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7 quick hacks to reduce anxiety in just 5 minutes

In a stressful situation, some people are prone to experiencing anxiety. Follow these 7 tips to reduce anxiety within 5 minutes.
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Kick away anxiety in 5 minutes! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 15 Jun 2024, 03:06 pm IST
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Practicing yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help reduce stress and anxiety but what about situations where you don’t have enough time? What if you are in a waiting room for an interview? What if you are stuck in traffic and feeling anxious? Or maybe you are in the middle of a hectic workday and need a quick way to calm down? For such situations, we have a few hacks that can help eliminate stress and anxiety within 5 minutes. Whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go, these techniques are known to provide quick relief and help you regain your composure, so you can face your day with a sense of calm and control!

How to reduce anxiety?

Here are 7 ultimate tips to reduce anxiety in 5 minutes and feel a sense of calm:

1. Diaphragmatic breathing

Managing anxiety quickly is possible with a few effective techniques. One such powerful method is diaphragmatic breathing. Have you ever noticed how your breathing changes when you are stressed? Well, by consciously controlling your breath, you can engage your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps calm your body. To practice this, sit comfortably, close your eyes, and inhale deeply through your nose, expanding your belly. Hold your breath for a moment, then exhale slowly through your mouth, tightening your abdominal muscles to push out as much air as possible. This slow exhalation can shift your attention away from stress.

Also read: Stress management 101: Here is how deep breathing can help you feel calmer

2. Go for a walk

Going for a short walk can do wonders in releasing stress and anxiety. Walking boosts endorphin levels, the body’s natural mood lifters. As you move, all your worries start to calm down. If possible, go for a walk in the park where you can feel the air, enjoy your surroundings, and stay calm. This experience can ground you in the present moment, providing a mental escape from stress. A study published by Medicine found that talking, even a short walk, can help eliminate anxious thoughts.

Walking in nature can reduce stress. Image Courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Say what you feel

Another effective strategy is verbalising your feelings. When was the last time you truly identified and named your emotions? No idea? Try this hack the next time you feel anxious. Ask yourself specific questions about what you are feeling. Are you experiencing fear, anger, or something else? Try to find out the cause of your worry. When you identify your emotions, it activates your brain, helping to reduce their intensity and provide a sense of clarity. It is like turning on the lights in a dark room and suddenly, things don’t seem as scary.

Also read: Do you constantly feel overwhelmed? Here’s how to stay calm

4. Stretch yourself

Did you know that stretching can be a powerful way to reduce stress and anxiety? Imagine you are hunched over your desk, your shoulders tense and your jaw clenched. Can you feel the stress building up? Do not worry, simple stretches can help release this tension. Try pressing the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth to relax your jaw. Roll your head slowly in circles to loosen your neck muscles. Shrug your shoulders up as if saying, “I don’t know,” hold, then let them drop. You will sense an immediate relief. By physically relaxing your body, you send signals to your brain that it’s time to unwind, creating a sense of calm, according to a study published by the National Library of Medicine.

5. Imagine what you like

Guided imagery can shift your thinking to a place of peace. Imagine a serene scene or a comforting place you have had in the past. If you are unable to remember anything, picture the ocean, the smell of the rain, nature or anything you feel may make you calm. Engage all your senses in this mental image. Breathe deeply and imagine inhaling peace and exhaling tension. This visualisation can trigger a relaxation response in your body, similar to the effect of actually being in that place.

This tips can help you stay happy and optimistic in life. Image courtesy: Freepik

6. Listen to music

Music is another powerful tool to reduce anxiety and stress, according to a study published by the Public Library of Science. Have you ever noticed how music can change your mood? Well, listening to calming or uplifting music can shift your focus and provide a mental break, which can make it easier to return to tasks with a clearer mind quickly. You can also create a playlist of your favorite songs that can lift your spirits and provide a distraction from anxiety. Start with a few current favorites, then add more from different times in your life. And you are done. Whenever you feel anxious, turn on your favorite music.

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Also read: 5 types of relationship anxiety that may be healthy for your bond!

7. Play 5-5-5 game

The 5-5-5 game is a mindfulness game that helps ground you, reduce stress and anxiety and brings a sense of calm within minutes. So, when anxiety strikes, look around and name five things you can see. Next, focus on five things you can touch and feel their textures. Finally, listen for five sounds you can hear. Can you spot details you had not noticed before? By engaging your senses, this exercise pulls you into the present moment, distracting your mind from anxious thoughts.

So, give these hacks a try next time you need a quick mental reset!

Aayushi Gupta

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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