BY: Janine Mitchell
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Anxiety can affect so many of us!
Here are some simple and effective techniques to help you manage anxiety.
If you’re not focused on how to calm your body through slow, intentional belly-breathing, you’re missing out. Belly-breathing is free, location independent, and easy to implement. Here’s how to get started:
- Sit with your eyes closed and turn your attention o your breathing. Breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils, without attempting to control your breath.
- Be aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. Place one hand on your belly, and the other on your chest. Take a deep breath for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of three. Exhale for a count of four. The hand on your belly should go in as you inhale, and move out as you exhale.
- Concentrate on your breath and forget everything else. Your mind will be very busy, and you may even feel that the meditation is making your mind busier, but the reality is you’re just becoming more aware of how busy your mind is.
- Resist the temptation to follow the different thoughts as they arise, and focus on the sensation of the breath. If you discover that your mind has wandered and is following your thoughts, immediately return it to the breath.
- Repeat this as many times as necessary until your mind settles on the breath. Don’t wait to begin belly-breathing. The sooner you make this a daily habit, the quicker you’ll feel relaxed.
When you implement belly breathing, you start the day in a here-and-now state. Better yet, you’re not wasting time worrying about the future or reliving the past.
Calm is an inside job. Start the day with 10 minutes of solitude and positive energy. Think calm, measured, and open-minded, and your daily activities will correspond. There are many wonderful guided meditations on YouTube. Or, drop me an email and I’ll send you a FREE one!
3. Practice self-care.
Have a bath. Light some candles. Watch your favourite movie. Cuddle up with a pet. Engross yourself in a good book. Book yourself a treatment like a massage. Or get a friend or partner to give you one if money is tight!
4. Eliminate fizzy drinks
If you’re accustomed to that 10am or 3pm fizzy drink switch it to water or a herbal tea. Not only does the caffeine mess up your central nervous system, but it also depletes vitamins and minerals from your diet and wreaks havoc on your smile. Teeth become susceptible to cavities when the acid level of your saliva falls below a certain point.
If you drink fizzy drinks all day, the outer layers of your teeth begin to lose minerals and cavities form.
5. Trim the fat from your budget.
Financial stress is a common reason people contact me for therapy. Debt will keep you up at night and contribute to feelings of low self-worth and hopelessness.
Take charge of your finances and stop spending on non-essentials.
Track your daily expenses for a week or two and decide where you can cut back. Notice the items you accumulate mindlessly.
6. Get rid of the clutter.
Do you ever wonder how much time is lost when you can’t find your car keys?
Chances are you’ve got too much stuff clogging up your living space. It can play havoc with our mental health and mindset!
Try this quick organisation hack:
- Choose a drawer or cabinet.
- Categorise the stuff you don’t use.
- Make three piles for a) Items to throw away, b) Items to donate, and c) Items to sell on Ebay.
What you sell on Ebay use the money to…
7. Plan a day trip.
When you spend time in nature, you give your mind and body a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle which causes you to Google things like “How to get rid of anxiety” in the first place.
Chances are, no matter where you live, there’s a serene, interesting, and charming place within a couple of hours.
8. Go to bed early.
This may sound impossible if you’re accustomed to staying up late to catch up on the to-do list. But this one’s a must.
Sleep deprivation is a huge anxiety culprit. Inadequate shuteye can amplify the brain’s anticipatory reactions, upping overall anxiety levels, according to research. Having good sleep has been proven to have huge benefits on wellbeing and mental health. Check out the amazing book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker who takes into account all the most up to date and groundbreaking research.
9. Practice Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Tapping
This amazing scientific technique, likened to acupuncture without the needs is proven to reduce anxiety. Have a go every day when you wake up, or every time you feel anxiety coming on. You will notice great benefits.
Much more information here (click the link below) how Tapping works, where it came from and how it can help you.
10. Reduce caffeine, sugar, and processed foods.
Caffeine can cause heart palpitations if you ingest too much. Caffeine also can trigger panic or anxiety attacks, especially if you have an anxiety disorder. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can also cause palpitations.
Sugar acts as an adrenal stimulant and can cause anxiety or even panic attack. Other offensive foods include those containing refined flour products and even wheat, since this causes inflammation.
11. Practice gratitude
As bad as your situation is, there’s always someone in a worse predicament. Read a chapter of Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, or check out the headline of the daily newspaper. Be thankful your life is not the feature story.
Write down every day at least three things you are grateful for. Or make a mental note of it along the way.
Exercise is nature’s anti-anxiety remedy. Besides clearing the mind, firing up the endorphins, and helping you sleep soundly at night, researchers have found that individuals who exercise vigorously and regularly were 25 percent less likely to develop an anxiety disorder within five years.
Do let me know how you get on!