Twelve Tools to Ease Anxiety
Anxiety can take control quickly and we can all use some tools to help. Here are twelve tips that you can use to help ease anxiety.
Tip #1 on Easing Anxiety — Slow Your Breathing:
Shallow, quick breaths are the friend of anxiety and the enemy of calm. You will want to fill up your lungs and your belly with each breath you take. To decrease anxiety, breath in through your nose for five seconds. Then, hold for two seconds. Finally breath out for another five seconds.
Tip #2 on Easing Anxiety — Lotion Your Hands:
Fill your hands up with six-ten pumps of lotion and start rubbing it into your hands . Does this sound like a lot of lotion? If not, then you’ll want to add some more pumps. This will get your body activated and slow down your mind, which is key to fighting anxiety.
Tip #3 on Easing Anxiety — Gratitude Journal:
Anxiety preys upon our fears and sucks into the negative. Writing down the things that we are thankful or grateful for gets us out of that headspace. And it doesn’t have to be something dramatic. Writing down that we are thankful for a paper and pen can do the trick. So, find that paper and pen and make a list of three to five things you are thankful for.
Tip #4 on Easing Anxiety — Hunt for the Good:
You won’t always have a Gratitude Journal with you, and not everyone enjoys writing. In these cases when you need to relieve anxiety, reflect on the good things that are happening right now in your life. What did you have for breakfast? Who are some people that you love? Who are some people that you love? What compliments have you received? What compliments have you given? What are some beautiful sights you have seen today? Be on the hunt for the good things in your life and take a moment to be grateful for them.
Tip #5 on Easing Anxiety — Hold and Sway:
This is one easy way to get your body involved that has a soothing effect. Wrap your arms around your body like you are giving yourself a hug and sway gently from left to right. You can even include the faint humming of a favorite song. It may feel a little odd, but this movement can help provide a calming sensation when anxious.
Tip #6 on Easing Anxiety — Call A Friend:
Friends are great! Having people to talk and laugh with can be an amazing help in lessening anxiety. Shared experiences and conversations are ways to help you to know you are not alone.
Tip #7 on Easing Anxiety — Play Catch:
Grab a little ball or crumble up some paper and begin to toss it from your right hand to your left hand. You can even grab a friend and do this together.
Tip #8 on Easing Anxiety — Muscle Relaxation Exercise:
If you’ve got a little bit of time and space, I would suggest finding a muscle relaxation exercise. You will tighten up certain parts of your body before releasing the tension. Breathing is also a big part of this exercise…and I am a big fan of breathing!
Tip #9 on Easing Anxiety — Mindful Meditation:
Find a meditation app that you enjoy. There are some great ones out there and I provide a few suggestions in this blog post.
Tip #10 on Easing Anxiety — Go for a Walk:
When your mind sends your body into a fight or flight position, light exercise can help to lessen that anxiety attack. Go for a walk. Do some pushups. Try some yoga. Whatever it may be, getting your body moving a little can ease that anxiety experience.
Tip #11 on Easing Anxiety — Breath in Some Lavender:
Lavender has some properties that help to lessen an experience with anxiety. Maybe it's not lavender for you. Whatever it may be, find a scent that you enjoy and break it out when you begin to feel an increase of anxiety. (Mine would be the scent of a baseball field right after getting the grass cut.)
Tip #12 on Easing Anxiety — Suck on the Sour:
I got this tip from Dr. Tara Sanderson. When you are feeling an increase in anxiety, stick a sour candy into your mouth. Make sure it is something that requires some time to melt away. Warhead candy is one of my favorites. What is yours?
These are a few quick tips that can be helpful when you begin to feel anxiety rise. What are some other ideas that you have?
Wellspace Counseling is located in Tualatin, Oregon and serves the cities of Tualatin, Lake Oswego, Tigard and others in the Greater Portland Metro Area. To find more information about Wellspace Counseling visit at www.wellspacepdx.com.