What is anxiety? How can I treat anxiety?

What you will get from this article:

  • Understand that everyone feels anxiety on some level
  • Learn 8 effective methods to help you get rid of anxiety
  • Find the knowledge you need to turn your anxiety into the fuel you need to pursue your dreams

how to get rid of anxiety man sitting alone in woods

Have you ever been so afraid you couldn’t move? Have you ever felt a sense of fear or panic, even when you know it’s not rational? Extreme fear makes us freeze, but what happens when that fear never goes away? For people who are anxious, scared or fearful, everyday tasks can feel impossible.

Learning how to get rid of anxiety is essential to living a normal life. You have goals and dreams to achieve. You want to live a full life, not be tied down by hesitation and fear.

Can you get rid of anxiety? The answer is yes.

Those who want to learn how to get rid of anxiety for good should work with a therapist or health coach to dig deeper into the causes of their feelings. In the meantime, you can learn to master your emotions and take back your life.

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What causes anxiety?

Before you can learn how to get rid of anxiety, you first have to understand what it is. In short, anxiety is excessive, persistent fear or worry in non-threatening situations. The causes of anxiety aren’t always clear and they can be different from person to person. Genetic and environmental factors can both play a part, as can conditioned responses and limiting beliefs that were developed in childhood. Anxiety can come from specific triggers, like flying in an airplane or speaking in public, or manifest in generalized fear and worry about small, everyday triggers.

Anxiety can also manifest in a number of different ways such as shortness of breath, sweating, sleep problems, muscle tension and tremors. Those who have persistent anxiety can have trouble concentrating, have an impending sense of disaster and feel jumpy or restless.

Can you get rid of anxiety?

Yes, you can get rid of anxiety. This type of fear is just another way we make meaning of the world around us. When we are in dangerous or stressful situations, fear and anxiety are extremely useful emotions. They heighten our senses and prepare us for “fight or flight.” But if you’re purely living your day-to-day life, these emotions don’t feel so useful. And they may have you wondering how to get rid of anxiety that is not serving you.

Remember, everyone deals with fear differently. You may never get rid of fear entirely, but you can learn how to handle anxiety so that it doesn’t control your life.

Here’s a real-life example. Tony Robbins has worked with both Carly Simon and Bruce Springsteen. Both felt the same kinds of physical sensations when they became anxious. For Carly, anxiety was crippling, but for Bruce, it made him feel more alive. For some, the idea of public speaking or exceeding the speed limit causes feelings of crippling fear. For others, that kind of anxiety is exhilarating and they have no desire to get rid of anxiety because it serves a purpose.

It’s not that successful people are never afraid; it’s that they are more afraid of not living a full, rich life than they are of whatever else might be holding them back. Instead of being crippled by fear and anxiety, they use that fear to push them further toward their goals. With these top ways to get rid of anxiety, you can reach that state as well.

How to get rid of anxiety

If you can get to the root of your anxiety, you can learn to use fearful emotions to your advantage. These ways to get rid of anxiety are long-term solutions that will help you feel calmer, more centered and less anxious – for good.

Accept your anxiety

For some people, learning how to get rid of anxiety is not possible or even necessary. Remember, you don’t have to feel good to be productive. Develop the knowledge and skills you need to move forward when you feel yourself being swept up in moments of anxiety-related fear or panic. When you train your brain to accept that you’re afraid but move forward anyway, it doesn’t matter if you’re fearful – you have a freedom that most people don’t have.

how to treat anxiety girl with arms open

Learn to leverage your fear


As Tony says, “Let fear be a counselor and not a jailer.” One of the best ways to get rid of anxiety is to understand how to leverage fear. Be more scared of settling for less; be more afraid of not living an extraordinary life. Challenge yourself to push past the fears. Establish empowering beliefs that turn negatives into positives. When you realize that your fears – either real or imagined – are less scary than not hitting your objective, you’ll be driven to act.

Ditch bad habits

Your mind and your physical body are deeply connected – so you must cut out cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine. Nicotine and caffeine are both stimulants that cause increased heart rate and blood pressure, which are bad news for people with anxiety. Alcohol is a depressant, so it’s often followed by a “crash” that leaves you feeling worse than before. Alcohol can also mask the real cause of your anxiety – and to truly discover how to get rid of anxiety, you have to face the cause head-on.

Ditch bad habits

Take care of your body

How to get rid of anxiety

Eating healthy and exercising are also vital ways to get rid of anxiety. Stop eating simple and processed carbohydrates like candy, cereal, soft drinks and white bread. These cause a spike in your blood sugar that can make you anxious. Load up on whole grains, vegetables and legumes instead. Exercise is also key. Find a workout you enjoy, like yoga, dance or even just walking the dog. Exercise, especially outdoors or with a social group, is key to reducing anxiety.

Learn how to visualize

Everyone from Olympic athletes to top entrepreneurs uses the power of visualization techniques to achieve their goals. These techniques are also an excellent tool for those wondering how to get rid of anxiety. You might picture your worries floating away in the ocean or picture yourself fighting your anxiety – and winning. If you have a specific fear, like public speaking, visualize yourself giving a presentation flawlessly. The more you succeed at overcoming anxiety in your visualizations, the easier it will become in real life.

