9 Calming Strategies – Reduce Anxiety
Learning effective Calming Strategies for anxiety relaxation techniques is an important part of coping with stress and anxiety. These techniques won’t cure anxiety on their own – for that, you need a more extensive anxiety treatment – but they can reduce your anxiety during times of high stress, and the less anxiety you experience, the easier it is to cope with anxiety later.
There are several fool-proof techniques for fighting anxiety. Many people wonder whether these anxiety reduction techniques actually work, or if they’re simply a placebo – where only those that believe they work will actually benefit from them. The reality is that relaxation exercises do work, but they take a type of commitment that not everyone is ready for.
Are Relaxation Exercises and Meditation the Same Thing?
Meditation is most certainly a type of relaxation exercise, but it’s not the only relaxation exercise. Many experts have taken key qualities from meditation and put them to use in other exercises, in order to provide further relaxation benefits.
For example, meditation uses mantras as a way of distracting the mind. Some relaxation exercises use mantras, while others use counting backwards or repeating a positive phrase. All of these operate under the same principle – to ease the mind from its stress.
What Are Mantras and Why Are They Used?
Mantras are sounds that a person makes during meditation. Many people know the most common sound, “Om,” which is used in a lot of the media depictions of meditation.
The original purpose of mantras was to get the individual in touch with various spiritual deities. Many people have lost the spiritual component of these mantras, but continue to use mantras, affirmations, and counting exercise to get some of the same benefits. These benefits include:
• Mental DistractionThe key benefit beyond the spiritual component is the mental distraction. Mantras force your mind to think about something else – to think about the mantra – which reduces the amount of mental energy you can use on the issues that are upsetting you.
• Sensory UseMantras also stimulate the senses, which is also an effective way to distract from anxiety. Much like the mental distraction of making the mantra, noise stimulates the brain using auditory and possibly even tactile ways (if you feel it in your throat), which has a calming effect.
• Calming ActivityThe sounds themselves may also be calming. Repeating positive phrases, for example, allows you to be listening to something positive rather than something negative. Mantras may also be relaxing noises.
Other activities, like counting backwards or repeating positive phrases, may add to this experience. Even without a spiritual component, making mantras and noises adds to the relaxation experience.