There are instances in life that can knock anyone into a place of fear and anxiety. It happens, and it really takes a toll. However, what many people don’t know, is that anxiety is just as much physical as it is mental. You can ease your mind and your body by following these practices, which will be key to getting your feet back on the ground and feeling good.
Anxiety is just passion without breath. So right now, as you read this, take a long, deep breath. Let it fill your ribcage, and slowly come out until you can’t release anymore. Get it all out. Keep practicing this, as it literally takes your body out of “fight or flight” mode — a response our nervous system goes into when anxiety strikes. If you are breathing regularly, your body and mind follow.
Ground Through Your Senses
Engage every single sense that you have —touch, taste, smell, hear, and sight. By watching something calming and inspiring and lighting your favorite candle, you can be present in the moment until you are feeling calmer. This is a way to remain in the present moment while allowing your thoughts to ease, become slower, and start to feel okay. The trick is to remind yourself that in this moment, everything is okay and even beautiful. Don’t think about the past or the future, remain grounded in the now.
Use this time to put on a guided meditation, like our Nightly Meditation or a YouTube video to allow your thoughts to calm. This will allow new perspective and peace into the moment. Or, you can do your own form of meditation, like writing all of your thoughts down, singing or chanting a mantra, or more deep breathing. Explore what makes you feel the most present and at ease.
A major part of easing anxiety is moving your body in ways that feel natural. Dance to music, do some yoga, go for a run, stretch — just make sure you’re moving. Physical stress relieves mental stress, reduces stress hormones, releases serotonin (the happy hormone), and releases the tension your body can hold when you experience anxiety.
Talk to People
Engage with loved ones, vent it out, or simply laugh with them. Have a cup of tea and feel their support and love. They are here to help you, as you would help them. By talking and laughing with others, it provides new perspectives, feelings of support, and a sense of grounding. Talking with others also releases oxytocin, a happy-hormone that is the opposite of fight or flight.
Always turn towards the anchors in your life to ease your worried mind and heart. There are always people and activities to ground yourself and prepare you for all the twists and turns life can throw at you. You are held, you are loved, and you are okay. The first week of October is Mental Health Awareness week, so be sure to take care of yourself and others, and keep informed of ways you can combat anxiety and stress.