Here a few simple practices I’ve used and have incorporated into my daily schedule. I do have to remind myself to do at least one of the practices below, ‘do something good for myself’ in a day.
Let's explore these techniques.
Mindfulness Meditation: This is a powerful tool for managing anxiety. Find a quiet and comfortable space, close your eyes, and bring your attention to the present moment. Focus on your breath, observing each inhale and exhale without judgment. Allow thoughts to come and go, gently returning your focus to the breath. Regular mindfulness meditation practice can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety. If would like you can follow my 6mins guided mindfulness of breathing meditation here.
Deep Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing exercises provide immediate relief during moments of anxiety. Take a slow, deep breath through your nose, allowing your belly to expand, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this deep breathing pattern several times, focusing on the sensation of each breath. Deep breathing activates the body's relaxation response, easing anxiety and promoting a sense of relaxation.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and then releasing each muscle group in your body, promoting deep relaxation. Start by tensing the muscles in your toes for a few seconds, then release and let the tension melt away. Gradually work your way up through your legs, abdomen, arms, and face, tensing and releasing each muscle group. This technique helps release physical tension and can reduce anxiety.
Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal can be a cathartic and grounding practice. Set aside a few minutes each day to write freely about your emotions, worries, or any racing thoughts that contribute to anxiety. Journaling helps you gain clarity, process emotions, and release tension, leading to reduced anxiety levels.
Physical Activiity: Physical activity is an effective way to reduce anxiety and promote overall well-being. Engage in exercises you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, dancing, or practicing yoga, ,Indoor climbing, hoola hooping, netball. Physical activity releases endorphins, natural mood enhancers that reduce stress and anxiety. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
Connect with Nature: Spending time in nature has a calming effect on the mind and body. Take a walk in a park, sit by a river, or spend time in a garden. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of the natural world. Nature has a way of grounding us, reducing anxiety, and restoring a sense of peace.
Practice Self-Compassion: Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness and understanding, especially during moments of anxiety. Practice self-compassion by acknowledging your feelings without judgment, reminding yourself that it's normal to experience anxiety, and offering yourself words of comfort and encouragement. Treat yourself with the same compassion you would extend to a loved one.
Prioritize Restful Sleep: Caffeine and alcohol can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Limit your intake of these substances and prioritize restful sleep. Establish a regular sleep routine, create a soothing environment in your bedroom, and practice relaxation techniques before bed. Quality sleep is crucial for reducing anxiety and maintaining emotional well-being.
Remember, these practices require consistency and patience, which is king! Incorporate them gradually into your daily routine. Don’t be discouraged if you don't see immediate results.. These small habits will stack up and overtime you’ll be able to access this state of calm and balance whenever you need.