5 Tips To Help Manage Anxiety
We’ve had all the emotions in my house in the last couple of weeks! When we are feeling all those emotions, it can feel like our feet aren’t touching the ground and we are in survival mode, more so than normal.
All the emotions are showing up right now
I want to share some tips to help with any anxiety you might be feeling right now.
Grounding can bring you back to the here and now. Rather than being trapped in your thoughts in your mind, that are causing you to feel all those emotions.
Try using the 5-4-3-2-1 technique to activate all five of your senses. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths – in through your nose (count to 3), out through your mouth (count to 3).
Then open your eyes and look around you. Name out loud:
5 – things you can see. You can look within the room and out of the window, if you’re inside.
4 – things you can feel. The texture of your hair, your skin, the floor underneath you and maybe furniture around you.
3 – things you can hear. Birds outside, traffic going past, noises when are forgotten about when we rush around but when we sit still and listen, we can hear.
2 – things you can smell, hopefully both pleasant!
1 – thing you can taste (if you need to move for this one then thats fine). When you taste whatever you have chosen, take a small bite and move it around your mouth for a couple of seconds. Notice the flavour and how your sense react to it.
When you’re ready to carry with on the day, take a deep breath.
Positive Affirmations and Gratitude
These could be two separate headings but I think they go together.
Starting your day with positive thoughts can really change the way it goes. You can do this in two different ways – gratitude or words of positive affirmations.
Try starting your day by saying 5-10 things you are grateful for. You can involve those who live with you too, if you want. Sometimes children in particular can really open our eyes and remind us of the little things.
Affirmations are short, powerful and simple positive statements that can help you overcome negative and self-sabotaging thoughts. They can shift our mindset.
Have these affirmations in places which you go to every day, like by the mirror or kettle, or as your phone lock screen, so every time to you brush your teeth, do your hair, have a drink or look at your phone.
You could use:
- I accept things I cannot control.
- My life is full of love.
- I believe in my ability to get through tough times.
- I will be present and calm today.
- I am worthy of good things. All of my feelings are okay.
- I am going to focus on the things I love to get me through this.
- This is hard, and I can do hard things.
Re-activate your sense of smell
Lighting a beautiful soy candle, like one from Cotswold Candles or running a scented bath can really help to reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety.
Some of my favourite calming scents are lavender and rosemary. You can also try rose or lavender, peppermint and marjoram.
I usually light a couple of candles in the early evening so by the time the children have gone to bed the house smells amazing…but on a day when nothing seems to be going to plan, I have been found to light them midmorning!
Don’t underestimate the power of the breath. Focusing on the breath is an important part of mindfulness, bringing attention to your breath reduces stress as it really grounds you and brings you back to the present.
Focusing on your breath also helps to remind your brain that right now you are safe so there is no need to be in the fight or flight mode.
So now, with me, take some deep breaths in. Inhale – fill up your lungs fully and focus on the air coming in through your nose, feel your chest filling and rising. As you breath out, exhale, focus on slowly letting the air out of your lungs through your mouth, feel your chest fall as it empties. Do this another 2 times.
Pay attention to the way your breathing feels and feel your heartbeat too. Being aware of what your body is doing will deepen your ability to connect to the moment.
Moving your body
Exercise is an amazing way to combat stress. Whether you feel stressed or it’s a subconscious stress that you’ve pushed below the surface.
Whether you go outside for walk, preferably in nature, dancing around the kitchen to a great song turned up loud. Or doing an online yoga or pilates class. It doesn’t matter just as long you are doing something you love. When you do something you love then it’s easier to make it more of a routine and be consistent. If you’re not connected to it then it’ll feel like a chore.
Did you know that around Moreton there are stones which have been beautifully painted and placed around the town? Go out for a walk and see if you can spot them!
If you live somewhere else then why not see if there are any nearby. Or maybe start painting some and start a trend off in your area. It’s amazing how much joy it has brought to adults and children.
Exercise releases endorphins which as feel-good chemicals which will help reduce anxiety and help your self-esteem too. So if you have trouble going to sleep or sleep poorly then exercise will also help.
I could also add in here meditation, mindfulness and sleep but I feel like that’s a whole different post which I want to go into further.
Take care of yourself,