Best protocols for reducing anxiety


To reduce anxiety effectively, shares several practical protocols:

  1. Social Connection: Regular social interaction is crucial in mitigating long-term stress and anxiety. Physical presence and meaningful conversations help reduce stress more effectively than digital interactions 1.

  2. Exercise and Breathing: Engaging in regular physical activities and specific breathing techniques can significantly reduce anxiety. Exercise helps by managing neural circuits that control stress, while breathing techniques like prolonged exhalation activate the parasympathetic system, calming the body 2.

  3. Cold Exposure: Implementing a three-minute cold shower or submerging in cold water can boost alertness and focus, which indirectly helps manage stress. This practice activates neurochemicals like dopamine and acetylcholine 3.

    Social Connection and Stress

    Andrew Huberman discusses the surprising tools that can help reduce long-term stress, with social connection being a key factor. Contrary to popular belief, certain types of social connection can mitigate stress more effectively than exercise or real-time stress-reducing tools.

    Huberman Lab

    Tools for Managing Stress & Anxiety | Huberman Lab Podcast #10
  4. Cognitive Strategies: Employing top-down strategies of awareness, such as mindfulness and meditation, can help alleviate anxiety by changing how the mind perceives and reacts to stressors 4.

  5. Safe Spaces: Creating a designated calm space filled with comforting items like photographs, scents, or music can be beneficial. This space serves as a refuge to unwind and manage stress triggers 4.

  6. Advanced Therapies: In cases of trauma or severe anxiety, therapies that involve re-exposure under safe conditions can help. Associating previously traumatic memories with positive experiences can help in overcoming fear and anxiety 5.

  7. NSDR Protocols: Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) protocols, such as specific forms of hypnosis or Yoga Nidra, are effective in teaching the nervous system to calm down. These protocols can be practiced either during the day or at night to reduce anxiety and improve sleep 6.

By incorporating these strategies, you can create a comprehensive approach to managing and reducing anxiety.