Coping with Anxiety

 

Here are some grounding and relaxation techniques to help you combat anxiety

These techniques are simple and quick which is what is important when you are feeling stressed and or anxious, most can be done discretely so you don’t need to worry about attracting attention to yourself. I recommend that if you are a sufferer of stress / tension / anxiety you find which techniques help you and you practice them daily, even when you are feeling OK. So, that when the balance of stress etc. is tipped the wrong way you can call upon your techniques that you are familiar with and make effective change. Also practising them daily allows you to feel more relaxed and can help reduce the spikes of anxiety.

 

7/11 breathing

Breathing techniques are often considered effective in facilitating greater relaxation. Use on a daily basis, both as a method of controlling anxiety when it occurs and also for practising several times a day so you can experience relaxation frequently and become accustomed to being in control and how it feels. 7, 11 breathing is simply breath in through the nose for 7 seconds and out through the mouth for 11 seconds, this brings down stress levels and allows relaxation to occur. Note that you my struggle with 7 seconds in and 11 out until you become more accustomed to this practice, as long as your outbreath is longer than the in breath you are making the change.

 

Be in the now!

Use 5,4,3,2,1:  Think about 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch (and touch them), 2 things  you can smell or like the smell of, and 1 slow, deep breath.

Notice what is right now and notice how different it is to the distressing thought

Barefoot

If it is possible where you are go outside and stand barefoot on the grass, while there take a few moments to be in the now, notice your surroundings as above, deep breathing as you do.

Positive Affirmations

Take time when you feel good to make a positive affirmation for when you are struggling and need to keep yourself in balance with relaxation. Make your affirmation an I am statement. Often with stress and anxiety we sometimes feel helpless and become overwhelmed and so the self talk would be something like ‘I am hopeless’, switch this negative thought on its head to something like ‘I am doing great’, ‘ I am doing the best I can’, ‘I am just fine the way I am’. When the need comes repeat to yourself your positive affirmation, deep breathing as you do.

Say the Alphabet backwards

Z, Y, X, W, V,…………………

Release Techniques

It is important to have a method of releasing and letting go of negative thoughts and feelings, such as fears, worries, doubts, guilt, anxiety etc. The technique can be any visualisation which involves throwing away, dumping, shredding, or discarding the negativity. Here are such techniques you might try:-

Visualise:

Throwing objects from a hot air balloon,

Putting objects into a boat and pushing away,

Putting objects into a hot air balloon basket and then releasing the basket to float away,

Give unwanted thoughts and feelings a colour, then blow out that colour in a long breath,

Imagine blowing thoughts/feelings into a balloon then watching it float away,

Putting thoughts/feelings into a cloud and watching the cloud float away

 

Power Pose

For helping balancing stress and relaxation hormones. Use the power pose for 2 minutes every morning. The pose when held for 2 minutes is said to raise testosterone levels by up to 20%. Testosterone is associated with confidence and social dominance. In turn if your confidence is increased then your stress hormone cortisol is reduced allowing a more relaxed feel. So in two minutes you can feel more relaxed and confident ready for the day ahead.

The pose

It is done with a confident posture of feet hip distance apart, chin up, shoulders back and down creating an open body and hands on hips. Hold for 2 minutes breathing steady.

 

Have fun in finding what helps you. Most importantly practice it daily over and over so you become in control of your relaxation and feelings.