Anxiety is a very real and helpless feeling that a growing number of people are battling. Many people who struggle with debilitating anxiety have never been taught how to properly manage and deal with anxiety and panic attacks. Here are 5 tips to decrease anxiety.
1.) Breath work! One of the first things we forget to do when we are having a panic attack, is to breathe! Learning to control your breath in the midst of anxiety is a very powerful tool that enables you to gain control of something when you feel out of control in other areas of your life. One of the best breathing exercises is to inhale for the count of 4, hold that breath for 4 counts, and exhale for 4 more counts. This breath is called the 16 count breath that works magic when you feel an anxiety attack starting to surface.
2.) The next step is to ground yourself. Anxiety can often times give us that out of body feeling, which for some, this can trigger a panic response in the body. When you start to feel empty, lost, or fearful, step outside and put your feet in the grass to allow the frequency from the earth to fill you with stillness. Rinse your hands in cold water to bring awareness back to the present moment. Smell something that reminds you of something peaceful and pure. Using our senses for grounding is very effective when it comes to coping with a panic attack.
3.) Create a meditation practice. Meditation has many benefits including lowering blood pressure, decreasing cortisol production, and improving gastrointestinal motility and overall digestion. Anxiety plays a big role in many of these functions, which is why those with anxiety should incorporate a consistent meditation practice daily. This could consist of positive affirmation work, restorative yoga, or even tapping. Any of these practices are active forms of meditation that work to switch the nervous system from sympathetic, fight or flight, to parasympathetic, rest and digest!
4.) Nourish your body. Throughout the years of studying the cause and effects of anxiety, it has been proven that being undernourished can trigger anxiety. Make sure that you are eating high quality, organic, nourishing foods that sustain your bodies' needs and energy levels. Stay hydrated, and listen to your body. Honor your hunger and fullness cues as well as cravings. Your body is so smart, and when we ignore it, we are fighting against its innate ability to heal itself. Stay nourished, so that your mind and body can feel safe.
5.) Rest your body. Resting your body gives you the ability to sit with feelings that come up on the day to day. Often times we get moving at such a fast pace, that we never stop and just let ourselves feel. Give yourself the opportunity to feel whatever it is that you need to feel, without attaching to that feeling, or engaging in a behavior that numbs the sensations you may be experiencing. Learning to sit with any of your emotions sets you up for great success in becoming a stronger, more intuitive human!
Dealing with anxiety is not easy. It is not comfortable, and it can be very hard to unlearn some of the thought patterns that anxiety engrains you to believe. Just know that there is a way to get off of the hamster wheel of distress. Stick with it, try these 5 tips, and see how life changes for the better! Everything good in life takes some time to acquire!
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