Ever since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, millions of people, even those who haven’t been infected, have chosen to quarantine themselves for the upcoming weeks. Several countries have also under complete lockdown to try and break the chain.

While many of us are going through the quarantine period along with family members or loved ones, some of you might be doing it.

First off, don’t worry that you are alone in this. Millions of people worldwide are self-isolating themselves and are fighting the virus. Anxiety is one of the world’s biggest mental health problems and there are nearly 275 million people worldwide who suffer the way you do.

Anxiety is a part of even a normal life and we human beings are programmed to encounter a certain amount of anxiety on a regular basis. Especially now that you are all alone, it is completely normal to feel that way.

Here are a few tips that can help your anxiety levels go down in a jiffy:

  1. One quick way to calm down is by practicing slow and intentional abdominal breathing. Deep belly breathing can increase the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, which can calm you down. A 2017 study demonstrated that diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing significantly reduced anxiety, depression and psychological stress.
  2. Try the 5-5-5 rule. Look around yourself and name 5 things you see, 5 things you hear and move 5 parts of your body. Such a mental trick can alter your mind and bring it back to the present and help relieve anxiety.
  3. Laughter is the best medicine, isn’t it? A good sense of humor might not cure an ailment but think about the positive things laughter can do. Watch a funny clip of your favorite stand-up comedian or any random funny show on the TV or internet. Having a good laugh can lighten your load mentally and can increase endorphin secretions in your brain. Laughter can reduce your depression and anxiety and make you feel happier, mentioned the Mayo Clinic.
  4. Quickly grab a bite of dark chocolate. Eating dark chocolate can increase the levels of serotonin which in turn can reduce the stress that causes anxiety. A 2012 study has demonstrated that eating dark chocolate improved the levels of stress hormones cortisol and catecholamines that are associated with anxiety.
  5. If you don’t find dark chocolate around, you can also have yogurt, green tea, chamomile tea, almonds, or a banana. These foods/beverages contain high amounts of antioxidants that can help reduce your anxiety levels.
  6. Practice mindfulness. It can be a great way to reduce anxiety and improve focus. Focus on the present mental and physical state without being judgmental of it. Doing so counteracts worrying and rumination. A 2008 research documented that practicing mindfulness resulted in statistically significant reductions in clinician-rated and self-reported generalized anxiety disorder symptoms.
  7. Inhale lavender. The essence of lavender has been used for centuries to relieve anxiety and bring about relaxation. If you think you are having a panic attack, inhale the scent of lavender oil to get relieved of the symptoms quickly. But, in case you have recently taken benzodiazepine medications, it is recommended that you avoid lavender, since taking them together can induce excessive drowsiness.
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