Anxiety can sometimes feel like having a wild dog on a leash, sometimes it walks to heel and other times it pulls you off your feet. For all those out there dealing daily with the very real struggles of anxiety – we salute you. Anxiety is a very real disorder and can take many shapes and forms; for some people, it’s a niggle or fist in the pit of your stomach and for others, its full-on panic just getting out of bed. We are here to give a few daily hacks to help ease the grip, anxiety isn’t always something you can just magically cure, but hopefully, these small tips will help deliver coping mechanisms to get through the day without being debilitated…
Turn to Cold Water
Ever heard of curing a hangover by taking a cold shower or jumping in the sea? It works because it shocks the body and gives your nervous system something else to do rather than feel terrible. The same method can work for anxiety. When you feel rising tension, plunge your hands into ice-cold water or splash your face; the shock can help to break through those rising cortisol levels and bring you back to feeling grounded.
If you are in a position to simply let the anxiety in without putting yourself at risk then try this. Sometimes trying to stave off the feelings or to fight it can only make it worse as it gets lodged there and yells to be heard. By acknowledging the anxious feelings and recognizing them, you can stop it growing into a raging bull and it may make it easier to move past those feelings.
Having a little bottle of lavender oil or rosemary in your pocket can be a quick fix to those rising anxious feelings. These are scents that have long been associated with the power of relaxation. When you are feeling in the ebb of anxiety, break through the rising drama with a sniff of something you associate with calmness. It can be something proven to be soothing like lavender and eucalyptus or you can pick a scent more personal to you; sometimes fresh citrus can cut through the panic.
Breathe Into It
Its an oldie but a goldie, those under an anxiety attack can hold their breath. There’s been a ton of research around breathwork regulating the nervous system and learning a few simple tips and tricks can truly help you to feel under your own control again. A great breathing exercise for regulating the nervous system can be taking a deep breath in through your nose for a count of three and then exhaling via your mouth for double that time. It doesn’t have to be a count of three if you can do longer, the important part is to make sure that your exhale is double the time of your inhale.
Put in on Paper
Journaling, bullet points, and even illustrations – there’s something about getting it out of your head and onto paper that can truly help soothe the mind and the senses. Anxiety can sometimes make us feel like something is clogged or trapped inside and having an outlet can be a powerful thing. Try and get into the practice of penning things down on a daily basis and look into morning page practices. Writing down our thoughts and feelings is a way of helping to process things.
Pick a Podcast
There are loads of great podcasts out there on anxiety and sometimes it really helps to hear that someone else is or has been dealing with the same. For those who feel rising anxiety before bed choose a podcast on any subject that is soothing and let it lull you into sleep. It’s maybe not a great idea every night as it can take up important processing space but now and then it’s a really good way of cutting out the noise in your head before bed.
How do you handle those anxious feelings? Share your ideas and lets get through the day together.