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Emotional SOS: 10 easy tactics to tackle anxiety and lift your mood

Emotional SOS: 10 easy tactics to tackle anxiety and lift your mood

Next time you’re feeling stressed, anxious, offended, frustrated or upset, try a few of these expert recommended easy strategies to tackle anxiety and lift your mood

It’s normal to get stressed and experience feelings of anger, frustration and anxiety at times, but, it’s the way you handle these emotions that could make all of the difference.  For those who let negative feelings fester and get the higher of you this could have a profound effect in your wellbeing.

‘Feeling stressed and anxious every so often is an element of life,’ says Professor Margareta James, Psychologist at Harley Street Wellbeing Clinic.

‘But, when persistent worrying starts to interfere along with your day by day life, that’s when it could change into an issue. Stress causes your brain to enter a strong emotional state and this makes it inconceivable to think clearly.

‘Whenever you change into overwhelmed by stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, the logical a part of the brain switches off and you possibly can’t think straight. As a substitute, you’re feeling more anxious and lose perspective, in order that problems seem even greater.

Stress causes your brain to enter a strong emotional state

‘Step one is to recognise what’s happening and stop your emotions from getting out of hand. Probably the most effective approach to do that is to have some emotional SOS strategies you possibly can fall back on.’

Listed here are some emotional SOS techniques to try at any time when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your emotions…

#1 Mind Calming Scents

‘The one thing that works faster than another sense is your sense of smell,’ says Professor James.

‘Whenever you smell something, you could have an quick, instinctive response that absolutely bypasses logical thought. That’s because smell goes straight to the emotional (limbic) a part of the brain.

Certain scents may have a soothing, calming effect on the brain

‘There’s an evolutionary, survival reason for this. For those who open the fridge and pick up something that’s off, for instance, your brain immediately communicates to you to not eat this. Just as smell can act as a warning, it could also act on the brain in a positive way.

‘Certain scents may have a soothing, calming effect on the brain. These include favourite scents that you simply associate with feeling glad and calm. It may very well be a favorite fragrance that reminds you of a beautiful holiday, a deliciously scented hand cream, or a calming essential oil.

‘So, tactic is to all the time carry a scent – eg: a sample vial, a small bottle of essential oil or a mini hand cream – the smell of which you associate with positive emotions. So, at any time when you’re feeling your stress levels rising, the smell of your favourite, soothing scent will allow you to feel calmer.’

Quick Fix Mood Balancing Essential Oils


Researchers on the Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, have found that the scent of jasmine has the identical calming, sedative effect on the central nervous system as commonly prescribed sleeping pills and sedatives.

Brain scans showed that inhaling jasmine molecule enhanced the effect of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), an amino acid, produced naturally within the brain, by greater than five times. GABA activity helps to chill out, reduce stress and anxiety and balance mood.

Try: Tisserand Jasmine Ethically Harvested Pure Essential Oil, £35 for 2ml.


The scent of lavender essential oil may help to induce feelings of calmness and lessen anxiety.

In a recent study by researchers at Kagoshima University, Japan, it was shown that linalool (an lively ingredient in lavender) has a big anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety, effect.

Try: Alexandra Kay’s beautiful range which incorporates ‘Time To Sleep’ with sleep-inducing Lavender, Bergamot & Frankincense, 10ml,  £20.00

#2 The Havening Techniques

‘If you must calm down quickly, the Havening technique (created by created by Neuroscientist, Dr Ronald Ruden) may be very effective at helping to cut back stress and anxiety,’ says Professor James.

stroke the perimeters of your arms, stroke your face, or rub the palms of your hands together

‘This easy technique generates brainwaves that restore calmness. All you could have to do is: stroke the perimeters of your arms, stroke your face, or rub the palms of your hands together for five to 10 minutes. This robotically causes your brain to provide calming brainwaves.

‘That is an ideal technique since it’s really easy to do and works in minutes to bring you back right into a state of equilibrium. The act of stroking your arms, your face or rubbing your hands sends messages to your brain that every one is okay.’


