean Environment.
There is much to be said about the peace of mind that can be gained from living an environment that is free from clutter and other unnecessary distractions and mess. Often, whether we know it or not, the excess clutter and mess can often breed anxiety in ways that we do not like.
17. Lay Off the Social Media a Little Bit.
While the studies covering this phenomenon have been relatively recent, they have been startlingly conclusive. The connection between social media usage and depression, anxiety, fear, stress, and general feelings of lowered self-worth have been correlated with surprising strength. Thus, it only makes sense to try to limit one’s social media usage if you find yourself succumbing to a great amount of anxiety and/or fear in your life.
18. Limit Your News Consumption as Well.
This may sound counter-intuitive as the news is an important source of information. However, much of today’s news contain events that are highly stressful and negative, yet do not serve any constructive purpose in leaving you more informed. Did you really need to know all of the disturbing details about a double-homicide that occurred over 1,000 miles away from you? Probably not. However, being exposed to such information can make you much more susceptible feeling residual stress from it.
19. Keep in Close Contact with Friends.
We mentioned this before on our list in a tertiary manner when we said that conversation can help to ease anxiety. In addition, being in the presence of friends can, in itself, do wonders with reducing overall anxiety that one faces.
20. Create a Routine.
It has been proven time and time again that having a finite routine for how you conduct your day is a good way to reduce anxiety and fear.
21. Switch Your Routine.
Conversely, it has been shown that sometimes introducing a switch in your routine can provide the momentary relief and excess joy that may result in reduced anxiety and fear as well.
This is another tip that underlies the importance of your environment. Sometimes a lot of the things causing you anxiety can be found in your environment. Perhaps the things that you are around conjure up old memories or serve as a reminder of present stresses. By allowing yourself to ‘get away from it all’, you can give yourself an opportunity to clear your head and remove some of the anxiety that may be lingering.
23. Move Completely.
Following in line with the tip given in #22, sometimes moving to a new location entirely can serve to help you with your anxiety as well.
24. Scented Candles and Incense.
This is another very effective technique for helping to reduce overall anxiety. There is a science behind appeasing the olfactory (smelling) portion of your brain and reducing overall anxiety in various situations.
25. Cognitive Behavioral Thinking.
This is one of the most recent emerging and effective techniques in the psychological field. In a nutshell, it states that many of us exacerbate feelings of fear, anxiety, and inadequacy through our thinking patterns, as we outlined in a few of our techniques above. Cognitive Behavioral Thinking is revolutionary in its idea that it challenges you to ‘think about your thoughts’, and dispel negative beliefs that may lead to misunderstandings and difficult situations.
26. Positive Self–Talk.
Falling in line with the therapy techniques we have been doling out, positive self-talk can make a huge difference in affecting your personal mood and relieving anxiety as well as other negative cognition you may have. It has been shown in several studies that positive self-talk can actually elevate one’s mood and that, once you tell yourself something enough times, it begins to become stuck in your mind.
27. List Out Things That are Going Right.
Sometimes anxiety is born out of the belief that everything around you is crumbling and that nothing will ever go right. By creating a concrete list of the things that are actually going well, you can put your problems in better perspective, thus relieving anxiety.
28. Tap into your Spiritual Side.
If you subscribe to a particular religion, or just find yourself to be a peaceful person in general, then it can be extremely beneficial to your goal of reducing anxiety and fear to appeal to the higher power that you believe in. This can often give you a deeper sense of calm and belonging than what you would find from ordinary individuals and conversations.
29. Get Rid of Negative Influences.
Sometimes the people around you are ‘enablers’, so to speak, and they often feed into some of your more paranoid theories or they are anxious individuals themselves. These are folks that you may want to distance yourself from if you wish to truly improve in the near future.
30. Drinking Tea.
There is much truth to the notion that you can be assisted with herbal remedies. While we stated earlier that caffeine can often increase anxiety, this is mitigating and perhaps eliminated substantially when the right teas are involved. There are a wide range and collection of teas that, if anything, will substantially reduce the instances in which you feel anxiety.
