If you’re one of the millions of people that struggle with anxiety, you know how it controls your every moment. Experiencing an episode of anxiety can feel like being imprisoned by your thoughts, weighed down in your own body, and feeling frantic for “no apparent reason.” Whether you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety or experience anxious thoughts from time to time, I want to share some of my favorite ways to soothe my worried mind when I’m feeling over-the-top anxious.
Note: This does not replace the opinion of your medical professional — please seek help from your licensed medical professional if you’re experiencing anxiety that you cannot control.
1. Use a simple task to gain mindfulness
When you feel like you have no control, take control of something small. It could be merely cooking dinner or tending to your garden. Anything that you can have absolute control over is good because it forces your mind to let go of the anxiety.
2. Take a minute to lie down
Grab a blanket and go outside — lie down on the blanket and look up at the sky. Let the clouds wafting by help you clear your mind. Use each cloud as a symbol — assign each cloud a worry and as it drifts by and out of sight, release your worry and use the ease of nature to clear your mind.
3. Make time to relax
If you have 30 minutes you typically spend scrolling endlessly through social media newsfeeds, then you have time to schedule relaxation into your day. Find it in the form of meditation, yoga, or even massage. You’ll release the tension and feel wellness in mental and physical forms. Journaling is another wonderful way to de-stress and relax your mind as you get all of your thoughts out on paper.
4. Use lavender
Lavender is a very calming and soothing scent. Using a diffuser to let the aroma penetrate your space is one way to get the benefits from it. You can also dab a little on your collarbone or temples so that the scent is with you wherever you go. Sprinkle a drop on your pillow at night before you tuck yourself in bed, and drift off to sleep with the calming scent soothing you to sleep.
5. Breathe deep
Deep breathing exercises can help you take control of anxiety, especially when you’re starting to feel out of control. Through your nose, breathe in for a count of 3. Hold it for a count of 1, and then release it through your nose again for a count of 3. This regulates your systems and naturally coaxes your body into a state of calmness.
6. Face it head on
Sometimes, the best course of action is to fight fire with fire. If there is something that makes you anxious, you might find it therapeutic to face it instead of avoiding it. Often times, the thoughts we’re mulling over are worse than the actual thing we’re trying to avoid. If you’ve been stressing over cleaning out your closet, make a plan to do so this weekend. You’ll see it’s not as bad as you imagined it to be, and you’ll feel ten times better when you’ve completed the task. Turn your anxiety into fuel, whenever possible, and see how lightening the mental load helps you feel on a day-to-day basis.
What do you typically find yourself feeling most anxious about?
Pick one or two of these tips to start implementing this week and see what difference it makes. Be sure to come back and tell me how it goes for you – I can’t wait to hear!