#3 Change the way in which you Breathe

‘Your breath communicates directly along with your brain and is one in every of the quickest ways to calm your nerves in any situation. Just by adjusting the way in which you breathe, this may have an effect in your nervous system,’ says Professor James.

‘For those who’re feeling stressed or anxious, for instance, respiratory is more shallow and this stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, triggering the fight or flight response.

‘But, for those who breathe slowly and deeply into your diaphragm, this prompts the parasympathetic nervous system, inducing feelings of calm and leisure. So, just by learning the way to modify your respiratory you possibly can influence your emotional response.’

Professor James recommends this Respiration Exercise to Reduce Stress and Anxiety – the 4 Part Breath:

  • Slowly breath in through your nose to a count of 4 – 6
  • Hold for 4 – 6
  • Exhale for 4 – 6
  • Hold for 4 – 6
  • Repeat this for 10 rounds

For those who need assistance to decelerate your respiratory, take a look at this convenient GIF:


#4 Write it Down

‘Research shows that writing down your fears lets you process them, nevertheless it’s also necessary to remind yourself that you simply will likely be high-quality,’ says Dr Sarah Brewer, Consultant Medical Nutritionist and writer of Cut Your Stress

‘Divide a page into two columns. Within the column on the left, write down your three important concerns. Within the column on the suitable, headed ‘ways this will likely be alright’ and next to every concern counteract your feelings with something positive and comforting.

‘Over time, your mind will robotically hunt down the interior reassurance and these anxieties will lose their power.’

Research shows that writing down your fears lets you process them

For instance:

 ‘I didn’t get the job’ –  in the subsequent column, write, ‘I didn’t get the job, since it wasn’t right for me’.

Or, ‘I’m not funny, interesting or shiny enough’ – next to this, write down five good things about yourself.

#5 The Power of Distraction

Studies show that distraction is one of the effective tactics to calm a churning mind.

‘After we feel anxious, we change into hypervigilant to perceived threats,’ says Dr Brewer.

‘That is when a dose of distraction may help to limit the rising sense of tension. Finding displacement activities similar to listening to music (e.g.: make a playlist of your favourite songs), getting stuck into book, watching a movie or comedy, drawing, painting or doing a crossword – are all good ways to distract the mind and stop obsessive over considering (ruminating) that may even result in panic attacks.’


#6 Doodle your Gratitudes

‘Keeping a gratitude journal or diary where you write down a minimum of three to 5 belongings you’re grateful for daily generally is a useful approach to cope with anxieties,’ says Dr Brewer.

‘One other approach is to doodle how this makes you’re feeling. For instance, if someone has been kind to you, think how you possibly can doodle this. What shapes, colors, textures come to mind? Think of how you possibly can illustrate, draw, doodle those moments, situations, feelings people you’re feeling grateful for.’

cultivating gratitude is helpful for physical and emotional wellbeing

In a single older US study (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2003) it was found that participants who either made weekly entries in a gratitude journal for 2 months, or day by day for 13 days, experienced a positive effect on their sense of wellbeing.

Subsequent studies have shown that cultivating gratitude is helpful for physical and emotional wellbeing.

#7 Take heed to 432 Music

Listening to music that has been tuned to 432Hz will calm you down and fill you with a way of peace and wellbeing in as little as two minutes.

Scientific studies (carried out within the US and UK) have shown that listening to 432Hz music promotes calming brain waves and lowers blood pressure, heart rate and stress.

‘Music that’s tuned to a 432Hz frequency vibrates at the identical rhythm because the earth’s heartbeat (often known as the Shumann Resonance),’ says singer and sound therapist, Denise Leicester.

‘That is the optimum frequency for good health.’

Download 432 Soul Medicine music, or hearken to classical music by Mozart or Verdi.


#8 The 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique

‘For those who feel anxious or panicky about something, this exercise is well-known grounding technique that can calm you down in two to a few minutes,’ says Atifa Ismailmiya-Balding, an Integrative Therapist and Psychotherapist (surreyhillswellness.co.uk).

