How to manage your anxiety

Mental Health and Wellness
How to manage your anxiety

Here it comes -- that sick, nervous energy in the pit of your stomach. Anxiety is hitting…what can you do to relieve it?

  • Acknowledge that you’re anxious. Accept the fact that you’re feeling anxious and remind yourself that it’s simply an emotion. Think of it as “energy in motion” and remind yourself that it will pass and soon another emotion will come to fruition.
  • Breathe. Take three deep breaths from your lower belly - slow deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. When you breathe out, exhale anxiety and stress. When you breathe in, take in relaxation and calmness.
  • Talk yourself through it. When your brain starts coming up with all sorts of ideas, ask yourself, “How likely is this to actually occur? Is this worry realistic? What’s the worst thing that could happen?”
  • Listen to calming music. Download some calm meditation music on your ipod or laptop. No books on tape or rock music -- indulge  yourself in the quietness and simplicity of meditation music.
  • Use guided imagery. Picture yourself in your “Zen Place,” i.e., walking along a white sandy beach, with your toes tapping into the beautiful blue-green water, or perhaps walking in the quiet calmness of a forest. Picture yourself relaxing and becoming calm, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Relax every muscle, every cell of your body. Picture your anxiety and stress being lifted from the cells of your body and floating away in the sky.
  • Return to the present moment. Often anxiety is centered on fear of the future - on what may or may not happen in the future. Bring yourself back to the present. Repeat the following mantra: “Right here, right now, all is well.”
  • Focus on activities that bring you joy. Redirect your attention from the anxiety to something that warms your heart and brings you joy.  Take a relaxing, candle-lit bubble bath, prepare a delicious meal, take a walk and/or observe nature.

These are just a few techniques that can be used to reduce anxiety. The goal is to bring yourself back to the present moment, be in the “here and now,” and allow the anxiety to be released from your body, mind and spirit.