When in the grips of anxiety, you may feel like nothing will help you feel better. You may even tend to do things that ultimately make it worse.
Here you will find answers.
Several soothing ways to lower your anxiety right now.
These are helpful reminders to pull you right out of the battle. The battle some of us get stuck in, maybe repeating what-if scenarios or negative self-talk. Sometimes anxiety creeps in without any conscious knowledge. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce this disruptive feeling.
Acceptance and Compassion
Accept that you are feeling anxiety and know that it is ok. Many of us tend to berate ourselves because we have this feeling. Know that it is an emotion. Being intolerant to the fact that it is here will only allow it to grow.
Allow yourself to move through the emotion instead of clinging to frustration that it is there. This allows you to move on to the solutions.
Let go of any shame and guilt against yourself. Just observe what is going on without negative judgement about it. Instead of berating yourself, allow compassion for yourself.
The Power of the Breath
Deep, diaphragmatic breathing activates the relaxation response within your parasympathetic nervous system. Use the power of your breath to bring yourself back to a state a calmness.
Place your hand on your belly and focus on inhaling and making your belly rise as you count to 5.
Pause for brief moment at the end of your inhale. Then slowly allow your breath to release, counting again to 5.
Again, briefly pause at the end of your exhale.
Breath in to the count of 5
Breath out to the count of 5
Repeat 10 times
Continue past ten if you have time.
Watch this video to do the breathing exercise again.
Redirect your Thoughts
The brain is capable of thinking tens of thousands of thoughts a day. We tend to pay attention to some and others are under the radar.
Use the power of intention to redirect your thoughts. When anxiety creeps in, there are usually anxiety causing thoughts associated with it.
First, accept that you have a lot of thoughts and they are not all facts about reality. Some are worries, concerns, and fears.
Accept that this is happening and allow yourself to redirect your attention. You can do this is combination with breathing.
Be fully present. Only focusing on right now. The present moment.
Let your breath guide you. It is always with you wherever you go.
Therefore, it is a great tool for focus and one that has been used successfully for anxiety reduction.
How to focus on your breath like it is the only thing going on.
Listen to the sound of the air as it enters your nostrils.
Follow the breath into your body and notice the physical sensations it creates in your body.
The more details you pay attention to, the easiest it will be to sense them.
Follow the breath again as it leaves the body.
Any time another thought comes in, gently redirect your attention back to the breath. Notice the sensation of bringing fresh new oxygen to your cells. Allowing you to bring peace back to your mind.Yoga in the Comfort of Your Own (Socially Isolated) Home
Move your body
The body and mind are directly connected. Doing something physical is extremely helpful. Especially, something that is complicated, difficult, or creative.
Dancing, working out, stretching, and cleaning are some ways to incorporate physical movement.
As a matter of fact, going for a walk or run works well as one of the ways to lower anxiety.
Together with the other ways to lower your anxiety. Breath counting and focusing fully on your breath while walking and being fully present.
If you are busy working or care-taking and can’t get away you can still accomplish this. Try some activities that don’t require you to change location. In the same fashion, you can easily stretch in your office chair.
In addition, you can jump in place at home. Body movement is extremely helpful in engaging your parasympathetic nervous system.
Using sound is helpful for calming nerves, Learn how to use the power of ancient sound.Take Ana Forrest’s “Fierce Medicine” 4-class live workshop exclusively at YogaDownload.com
Boost Your Creativity
For many years, people successfully express emotion through art. You do not need to be Leonardo da Vinchi or J.K. Rowling to accomplish this. There are endless ways to be creative.
Doing something creative can help you process the anxious energy you are having. With this in mind, writing, painting, sewing, play an instrument, cooking, graphic design, crocheting, or wood working, to name a few examples.
If you don’t have anything in mind, join up with others to create something. Music and sound are especially useful for changing your state of mind.
Find relaxing music for dancing, meditating, or general healing in this article called Healing Music.
Reaching out to people can be extremely helpful way to lower anxiety.
Engage with Community
There are many ways to engage with your community. Sometimes, it seems like a daunting thing to do when you are in the grip of anxiety. Though, it is beneficial when we allow ourselves to do it anyway. You can visit with family or hang out with friends. Therefore, even volunteering to help with a big project with a group of people can be helpful. Any way that works for you.
Connect with Nature
Living in society as we do, it can be easy to lose touch with nature. Connecting to nature is a basic human need. Allow yourself the gift of being with nature in one way or another. If there is an ocean, river, or waterway nearby, go visit it. Maybe it is the simple act of staring at a bird in a tree.
Waves of studies have proven over and over that compassionate touch is a helpful way to lower anxiety. For instance, find someone to hug. Genuine hugs are extremely therapeutic.
