How To Quickly Stop Relaxation Induced Anxiety

"How do I stop my anxiety when I am supposed to be relaxed?"

"One second I am relaxed, the next I am all anxious!"

"Why do I feel anxiety when I am relaxed? Is this common?"

"I am obviously not relaxing completely since I feel anxiety a few minutes into it."

Does trying to calm down or relax make you even more anxious?

Surprisingly, you are in good company. Research suggests that about 15% of the population is prone to what's called “relaxation induced anxiety.”

Relaxation induced anxiety is what happens when your efforts to calm down backfires and makes you feel more uptight.

Here's what happens: One minute you're chilling out in your hammock listening to your favorite music and loving life. The next thing you know, you're back on your feet worried about that funny sound your car was making on the way home from the store.

So what can you do? If relaxation causes anxiety, what else will do the trick?

Understand Relaxation Induced Anxiety

Distinguish between different anxiety issues.

You know you're dealing with relaxation induced anxiety when those uneasy sensations hit you after you've been able to ease up for a little while.

  • Never being able to relax, or only responding to music rather than massage, is characteristic of different conditions.

Is it relaxation induced anxiety or something else?


Recognize your obstacles.

Pay attention to your thoughts and how they interfere with your good vibes

  • You may think you look sloppy unless you're dressed up for a business meeting.
  • Maybe you still hear your parents or teachers lecturing you about being lazy if they spotted you taking a break.

What are your obstacles?


Monitor your body.

Some people get unduly alarmed about physical sensations that occur when you slow down or speed up.

  • Get familiar with your resting heart rate. Learn to sense when it's increasing or when your breath becomes shallower or your body stiffens. Recognize that these changes are natural.

What is your body telling you?


How To Manage Relaxation Induced Anxiety

Accept your feelings.

One of the most powerful methods for overcoming any form of anxiety is to embrace it. Express compassion for yourself and whatever hardships you're going through.

  • Acknowledge that challenges are a part of life.
  • Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments.

How are you feeling?


Go easy.

You probably know what it's like when you try to stop thinking about your lost luggage. Pretty soon it's popping up in your thoughts more than ever.

  • Similarly, forcing yourself to be still can backfire and make you feel more agitated.
  • Gradually incorporate relaxation techniques into your life.

Can you slow down a little bit at a time?


Drop your expectations.

Different techniques work for different people. Keep an open mind. Enjoy trying out a new herbal remedy or practicing a variation of your usual breathing exercises.

  • Just by focusing on the process of relaxation, you can increase your mindfulness, which can be soothing all by itself.

What are your expectations?


Be specific.

You may need more guidance than just telling yourself to calm down. Scan your body and your mind. Unclench your jaw and lower your shoulders. Give yourself a pep talk.

What do you need to relax?


Level with yourself.

Match your words to your reality. Trying to ignore a serious illness could make you more upset than facing it head on.

What's the honest truth?


Change the way you act.

Identify the events that typically make you anxious and come up with new responses. You may find that a colleague is willing to restructure assignments rather than delegating work to you at the last minute.

What can you do differently?


Choose meaningful rewards.

Reinforce your emerging good habits. Take yourself out to a concert or get a manicure.

How will you reward yourself?


Help others.

Serving others beats most distractions that offer little long term relief. Minor worries fade away when you get caught up in volunteer work or bringing food to a sick friend.

Who needs your help?


Consider therapy.

If excessive anxiety is disrupting your life, there are many effective treatments available. Talk with your doctor about the best options for you.

Do you think a therapist can help you? Be honest when you answer. You goal is to relax and feel better.


Relaxation is an essential part of keeping yourself healthy, happy, well and productive.

Learn to develop effective strategies for dealing with your own individual anxiety triggers.

You'll quickly become more comfortable and actually loosen up.

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