Feeling Anxious? Try These 2-Minute Remedies!

Anxiety is like a whirlwind, taking over faster than you can say “I’m anxious.” But when stress and anxiety are normal parts of life, it is important to learn healthy ways to cope. Some of the best methods only take two minutes – really!

It is an act of self-care. During times of distress, being kind to yourself is more important than ever. Otherwise, it can all build up and do a number on your physical, mental, and emotional health. When you are faced with anxious feelings, do one of these exercises. It will seriously transform the way you deal with anxiety.


2-Minute Remedies To Calm Your Anxiety

1. Belly Breathing

Belly Breathing

Belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, is a basic exercise. The key is to inhale and exhale slowly. This type of breathing is linked to happiness and calmness.1

  • Lie or sit down in a comfy position.
  • Put one hand on your belly, right below the ribs.
  • Deeply inhale through your nose so the belly moves in.
  • Deeply exhale through your mouth so the belly moves out.
  • Repeat for 2 minutes.

2. Pursed Lip Breathing

Use pursed lip breathing to slow your breathing and help you relax.

This variation slows down breathing, making it ideal for anxious moments.2 Again, steady breaths will bring on calmness.3

  • Inhale slowly through your nose.
  • Pucker your lips, as if you are going to kiss someone on the cheek.
  • Exhale slowly through pursed lips.
  • Repeat for 2 minutes.

3. Quieting Response Breathing Exercise

The quieting response exercise combines visualization with deep breathing, helping you stop anxiety in its tracks.

To combine deep breathing and visualization, try this exercise certified by the American Institute of Stress.4 This is best when your mind is all over the place.

  • Sit or lie down in a comfy spot.
  • Smile “inwardly” with your mouth and mind.
  • Release tension in your shoulders and neck.
  • Imagine holes in the bottom of your feet.
  • Deeply inhale through your nose, pretending hot air is moving through your feet and up your body.
  • Envision the air filling up your lungs.
  • Deeply exhale through your mouth.
  • Visualize the air going down through your body and out your feet.
  • Repeat for 2 minutes.

4. Focused Breathing

Focused breathing exercise involves paying all your attention to the breath while meditating.

This exercise combines breathing and meditation. All of your attention should be on the breath, so be sure to avoid distractions.

  • Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Slowly inhale through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Focus on the breath and nothing more.
  • Continue for 2 minutes.

5. Object-Focused Meditation

Object-focused meditation requires you to gaze at an object without blinking while focusing on breathing.

Object-focused meditation requires an item, like a candle or even a body part. This is a great way to replace the source of anxiety with something more pleasant. For example, if you are anxious about an assignment, look away from the computer and focus on a plant.

  • Position yourself 4 feet away from an item. It should be at eye level.
  • Relax the body.
  • Gaze at the object without blinking. Stay still.
  • Close your eyes once you cannot keep them open any longer.
  • Visualize the item.
  • When it fades away, focus on breathing until 2 minutes are up.

6. Counting Meditation

Counting meditation requires you to steadily count to 60 while envisioning each number to strengthen focus.

If you do not have a pleasant object nearby, do a counting meditation. You can do this in bed or on the way to work.

  • Close your eyes.
  • Release any tension.
  • Steadily count to 60.
  • Envision each number to strengthen focus.
  • Start again at 1 and repeat until 60.

While you are at it, step back from your anxious thoughts. Ask yourself if these thoughts are the truth – or is your mind just running wild. Checking in with yourself is a powerful thing.

View anxiety as your guide. It sounds strange, but anxiety is a sign that something needs to change. Maybe it is an unhealthy relationship or poor habits. Whatever it is, trace back the reason to anxious thoughts and decide what to work on.