In addition, receiving a professional massage is proven to help with anxiety. Traditional Swedish and Lomi Lomi are deeply relaxing modalities of massage therapy.
Indeed, you can do a session of self-massage. In the same way, having sex has been found to be helpful. Ultimately, find a safe way to receive human touch and it is sure to be conducive to your health.
Learn how to receive a better massage.
Powerful Self Massage Tools for use at home
There are medicinal herbs that are extremely helpful. Passionflower, skullcap, chamomile, and cannabis are just a few medicinal herbs that are healing. They are categorized as nervines. There are herbs that help relax, stimulate, or nourish the nervous system. Nervine tonics help strengthen and restore nerve tissue.
There is another category of medicinal herbs called adaptogen. This category of herbs helps the body re-balance whatever is out of balance. Consult a professional for help creating a blend that will work best for you. For now, reach for your chamomile tea.
Whatever way is the easiest for you to accomplish this, it can be another helpful way to help you feel calm.
In this video, you find master herbalist Rosemary Gladstar discussing ways to use herbs for anxiety.
If you can not leave where you are, you can take a mind break and go there in your imagination.
Take a moment for yourself.
Go into the bathroom if that is the most private and quiet space you have. Take a few deep breaths using the instructions above.
Let your imagination take you to your favorite nature landscape.
Allow yourself to take in the details of sensations you would have in this space. Let your mind pretend you are actually there, at the ocean, or mountain, or whatever landscape you enjoy.
Imagine yourself as free and do whatever you like in this nature space. Take in the details of the landscape as much as possible while continuing to breath deeply.
Always remember that the state of anxiety is temporary.
Additionally, you have the power to shift this energy around.
Use these tools together or separate to lower your anxiety. The more you practice them, the better you will get. It will grow to be an easy way change your state quickly.
About the Author: For over a decade, Gina has been a practicing Licensed Massage Therapist in Florida. She is also an experienced yoga teacher, trainer, and CE provider. Her specialties are mobility coaching, post-injury, and post-rehab care. She has performed her unique blend of therapeutic massage on thousands of people over the years, including professional athletes and musicians. Sharing knowledge about ways to heal, using your mind and body, is her passion.
What a beautiful and visually stimulating article that was sectioned well and truly answered my need to find new ways to lower anxiety right now.
Breathing is so very powerful and something many don’t realize is there to use. My son is four with anxiety unfortunately and I often get him to follow the outline of his fingers. I get him to breath in as he goes up one side of a finger and out as he slowly goes down the other side doing this for all five. I can’t stress how much stretegic deep breathing helps in child birth too!
These are all really great ways to deal with stress and unwanted thoughts. You are absolutely truthful with the need to recognize the energy that is there and I find myself saying out loud, “this is my thought but I do not mean it” and I try to move on to do what you’ve mentioned above.
Once again, great structure used in this article, I like how easily you have referenced your other quality works of advice.
Thank you for your thoughtful and kind words. What a beautiful breathing technique to do with your son. I’m sure it’s really helpful to him.
I’ve been a caretaker to many with high anxiety and I know it’s challenging to handle. The first time I was introduced to breathing techniques was in birthing class, I found them really powerful too, and used them for all 3 natural labors. That’s great that you have the awareness to view your thoughts from an observers perspective. A really useful tool too!
I appreciate your time in reading through this. Thank you.
I absolutely love this article!!! As a Physical Therapist I will not only be utilizing these techniques for myself but I will also be incorporating some of these ideas into patient care. Even incorporating them into their home exercise programs. Rehab is a very stressfull time for our patients. Consequently, it has become very important for me to have strategies for these patients that are not only medication based. Medications can not only be ineffective but may often be toxic increasing their signs and symptoms. Experience has taught me that holistic ways to approach stress relief and reduce axiety always has the best outcomes. My patients and I thank you Gina for such a well written and thought provoking article with so many new tools for our bag! I look forward to reading your next one 💓
Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to read this. It makes me so happy to know that it brings so much value to you and your practice. What an honor!
After reading this. Alyse and I sat on the bed. Turned all the lights off and lit a candle… we did several rounds of the breathing.. it was very calming and helped me a lot.. thank you. I will continue to do this to help me out with my anxiety!!😉👍🏻❤️
That’s so great! Thanks for giving it a shot. I’m so happy that it helped you. Keep up the good work, know that your breath is with you at all times and a valuable resources to use in times of great need.
I love your site, it is very interesting and encouraging.
I always feel a calmness around you. I do breathing exercises when I am in a lot of pain and it does help, I just have to remember to concentrate before it gets too bad.
So proud of you.
Thank you so much! I’m so happy that I could help create some calmness. It does help a lot to have a specific plan in mind when you start to feel pain and stress. Please feel free to contact me anytime with any questions you have. I’m here to help. Thanks again for reading!
I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thx again