Three easy to use tools to help you reduce anxiety ASAP
Welcome! I’m glad you are here.
You know that dream of falling on your face and losing all of your shiny brace-free teeth? (So many people have this!) Or the dream where you show up at school/work in your underwear? Yikes! My beloved recently sent me a quote that said, “I’m beginning to think my husband isn’t going to apologize for the way he acted in my dream last night.” Dreams can feel so real! And our physiological response of waking up in a sweat with our heart racing is caused by the anxiety we felt during whatever event took place in that dream.
What about when you’re awake? Do you ever have sweaty palms, a racing heart, shaking legs, and feel like you can’t catch your breath? Maybe your mind is racing and you just can’t focus. Or you feel overwhelmed and like you can’t get out of your own way? Chances are you’ve said yes to at least one of these examples.
Experiencing some level of anxiety during periods of stress is completely normal. However, if you feel like anxiety is interfering with your quality of life- there is hope! Reach out to a therapist who can help unpack this with you to get to the source to have lasting results.
Please note- It is important to rule out any medical concerns that may cause the aforementioned symptoms. If your doctor has addressed any medical conditions, they may suggest that you explore what else could be causing these symptoms for you. And that’s where I come in!
Today I’m giving you three easy to use tools to help you shift those feelings of anxiety when they arise. Please note…you will likely find your mind wandering while practicing the following. Know that this is NORMAL. Give yourself permission to not create a narrative out of your thoughts. Just notice them come and go and bring your attention back to the relaxation techniques.
1. Counting your breath
When you focus your attention to your body, you give yourself the opportunity to quiet your mind. A powerful tool you’ve got at the ready is your breath. Focus on breathing deeply into your belly. Count your in-breath…breathe in to the count of 5 hold your breath for 5 seconds and breathe out to the count of 5. Notice the feeling of your feet on the floor. If you are sitting in a chair, notice the feeling of your body in the chair…of being supported. Continue focusing on and counting your breath.
2. Body scanning
We hold so much tension in our bodies! Actively releasing this tension can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Find a private place where you can sit or lay comfortably. Again, I want you to draw your attention towards your body. Notice any sensations in your feet. Tense the muscles of your feet. Curl your toes in your shoes- hold for 3 seconds and then release. Move up to your calves. Tense the muscles of your calves- hold for 3 seconds and then release. Continue to move up your body actively tensing and releasing each muscle group.
3. Positive imagery
Think of a place that you associate with positive feelings. Allow yourself to imagine what it’s like to be in that place with all of your senses. For me, it’s the ocean.
Example…Imagine your feet in the warm sand. The feeling of a cool breeze on your face. The sound of the ocean waves crashing on the shore. The smell of salt water in the air. The feeling of warm sunshine on your skin. The way the light looks when it reflects off the water. Bliss! Our minds are so amazing! We can offer ourselves the feeling of being in one place while we are physically somewhere else. What a gift!
Practicing relaxation techniques on a regular basis will strengthen your meditative muscle and decrease your symptoms of anxiety over time.
Wishing you a peaceful day…and night!