" How do you lessen anxiety when it starts to affect you physically?"
You know that feeling. Your chest is tight, you feel tension in your body, your heart is beating harder than normal. You might be sweaty or have cold chills or both. Maybe your ears are ringing and you feel a little bit green. This is the intense side of anxiety. There's a quiet side to anxiety as well. You feel tense in your shoulders or neck. Maybe you notice you are fiddling with your fingers or biting your lip. There are so many ways our bodies naturally try to release anxiety and stress!
1. Catch it early
2. Meditate daily
3. Take an appreciation walk
First, I find the best way to lessen anxiety is to catch it early. Keep a little bit of constant attention on the way you feel both emotionally and physically. The earlier you catch signs of anxiety the faster and easier it is to lessen! When you notice the feeling of stress or anxiety, stop for a moment and just feel it. Ask yourself "How am I feeling?" Identify the feeling. Name it. Remember the fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin? If not I highly suggest reading it! One of it's lessons is how powerful knowing somethings name can be! When you can name your emotions, when you are aware of them, you have more power over them and can change them more easily.
You can do the same with the physical sensations that come along with anxiety. The tension in your body, the breathing fast and breathing up in your chest. You can change these when you are aware of them. When you take stock of your physical feeling you can do something about it. When you notice your breathing too fast or breathing high in your chest, choose to slow your breathing. Focus on breathing into your belly and counting your breaths. When you notice tension in your neck or shoulders, take a moment and breath while you stretch. Get up and take a quick walk with your head up and breathing deeply and counting your breath or your steps so that you are taking your mind off of whatever is stressing you out. A change of scenery is a very powerful tool for lessening anxiety!
Second, I highly recommend that everyone meditate every day! First thing in the morning before you're deep into thought. It doesn't take long, 15 to 20 minutes a day of mindful meditation and you will begin to notice how much less stressed you are! No need to do more than 15 to 20 minutes and there is a key thing to remember. When you start thinking, and you will, be easy with yourself about it. The point of meditation is learning how to quiet your mind so when you begin thinking, you have a perfect opportunity to PRACTICE quieting your mind! It's why meditation is called a practice and not something you master. Thinking is NOT a failure! It's an opportunity.
Lastly, take yourself for an appreciation walk! This is probably my favorite technique for lessening stress and anxiety! Moving your body is almost always a good distraction from stress and when you couple that with showing appreciation for the things around you it just intensifies the benefits! Take 5 to 10 minutes, whatever you can spare and take a walk and find things you can genuinely appreciate!
These are three awesome tips for lessening stress and anxiety when it begins to affect your physical body! Please let me know which of them you use and how they work for you!
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