How to get rid of anxiety

Use the rocking chair method

how to get rid of anxiety rocking chair on porch

The rocking chair method is easy: Picture yourself at 85 years old, in your rocking chair, reflecting on your life. Imagine you did whatever it is that makes you anxious; maybe it’s changing careers, learning to fly a helicopter or taking a trip somewhere new. How do you feel? What’s your life been like as a result of the decision? Then examine how your life looks without achieving the thing that makes you anxious or fearful. Do you look back and feel like you missed out? Do you have regrets or sadness? Once you become more fearful of not taking action, discovering how to get rid of anxiety feels less daunting.

Strengthen your support system

Who you spend time with has an enormous impact on your mindset. If you have a healthy relationship and supportive friends, you’re much more likely to deal with stress well and maintain a positive outlook on life. But even if you have a good support system, you can always strengthen it. To learn how to get rid of anxiety, consider working with a health coach. A coach can help you uncover the reasons for your anxiety and develop habits that will increase your fulfillment in all areas of life.

Supportive friends

Ways to get rid of anxiety right now

As you’re working on your long-term goals, you may still feel anxious from time to time and wonder, how can you get rid of anxiety right now? Here are six ways you can stop anxiety in its tracks.

1. Use the 90-second rule

The 90-second rule is one of Tony Robbins’ natural remedies for anxiety. Accept that you feel fearful in the moment and look at a timer or clock; you have 90 seconds to feel terrible. Align your head and your heart through heart breathing and allow yourself 90 seconds to feel self-pity or fear or anger or worry. Then change your focus and let it go. Move on for good and accept that those feelings are in the past. Once you do this enough, getting rid of anxiety becomes easier, because you’re accepting the feelings instead of pushing them away.

2. Change your posture

Those who have experienced anxiety know that it can quickly spiral out of control, leaving you trembling, sweating or finding it difficult to breathe. Feeling internally anxious greatly affects your physical being. So how can you get rid of anxiety? The answer could be as simple as changing your physical state. Lift your chest a little higher or use power poses, like holding your arms in a V above your head or standing with your hands on your hips. Two minutes of power posing can increase confidence.

3. Create an incantation

Rather than approaching a situation with an “I’m so anxious” mantra, you can flip that nervous negativity into positive energy by using an incantation that turns anxiety into productivity. Tony uses incantations as part of his morning ritual, and when he’s feeling anxious, he’s trained himself to say, “I can be fearful and do it anyway. I don’t have to get rid of the fear, I just have to dance with it.” You can create your own incantation to learn how to get rid of anxiety in the moment.

4. Get outside

Most of us look for what’s wrong in our world. When we look for what’s wrong, we’ll always find it. However, there is plenty of what’s right in the world as well – and nature can remind us of this. Perhaps that’s why studies have found being in nature for as little as 10 minutes can reduce stress and anxiety. Go for a walk, do some gardening or sit outside for a few minutes. A change of scenery and fresh air is one of the best ways to get rid of anxiety.

5. Get active

Exercise has a wide variety of benefits, from improving heart health to reducing depression and lowering anxiety. When you exercise, your brain releases hormones that improve your mood and make you feel good. You don’t need to run a marathon or take a Zumba class to get these benefits. If you need to know how to get rid of anxiety right now, taking a brisk walk or striking a few yoga poses will do the trick.

6. Breathe deeply

When you feel anxiety coming on, you can use on-the-spot relaxation techniques. The easiest of them all is deep breathing. Feeling that tightness in your chest or rapid heartbeat that comes with anxiety? Focus on your breath: Breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose. When it comes to how to get rid of anxiety, remember that where focus goes, energy flows. Focus on your breath, and there won’t be room in your mind for anxiety.

7. Meditate

Meditation is proven to reduce anxiety, depression and even physical pain. It trains your brain to live in the moment, letting go of the past and not worrying about the future. You’ll use exercises like the “body scan,” where you connect with each part of your body, or mindful breathing, where you focus on feeling and appreciating your breath. You can perform a quick meditation for focus anywhere that you can get some personal space – at work, at home or while traveling. 

8. Laugh

When you need to figure out how to get rid of anxiety immediately, it can feel like the last thing you want to do is laugh. But the act of laughter can actually change your state. Try smiling – right now. It sounds silly, but you probably felt a little better. That’s because of the mind-body connection: your body sends signals to your mind, not always the other way around. “Take five” and put on a funny video, a happy song or your favorite comedian. Laughter really can be the best medicine.

Don’t beat yourself up for feeling anxious. Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives and the goal is to handle it successfully so it does not negatively impact your happiness. Recognize that although fear may be part of your story and you may never figure out how to get rid of anxiety entirely, you have the control and drive you need to succeed.

Important note

The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. See full disclaimer.

Discover how to harness feelings that empower you

Do not let the effects of anxiety prevent you from living the extraordinary life you deserve. Learn ways to identify and conquer the beliefs that inhibit your growth with Tony Robbins’ Limiting Beliefs guide.