We can discuss anxiety and its debilitating effects from today to tomorrow, but during these unpredictable times, what’s most needed are practical tools to significantly reduce and hopefully eradicate one’s anxiety. Here are some easy and helpful skills that you can practice daily in the comfort of your own home.
Anxiety can be likened to a pressure cooker pot. The longer the lid remains secure to the pot, anxiety and tension builds, It is useful to release the “lid” and allow stress to escape; the following are simple techniques to release anxiety so that we have the ability to preserve our much-needed energy for more productive matters.
*BLOCK IT OUT. Consider a news fast. Or at least limit your exposure to the news to once a day. This can greatly reduce anxiety.
* INDULGE IT OUT. Pamper yourself- take a nice long bath, make yourself your favorite comfort food, read a book that allows you some well-earned escape time.
*JOURNAL IT OUT. Get your feelings out on paper. By getting your feelings and thoughts out on paper can significantly reduce your stress level. As your writing, try to be mindful that you are putting all your anxiety on paper with the intention of leaving it there.
*DRAW IT OUT. Grab some big pieces of paper, the bigger the better, and simply scribble away with whatever art supplies are at your disposal. The key is to put your whole body into the activity of drawing. Draw large, exagerated circles, shapes, whatever comes naturally. Don’t overthing it. It’s all about the process and not the end product.
*YELL IT OUT. Into a pillow, out the window. (let the neighbors know..maybe they’ll want to join in.) Vocalizing your pent-up anxiety and stress in deep guttural sounds can be extremely cathartic.
*PUNCH IT OUT. Make a makeshift punching bag (a pillowcase filled with whatever you have around will do the trick) and get to it!
* RIP IT OUT. Take some paper and rip it into pieces. Large, small. Doesn’t really matter..and don’t worry about the mess..it’ll be worth it!
* STRETCH IT OUT. Anxiety can feel like a tremendous physical burden; it can feel like you have an elephant sitting on your chest. Therefore, doing stretching exercises that expand the chest cavitiy can relieve the compressive and restrictive feeling that comes with feeling anxious. Do them throughout the day, especially at night before going to sleep.
* DANCE IT OUT. It’s a known fact that by doing a minimum of 20 minutes of aerobic activity naturally releases serotonin into the bloodstream. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that I like to refer to as “|the happy hormone.” Its chemical properties induce a sense of well being. So crank up the volume and dance! (If you don’t like to dance, any aerobic activity will do..the key is to increase your heart rate for at least 20 minutes)
* LAUGH IT OUT. Laughter is an excellent method to release stress and anxiety. So..watch a silly comedy or your favorite stand-up comic, practice Laughter Yoga. Exercise your laughter muscles, trust me, you’ll be happy you did!
I hope these tips were helpful. Stay tuned for my next blog which will deal with how to identfy and control Panic Attacks, self-soothing techniques when your anxiety is getting too much to handle.
Times are tough and uncertain. There is no shame if you find that you are having a difficult time coping with it all. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org