‘This exercise engages all five senses, so that you simply deal with the moment and release anxious thoughts.’

  • Squeeze your hands tightly and take a deep breath and hold it for a number of seconds.
  • Unclench your hands and exhale.
  • Go searching and spot 5 things you possibly can see – e.g.: a tree, a clock.
  • Notice 4 things you possibly can touch – e.g.: a soft jumper, the bark of a tree, a leaf.
  • Notice 3 things you possibly can hear – e.g.: bird song, the whirr of the washer,
  • Notice 2 things you possibly can smell – e.g.: soap, fruit, flowers.
  • Notice 1 thing you possibly can taste – e.g.: your morning cup of coffee, the residue of toothpaste in your mouth etc.

#9 Practice Mindfulness

‘Mindfulness is an easy technique that may really help to cut back anxious thoughts and calm the mind,’ says Atifa.

‘Even being mindful in 5 to 10 minute slots throughout the day may be very useful. Mindfulness is being attentive to the current moment and observing your thoughts and emotions, with none judgement.

‘By specializing in your breath and bodily sensations, even when a negative thought creeps in, you possibly can let it go. You may apply mindfulness to any situation – e.g.: making a cup of tea. Mindfulness gives you the space to do things in another way.’


#10 Have an Emotional First Aid Kit – natural remedies and supplements to assist balance your mood


‘The mineral magnesium has a naturally calming effect on the body,’ says Rob Hobson, Consultant Nutritionist with complement brand Healthspan.

‘It causes muscles to chill out, calms nervous tension and relaxes the mind. Ideally, take a magnesium complement day by day. The secure upper limit is 400mg day by day.’

Foods which are wealthy in magnesium include: leafy greens (kale, spinach, parsley, watercress), almonds, cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fish and dark chocolate (over 70% cacao).

Try: Healthspan Magnesium (375mg) with vitamin B complex, £9.45.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are essential for the brain and nervous system and help maintain normal mood. Also they are needed for energy production in cells to assist reduce tiredness and fatigue.

Try: Viridian High-Two Complex, 30 tablets, £9.30 – a mix of all of the B vitamin and B2 which support the nervous system.


‘There’s a powerful connection between useful bacteria in your gut and mood,’ says Rob.

‘In a study involving 30 individuals with chronic fatigue, taking a probiotic complement (providing 24 billion lactobacillus strain) day by day for 2 months, the outcomes showed there was a big decrease in anxiety symptoms in those taking the prebiotic versus the placebo.’

Try: Healthspan Super20 Pro, £10.95.



Also often known as passion flower,  Passiflora is an herbal treatment to support your nervous system and ease anxiety.

‘Herbal remedies are a secure and natural approach to help support the body when feelings of overwhelm can result in anxiety,’ says Professor James.

‘Passiflora is a herb that works by boosting the degrees of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) within the brain. This compound lowers stressful brain activity and helps to induce feelings of calm and leisure.

Try: A. Vogel Passiflora Complex Tablets, £12.99. Also, available as a relaxing spray, A. Vogel Passiflora Complex Spray, £12.99 – Incorporates extracts of fresh Passiflora herb, valerian root, lemon balm, magnesium and zinc.


Oats are full of nerve soothing nutrients including B vitamins, magnesium, calcium and essential fatty acids that may help to alleviate anxiety and mild depression. The simplest approach to get your oats is to eat a bowl of organic oats for breakfast.

Try: Flahavan’s Organic Oats.


Quite a lot of studies have shown that the herb chamomile can aid leisure and help alleviate anxiety, depression and insomnia.

In a recent study (Phytomedicine, 2016) it was found that chamomile significantly helped to cut back symptoms of moderate to severe generalised anxiety disorder (essentially the most common anxiety disorder).

Try: Pukka Three Chamomile Organic Tea, £4.19 for 20 teabags.

Visit mentalhealth.org.uk to search out out the way to support your mental health and discover further information on ways to support anxiety.


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