Anxiety is your body and mind’s natural response to stress and apprehension about what is to come.
If you are struggling with anxiety it’s likely impacting your everyday life and it is important to reach out to a professional for help if you are struggling to manage it. We’ve put together 5 helpful ways to help you integrate anxiety-reducing habits and activities into your everyday life.
Find time to relax
Turn on a guided meditation on YouTube or download an app like Calm or Headspace or sit and take note of your breath. Take time to meditate to help you calm your nervous system and connect to your centre. Make time to do activities that help you unwind like going to a yoga class (restorative if you want to relax), or go for a walk in nature. Identify and do those activities that help you unwind and feeds your soul.
Often those with anxiety take shallow short breaths, this causes anxiety. You can consciously change your breathing patterns and different breathing patterns are linked to different emotions. Taking deep breaths that expand your stomach links you into your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) taking you out of “Fight or Flight” that is linked to anxiety. Taking 5 deep slow breaths can completely change your mood. The hardest part of this exercise is remembering to do it.
When you feel overwhelmed take a step back and imagine a place where you feel safe, calm, or in alignment with who you truly are. You can make a list of these moments, places, people or pets that help you feel grounded and calm. When you feel overwhelmed with anxiety take a step back and breathe in these movements. Your body and mind will go back to those places and help you to regulate in the present moment.
Moving your body is effective at reducing anxiety. Movement moves emotions. You don’t have to do it for long to reap the benefits. Commit to going for a 15 min walk in the morning or doing 5 jumping jacks as soon as you get out of bed. You can go to the gym, for a walk, hike, turn on a YouTube workout. Find something that works for you and build it into your everyday routine.
Be kind to yourself. Often, we are the ones causing our anxiety by attacking ourselves internally. Mindfulness is the practice of being present on purpose without judgment. Work to come back to the present moment with compassion. Anxiety is often fear and worries about the future but all you have is right now. Use your senses, breath, and thoughts to help you anchor into the present moment.