Simple Ways To Curb Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are a part of life. There are seasons of life where you may not experience it much and other seasons where it feels like you can’t shake it. I think the best possible way to combat those feelings of stress, overwhelm, and anxiety is to have a “toolkit” of things you can do to reduce and manage those feelings.
I think too often we try to stay busy, to not think about it, or to push it off to the side saying we will deal with it later or maybe a good night’s sleep will fix it. Sis, I have been there. In fact, my go to in seasons of stress would be to add even more onto my plate. I thought that if I was busy, I would have to deal with what was going on with my mental health.
As you can imagine, this did not bode well for my psyche. Instead, I would burnout, meltdown, or most likely freak out and cry over something small and insignificant rather than deal with the actual root of the issue.
Here are some tools I use to help when I feel anxious and stressed out:
Diffuse or rub on some lavender oil
Lavender oil pack such a powerful punch. Components of the oil are proven to have anxiolytic properties (med speak for anxiety fighting). The coupled with the fact that many of us already associate the aroma of lavender with relaxation will help to immediately trigger your parasympathetic nervous system and take you out of fight or flight and into rest and digest.
In my opinion yoga can cure just about anything. Give it a go and if you need and pose or flow tips head to the “yoga” section of this blog.
Go for a walk
Get outside. Feel the sunshine on your face, feel the grass/dirt/pavement beneath your feet. Slow down and connect with the earth. Doing this helps me check the actual size or severity of the problem and if my reaction is appropriately scaled to meet it. Often, anxiety has a way of making me react at a level 8 to a level 2 problem. Slowing down and connecting with something greater than myself helps me put everything in perspective.
Read a book/Watch tv/Do something creative
Oftentimes, my anxiety stems from me not allowing myself time to rest. In the past, I have vilified television and would not allow myself to sit and watch it because it has a tendency to suck me in. But sometimes, in order to decompress and relax, you need to do something to power down and that can happen from reading a book, watching tv, creating something. Something that takes you out of the problem and gives you a chance to escape for a bit.
Breath; in and out. Inhale for 4, exhale for 6. By extending your exhales longer than your inhales that parasympathetic nervous system comes online and helps reduce your stress and anxiety symptoms. Try to visualize a happy memory or a peaceful time. Heck, lay down while you meditate and really zen out.
Talk to someone
For me, “someone” is 80% of the time my husband and 20% of the time my mom. Whoever it may be, talk to someone you love. Tell them you’re stressed out or feeling overwhelmed. Often, an outside opinion helps to problem solve and put your problems in perspective.
Carry a crystal
I love amethyst the same way I love lavender oil. When I feel particularly out of touch or anxious, I will carry an amethyst crystal around with me. It helps remind me to remain grounded to breath.
Say “no” to obligations that are not serving
Find or create whitespace in the calendar to give yourself a chance to decompress. You will feel better for it.