Updated: Aug 7, 2020
Anxiety can be crippling, but the more tips we utilize, the more we can control it.
You know the feeling. That bubbly pain in the pit of your stomach, easing up, tightening pressure in the chest & crunching your shoulders up in a position similar to Quasimodo the Hunchback. Breath getting shorter and more shallow with each racing thought that passes your mind.
"Go Away Anxiety!"
You say it. It doesn't work. Your anger at it is making it worse. Your fear others will see it is making it worse. You already know this, but what can you do to relieve it? Here are my top 11 tips on how to relieve anxiety when you've run out of other options.
11 Tips to Relieve Anxiety
1. Blanket Wrap
If your anxiety has come to the point of a panic attack, I highly recommend a blanket wrap. The pressure allows you to feel safe and cocooned, allowing the tightening to release pressure in your chest and shoulders. Grab a nearby blanket or piece of fabric and wrap it around your shoulders. Then you may be in a better frame of mind to try the next step, deep breathing.
2. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing has been used in ancient practices to regulate emotions. Understanding breath control and deep breathing exercises can completely change your life. Try breathing through the nose, filling up the belly like a balloon for 4 seconds, holding for 6 seconds, and breathing out the nose or mouth for 8 seconds. 3 rounds is perfect to begin to counteract any anxiety you may feel in your stomach or chest area.
3. Eat Spinach
Spinach is a miracle food. Spinach has properties that can curb depression and lower stress.
If you're feeling anxious when you wake up in the morning, instead of coffee, put some protein powder, almond or oat milk, a frozen banana and 1 cup frozen spinach in a blender and WAM, bye anxiety juice!
4. Give Your Anxiety a Humorous Name
"Not you again, Karen." Giving anxiety a different name than your own is a hilarious route. It separates itself from your identity. Which makes it easier to control because it becomes an external element of your life. I find comedy and humor can be saving graces when we're feeling the onset of anxiety come up. Rerouting our thoughts is dependent on our personalities and how we learned as a child, so this will only work for some.
5. Stretch & Move Your Body
Adding movement to the body will allow endorphins and dopamine to flow. These both will help to release anxiety and become more positive. Win, win! There are many ways to practice adding more gentle or intense movement into your day. Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, Stretches, Cardio, & Strength Training.
6. Guided Meditation/ Hypnotherapy
Guided meditation and hypnotherapy are similar in the practice of closing your eyes, using words and music to relax the conscious mind, and work with the subconscious mind. However they both use many different tools and tactics in order to release the many different types of anxiety.
Guided Meditation may include relaxing music or binaural beats, and there are many types like body scans, visual imagery, energy clearing, breath anchoring, and much more. Hypnotherapy builds anticipatory anxiety in order to bring a hypnotic state where you work with a talented Hypnotherapist to guide you based on your right or left brain dominance and which type of anxiety you're looking to release.
If you're interested to know more about the difference between mindfulness, meditation, and hypnotherapy– check out my blog here.
Journaling is another subconscious way to release anxious clutter of the mind. Journaling can be about absolutely anything. Start a Gratitude List- write what you love and appreciate about yourself, others, the world, any little thing you could think of. Stream of Consciousness Journaling is also another way to release anxiety and what exactly is on your mind. Just allow the words to flow out. Another great journaling tactic is Dream Journaling. Dream Journaling is writing down anything you feel in the morning when you wake up. By just writing down what you're thinking, the colors, sounds- it will help you to remember your dreams.
8. Ground in the Earth
Allow your bare feet and hands to touch the earth– grass, sand, mud, water, leaves, or wood. Our beautiful earth produces negative ions, which clear out and clean the air and our energy. Being one with nature truly provides such a positive sense of well-being. The air quality in nature is much safer to breathe in as well.
9. Sound Healing
Listening to or creating music that resonates with you can be a powerful way to release emotions or anxiety depending on your mood. Tibetan Sound Bowls and Binaural Beats also release hertz, which is said to work with our electromagnetic frequencies.
10. Make Art or Music
Draw, laugh, dance, play. Taking your mind out of the anxious state takes practice, but allowing ourselves to be playful amongst anxiety is a powerful place to be. You'll find the more you're having fun with finger-painting or whatever you want to create, the less you're conscious mind is focusing on the anxiety.
11. Laughing Yoga
A laughing practice is awkward at first, but the benefits outweigh any silly feelings. Laughing Yoga practice is the idea of deep breathing, breathing out in laughs and then letting a natural laugh come out and/or a hysterical laugh build up. Laughter is a physical release of letting out pent up emotions out. Which in turn will help any physical feelings of anxiety.
At the end of the day, your anxiety isn't you. It's a feeling that you're experiencing at the present moment. It ebb's and flows throughout life and scenarios. And once you find the perfect methods that work for you, your control of it can transform greatly. Happy Healing!