What to do when you feel anxious
It’s easy to let anxiety and stress get on top of you at work, at home or in relationships. Knowing what to do when anxiety strikes means you’re not so scared of it anymore and you have a plan for stopping it in its tracks.
When you feel yourself getting more and more uptight or upset, give yourself a time-out for 10 to 15 mins to calm down.
1) Find a quiet place to sit down like a park or quiet part of the office
2) Get into a relaxed posture such as sitting comfortably or lying down. Close your eyes
3) Focus on your breathing. Take a few slow deep breaths.
4) Notice how that feels in your body. Where are the signs of anxiety – rapid pulse, shaking hands, neck pain, headaches etc
5) Feel your body relaxing – feel your pulse slow down, the muscles in your scalp and neck relax.
6) You can even do some simple massage on yourself. Massage your temples and scalp, slowly and in small circles. Massage your neck, shoulders and arms. Extend to your hands and even your fingers.
7) If your mind wanders, keep bringing it back to focus on your breathing
8) Stay as long as you like in this state or as long as time allows.
9) You’ll notice your mind is much calmer and you’ll be able to focus better when you do go back to work
Daily habits to reduce anxiety
This is where mindfulness comes into its own. Worrisome news is everywhere and if we keep tapping into it on a daily basis, we start to feel that the world is a very scary place. It heightens our levels of general anxiety.
1) Stop listening to the news. Aim to listen to news once daily, or log on news websites once per day. Don’t tap into news late at night before you go to bed, so that worrisome articles don’t carry on into bed-time. You don’t want to be lying in bed at night, worrying about the stock market instead of having sweet dreams.
2) Practice mindfulness meditation every day. Spend some time every morning gently meditating and relaxing your mind before starting the day.
1) Spend 10 minutes relaxing in a chair, eyes closed and focusing on your breathing. Take a few long deep breaths. Focus on your breathing in and out.
2) Notice how your body feels, do your breaths feel good? Is there any other sensations in your body such as relaxation, pain, hunger, happiness, contentment? Just accept them all and relax.
3) If you find your mind wandering that’s normal. Gently bring your mind back to focusing on your breathing. Do not berate yourself about it, its normal and very common.
4) 20 minutes of this would be amazing, but if you can only afford 10 minutes then that’s good too. When you get practised at it you can practice mindfulness anywhere – in the shower, waiting for the train, on the bus.
5) Practice again before going to bed to relax you for sleep
This is one of the most simple meditations to do. Flame vibrates at quite a slow frequency. Staring at a slow flickering flame, slows down our brain waves into a more relaxed state.
1) Light a tea-light or small candle
2) Stare into the flame for 10 minutes
3) Allow your brain to slow down and relax
These simple techniques can be used anywhere, anytime so that you feel in control of your mind, in control of your body and able to relax and banish anxiety any time you please…