There are many tools and techniques to help reduce anxiety. It’s about finding what works best for you.
We’ve all experienced anxiety, and some people may be more prone to feeling anxious and aware of it then others. Sometimes our anxiety feels more manageable then other times. When we go through difficult situations, our anxiety levels can soar. When we become anxious, we may not think about tools we can use to reduce anxiety.
Here are some tips you may find helpful to alleviate anxiety.
1. Start a ten-minute meditation practice in the morning. You can use a guided meditation to help you start and if you need some ideas, you may want to check out one of my favorite apps, Insight Timer. You can choose from a number of guided meditations. Another way to start meditating is to visualize a safe and peaceful place. You can listen to some relaxing music, or just sit quietly while you and picture yourself in this place. Bring your awareness to how it feels in the body when you’re in a safe place. Track your sensations, and notice if you start to feel more relaxed and settled. This image of a safe place can be with you throughout the day when ever you feel anxious, or just want to check in, work with the energy of calmness from the image and visualize it often even when you’re not meditating. See how you feel and compare it to when you don’t do this. Is there a difference? Often, this practice reduces anxiety. Give it a week and see if you feel any changes.
2. Exercise is essential for reducing anxiety levels. It creates endorphins, a hormone in the body that helps us feel good. When we can change our biochemistry by exercising this contributes to our overall state of happiness and well being. Exercise helps us to experience and feel movement inside our body. When we feel like we can move inside our body, we feel less stuck emotionally, less depressed and fearful. If we feel restless, agitated, or bored exercise can help us release energy and feel more grounded and settled. Sometimes, more exercise and movement causes us to feel more stressed. Feeling constant motion can add to feelings of tension and anxiety. If this is the case, change your exercise routine and try an exercise that promotes movement in a relaxing way like walking, or gentle yoga. Monitor your energy, and track what feels good inside your body. This will give you peace of mind.
3. Take a pause. When you start to feel anxiety in your body, pay attention to your breath. Breath in slowly and gently for a couple minutes. You may try holding your breath for a few seconds before you breath out slowly. Do this several times to help your body settle. Notice as you take a pause and breath slowly and mindfully, how your body feels. You might find yourself feeling more relaxed. If you’d like to try another technique, you can purse your lips together, like your whistling to regain the Co2 balance into your system. Often these levels decrease when anxiety levels increase. Taking a pause is a way that can help us slow down, reduce anxiety, and respond, instead of react. Taking a pause can slow our reaction time down, giving us more control over our emotions. In practicing these tools for reducing anxiety, it can help us to not feel so overwhelmed.
4. Don’t judge yourself. Often when we feel anxious, we can easily become critical of ourselves. We may find it difficult to understand why we react the way we do. Knowing something intellectually doesn’t always change the way we feel. Often we may feel stupid, ashamed, embarrassed, hopeless and worthless. If we can recognize that judgments are often verbal expressions of anxiety then we can support ourselves by accepting and empathizing instead of judging. We can begin to see ourselves differently.
I hope these few helpful tips are something you will try and find valuable. We all feel anxiety to varying degrees. Trying some of these simple techniques can help you feel more grounded, less anxious, and more peaceful. Click here to read more about Anxiety Treatment.