31. Read Literature about Anxiety.
There are several books out there that are designed to help you if you suffer greatly from anxiety attacks and other items of the sort. One particular book we recommend would be DARE by Barry McDonagh. In the book, Barry outlines many of the facets of anxiety and proposes a revolutionary sequence of techniques that, he claims, will completely eliminate anxiety altogether for those that suffer from it. That, in itself, makes it definitely worth the read!
32. Chinese Medications.
If you haven’t explored these yet, then it is highly recommended that you do so! There are many Chinese medications that are predicated on centuries of knowledge on herbal remedies, botany, and natural cures. As such, these medicines tend to be substantially more effective and less harmful than the medicines that are passed on by Western doctors.
33. Chewing Gum.
As mentioned in another one of our articles on this site, chewing gum is an odd, yet very effective tool in eliminating anxiety. This is because a lot of the nervous energy that is created when anxiety is present in the body. However, chewing gum can really help to mitigate and eliminate a lot of these effects.
This is one of the best techniques for conquering anxiety and fear and it belongs under the category of ‘mind-hacks’ that you can use to combat this ailment. Visualizing works by literally closing your eyes and taking your mind on a far off journey to a pleasant place where there is no stress and no pressures. There is only fun and you are on a private beach with a load of friends with everything going right for you.
35. Spend Time with a Pet.
Sometimes the best form of anxiety relief can be spending time with a dog or cat. For some reason, these pets not only provide us nonstop love and entertainment, but they also carry many calming properties as well that can be very beneficial in reducing anxiety and fear for a period of time.
36. Indulge in a Hobby.
Whether it be bird watching, going hiking on a nature trail, drawing a painting, singing, or making a short story, often times our hobbies can be very beneficial in reducing the stress that we feel on a day-to-day basis.
This can be one of the most effective ways in reducing and relieving anxiety and fear is to journal about the things that are bothering you. This is a good way for you to vent and release in a private manner without worrying about revealing all of your information.
38. Build Something.
Another creative way for you to release your anxiety and fear that you’ve been feeling is to build something. Whether you choose to do so with a lego set or something more complex is up to you.
39. Learn Something New.
Learning can be another helpful distraction from the problems that are stressing you and causing the most anxiety. Learning is also just an enriching process in general.
40. Spend Time with Small Children.
Spending time with children is another great distraction from anxiety and stress. Often times, when we become wrapped up in their little worlds we forget all about the bigger problems in the world around us
41. Listen to Music.
The effectiveness that music can have on reducing general anxiety and fear is absolutely profound. Music is one of the best things to expose yourself to if you’re feeling anxious about something. Preferably your favorite songs. This is a very underestimated technique, but it works extremely
42. Remove yourself from the specific situation or person that is causing the anxiety.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s something that we all fail to do at some point. Simply removing yourself from the problem is one of the most effective ways to reduce the anxiety itself.
43. State your anxieties out loud or write them down.
Writing down the direct thing that is causing you anxiety or fear is a great way for you to ‘bring it out in the open’ so that you can experience it directly.
44. Go for a Drive.
Sometimes something as simple as going for a drive can make all the difference in your mood. For many, driving is a necessity. For others, it is a soothing way to disconnect from whatever location they’re at.
45. Look for a life coach.
Having a great mentor who’s dealt with anxiety and fear before will be helpful to have in your corner as you are overcoming and battling yours.
46. Do Yoga.
It cannot be stated enough the immense proven effectiveness of doing yoga. It is an extremely therapeutic, enriching, and soul-fulfilling exercise that it’s sure to reduce your anxiety and fear!
You may have never done this before, but feel free to just dance! This can often be just the activity that is needed for you to relieve some of the anxiety.
48. Play a Game.
Nothing takes off stress like just taking time out to play a game. It’s simple and the objective is met within seconds.
Punching things really helps to get a lot of stress, anxiety and fear off of one’s shoulders. There may be nothing more effective than this when you have some raw pent-up energy that’s making you anxious that you just have to release immediately.
50. Write Down Your Own List of Things That Help You Get Over Anxiety.
We’d love for you to add to our list, drop us any suggestions in the comments below and we’ll add them in when we get the chance. In the mean time, check out the rest of our site for more help, advice and guidance. You can always get in touch with us and we’ll help where we can.