Everything is the end of the world. Your stomach drops, a wave of nausea hits you like a train, breathing suddenly becomes a battle you can’t win, and your mind races with so many thoughts it’s impossible to think straight. The world must be coming to an end. This is what anxiety feels like, and if you’ve ever experienced anxiety you know that it can leave you an irrational and emotional mess.
As a sufferer of anxiety, I know the exhausting cycle all too well- anxiety attacks, constant over thinking, and a mind that almost never sleeps. I also know that it’s more than possible to calm an anxious mind if you’re willing to work with your mind instead of against it. Here are a few tips that have helped me lessen my anxieties and relax my mind:
Breathe– This may seem like an obvious tip, but one that is easy to forget. Take a moment to remove yourself from your hectic environment, find a quiet space, and practice your breathing. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe deeply until you feel yourself slowing down with your breaths.
Take a social media time-out– You may not want to but trust me, this will help you in the long run. Instead of checking your social media accounts every few minutes, take a designated amount of time off from all forms of social media. Focus on the world around you and on what is truly most important to you. You’ll be surprised to find that what is most important to you can be found without social media.
Find a good playlist– Everyone has their own taste in music especially when it comes to music that relaxes and centers you back to reality. Find a playlist that makes you feel something. Listen to the lyrics. Appreciate the music. Play it while you’re out for a drive on an old back road looking for some clarity. Music has a remarkable ability to soothe the soul and quiet a racing mind.
Yoga– This one stems from personal experience. I’ve found that practicing yoga has helped me focus on my breathing, my self-awareness, and not to mention my flexibility! Yoga can be a very calming, confidence-building experience if you truly commit yourself to it. It won’t hurt to try!
Mindfulness– Mindfulness has been able to help me in more ways than I can count. It opens you up to an awakening experience. Rather than judging your thoughts as either good or bad, you work to take a step back and open your attention onto the present.
Step out into nature– There is something so calming about embracing the harmony of the outdoors during times when your own life seems like one chaotic mess. Nature provides an escape. Time away from your busy and hectic life. Flowing rivers, the rustling of trees, the sound of the wind not to mention beautiful and scenic views can all have a very calming affect on you during stressful times.
Seek outside support– Whether it be from family, friends, or a professional, it always helps to have someone to talk to and have someone to tell you everything is going to be okay. This phrase is one those with anxiety will never get tired of hearing. It is always a relief to hear that things will be okay, even if in the moment it seems like a far reality.
What are some steps you take to calming your anxiety? I’d love to hear about your tips!