10 TIPS TO HELP ALLEVIATE ANXIETY
1. WATCH THIS BREATHING GIF
Sync your breath to this GIF (animation) until you feel yourself calming down. You can do this with or without sound. If you can make it through the 10 minutes, even better! You don’t have to be sitting up, just get in a position that’s comfortable for you. (Do not do this while driving! If you’re panicking while driving, pull over).
Click here to see the GIF animation.
2. BREATHING WITH OILS, & MANTRAS
I find that taking deep breaths alone, especially when anxious, is very difficult for me. So I prefer taking deep breaths with Young Living essential oils. Put one drop of oil on your palm or wrist, and rub together. Then, take deep breaths! I also do this while repeating a mantra. For instance, if in pain, take a deep breath (inhaling lavender oil), while holding breath & say, “I am healing,” and then exhale, slowly.
If you are someone who loves mantras and feels safe saying them, this is a great time to rehearse them.
Practice 4-7-8 breathing when you wake up, and before bed! Also, try Alternate Nostril Breathing. To learn more about the importance of breath, click here!
Calming Oils: Lavender, Ylang Ylang, White Angelica, Frankincense, Peppermint, Rose, Citrus, Lemon, Orange, Stress away... These oils listed are by Young Living. If you are interested in learning more about YL oils or purchasing, contact me! You can also find similar oils (always organic) online or local to you.
(If breathing exercises are triggering for you, proceed with caution).
Lemon water, fresh juice, or herbal tea - 48oz or more, daily! More importantly, eat fruit!!! This seems like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised at how much dehydration can mimic anxiety symptoms, especially if you drink coffee / alcohol and you do not eat a diet rich in fruits and veggies.
Breakfast = Breaking-the-fast. What you put into your body first thing in the morning is crucial for your body, especially your adrenal glands, and how it will function the rest of the day. We are dehydrated after a night of sleeping (healing/detoxing/etc...) HYDRATE first thing in the morning with lemon water, fresh juice, herbal tea, and/or fruit, rather than coffees and animal products (both of which tax our adrenals). By doing this, you're hydrating your cells, preparing your body for the rest of the day. So make sure you’re actually drinking enough fluids and eating hydrating foods, daily, but especially upon waking.
4. DAILY MEDITATION
Practice daily meditation of choice. However, healing from PTSD and disembodiment, meditation can be traumatizing and trigger dissociation for those who are in the healing process.
Coloring is a safe example! If you can relate to this, put on soothing music, chakra tones, or a storm / ocean soundtrack, and just color. Mandala coloring books are great! Regardless, coloring is a great, calming exercise for our mind.
Coloring allows our two hemispheres of our brain to communicate with each other due to the hand-eye coordination. This movement can help shift our nervous system out of sympathetic mode (fight-flight-freeze) and into parasympathetic (rest & digest).
Here are some other ideas for you: doodling, journaling, playing an instrument, crafts, puzzles, baking, an actual meditation you enjoy, walking in nature.
Ginger root tea, or herbal tea(s) such as lemon balm, chamomile, lavender are extremely soothing, and calm the central nervous system. Especially if you're a coffee drinker, try replacing that 2nd cup with an herbal tea.
6. CALMING MUSIC
Here are some soundtracks I find relaxing. You can play these while reading, writing, bathing, stretching, cooking, cleaning, breathing…whenever you feel you need to unwind! There are so many guided meditations available out there, too!
Pandora stations: calm meditation, meditation by the sea, nature sounds with music
Invocation by Deva Primal
Click here for calming music with waves
Meditation/Relaxation Music - 432 hz DNA Healing/Chakra Cleansing
Meditation/Relaxation Music with nature - 432 hz DNA Healing/Chakra Cleansing
7. GROUNDING TECHNIQUES
While breathing slowly (in a comfortable position), name 5 things you can see, smell, hear, and touch, in your immediate surrounding. By doing this, you are turning your attention back to true reality surrounding you, and not in the altered reality/ fearful state of panic. This is very effective during panic attacks.
If weather permits, walk outside - barefoot - or lay down on the ground outside, and just breathe in the fresh air. If you live in a warm/ beach town, walking barefoot on the beach is extremely healing! By walking barefoot on the sand and breathing in the ocean air, or even walking barefoot anywhere outdoors, we connect with the Earth. We are overstimulated; we have an over-accumulation of positive ions surrounding us via electronics, phones, microwaves, wifi, TV's, satellites, etc... Our body is conductive to the Earth, and we can absorb negative ions from the ground to help balance the positive ions. These negative ions are good for us, as they're calming, balancing, and act as anti-inflammatories.
Thymus Tapping or "thumping:" The thymus gland is part of our endocrine system, immune system, and located in our chest, right below the neckline. By tapping / thumping the area (gently) for 20-60 seconds, 1-3x a day, you can rebalance energy, calm the mind, and strengthen the immune system. Great for empaths, highly sensitive people, those with compromised immune systems; Everyone! Just gentle tap area with finger tips or knuckles, directly or in clock like motions. Tapping helps the thymus expand, which is important since the thymus tends to shrink during times of stress (lowering immunity). View IG post here.
Purchasing a Himalayan salt lamp for your home (we have one in every room of our house), is great for mental health, too. They put those essential negative ions into the air! The orange hue also helps calms the mind, and produce melatonin for health night's sleep. PLUS: Crystals are very healing and grounding - wear, hold, admire! Amethyst, quartz, citrine, black obsidian, tourmaline, aventurine, carnelian, & more = all great for anxiety.
8. SIMPLE DISTRACTIONS
When you find your mind wondering, it's time to distract. Read, do some light stretching, or go for a walk (sunshine = healing). Dance!
If you’re unable to do this during panic or because of fatigue, etc.., try to put on something mindless to watch and do your best to focus on that. Watch a YouTube video about your favorite place, or a place you would like to visit one day! For instance, a tour of a tropical island, or a nature documentary. Or simply go back to coloring, again!
Try something new as well. By breaking routine, this distracts/ shifts our focus, and forces the brain to be utilized in a different manner. New patterns = new thinking = rewiring our brain. This could be as simple as trying a new teas, walking on a different street/path, read a book on a new subject, baking a new recipe, learning to knit... Although change can sound anxiety inducing, daily triggers for anxiety may actually lessen if routine is broken, especially if the change peaks our interest. When our brain perceives something new of interest, or learns a new skill, dopamine is released, and cognitive function improves.
9. AVOID STIMULANTS
Processed sugars, and coffee, especially, tax our adrenal glands, and can actually make anxiety symptoms worse. If you cannot remove/replace these items from you diet, make sure you hydrate 4x as much! Click here for coffee alternatives.
10. LET IT OUT
Crying - sometimes just venting/speaking out loud, or crying aloud about the issue helps alleviate the severity of it. There is nothing worse than feeling anxious/depressed, and burying it. Try not to allow the stigma of mental illness force you to put on a brave face 24/7. You're human, we all are! Try not to dwell, but LET IT OUT, and remember to BREATHE!
Extra tip: CBD! I have been experimenting with CBD oils over the last several months, and will update soon.
I hope that at least 1 of these 10 tips help you throughout your day! To learn more about anxiety, click here!