Anxiety can be a real buzz kill. With many side effects such as leaky gut, digestive upset, hormonal imbalances, and chronic stress just to name a few, anxiety can really impact the quality of your life. Here at The Inspired Optimist, I find those suffering with anxiety need a holistic approach to healing, and this can take some time. With our busy lifestyle however, sometimes we just need some calm STAT! Which is why I have created my go to list for instant anxiety relief. Consider it your rescue remedy for overwhelm. Enjoy!
1. Accept it
The more you resist the feeling, the more energy you give that emotion. So next time you feel the familiar pull of anxiety, try not to resist it. Simply feel it, accept it and move on.
Accepting your feelings of anxiety and all of the symptoms that come with it, is one of the best ways to reduce it, or even eliminate it all together.
Nuture your nervous system by encouraging it to move out of fight and flight and into rest and digest. Breathing is one of the best ways to do this. 7 deep belly breathes into the nose, any time you feel overwhelm creeping in.
I recently went through a stressful period where I found it nearly impossible to turn off my mind. I would journal as a way to sort through my emotions, and wrote down anything that came to mind. After word vomiting my mind onto paper, I realised my feelings of overwhelm were a result of the subconscious self sabotaging dialogue that was happening in between my ears. Essentially I was stressing over stories I was making up in my own head.
Next time anxiety starts knocking on your door, try writing down any thought that comes to mind, without judgement.
4. Distinguish yourself from anxiety
YOU are not anxious, you FEEL anxious. The truest form of yourself only wants to love, support and appreciate you. Any other feeling besides joy and love are simply tricks of the mind. Again, YOU are not anxious, you simply FEEL anxious. No need to identify with this emotion.
Seriously. It works. Get in your car and let out a big belter. Either that or turn the music up and sing so load your throat hurts. Getting rid of excess energy through sound is a brilliant way to come back to calm.
6. Run up and down the stairs 10 times
Similar to ‘screaming’ this is another way to shed your system of excess nervous energy. Physical exercise will also release happy hormones into the brain, reducing the chance of your anxious feelings manifesting into sadness.
7. Jump in the ocean
There is nothing quite like connecting with the big blue to remind us that we are a small drop in a very big pond. There is a reason why humans are so connected to water. Drawing it, listening to it, photographing it. Being in water gives our brains a break from over stimulation, essentially bringing us into a meditative state.
8. Essential oils
Whether you wear them, diffuse them or eat them, essential oils have long been a go to remedy to encourage calm. My top favourites include:
Lavender: A few drops on the pillow or in the bath
Geranium: Worn topically
Check out Equivalence for 100% pure, organic oils. PLUS make sure you take a peek at their brand new range.
9. Stretch your chest
Did you know that something as simple as posture can influence how we perceive the world and react to stress? Think about it. Have you ever been walking down the street by yourself at night, heard a loud noise and gotten a fright?! Your shoulders and head tend to round forward, and you may even instinctively protect your face and head. This is called a fight or flight posture, and it is your bodies’ way of protecting you when it detects potential danger.
If you have rounded forward shoulder, you are essentially tricking your brain into thinking that there is a threat to be fearful of, which increases anxious feelings.
By simply stretching you chest, you can instantly reduce the role that posture plays in the stress cycle. Find out more in my previous article 4 Exercises to Reduce Stress
10. Bridge the gap
In my experience, anxiety comes from living too far in the future. Living with fear of something that ‘will be’ or ‘needs to be’. Essentially what this means is that we fail to see ‘what is’.
When we spend too much time thinking about the person we WILL become, the things we WILL have and achieve, we find ourselves in something called the gap. It’s the comparison of the person you are now with the person you perceive you will be in the future.
Bridge the gap and reduce anxiety by coming back to the present moment.
A self proclaimed ‘modern day hippie’ Dr Jacinta (The Inspired Optimist) is obsessed with all things natural, healthy and holistic living. As an integrated Chiropractor, keynote speaker, host of The Inspired Optimist Podcast and Holistic Lifestyle Coach with over 10 years in the health and wellness industry, Dr Jacinta witnesses everyday the amazing healing potential of the human body.