Through my personal experience with anxiety, I’ve come to truly appreciate a few methods to put my mind more at ease. Some I’m certain you’ve heard of before, but hey, they actually work! (atleast for me!)
Going outside is a free and very available way to calm one’s mind. The fresh air and connection to nature have been proven time and time again to help with one’s mental health. It can been anywhere from stepping outside for a few moments, getting present with the moment or going all out and going for a hike or snowshoe.
I know I know, we all know exercise helps, but actually getting up and doing it can be very difficult. Starting small is important. Days when I really don’t think I can possibly make it out to work out I like to clean the house. I’ll throw on some fun music and dance as I clean. It really gets the heart pumping and gets your mind off of whatever is stressing you out at the moment. Sometimes I’ll just go for a walk around my neighbourhood and days where I feel motivated I’ll actually go to the gym or climbing wall to get the sweat on.
When I feel down or am on the verge of an anxiety attack, one of my favourite things to do is to have a bath. I light candles, put on some calming music, throw in a bath bomb and relax. For the first 10 minutes, instead of music, I usually throw on a meditation walk through (just to get in the mindset!). But it’s all up to you!
Personally I cannot meditate on my own. I have to have someone walk me through the process. I really like the app. CALM. They have white noise options which help me drown out background noise. They have different programs for stress, anxiety you name it. I just use the free version so some of the options are limited, but it’s really changed things around for me.
Whenever I have an anxiety attack, it feels like everything is happening so fast. My heart is racing, my thoughts are jumping all over the place… everything is chaos and my mind can’t sort it out. This is why breathing helps me relax and calm down. Stopping to take the time to finally slow down and breathe inevitably helps my thoughts, and my heart rate, slow down too.
As weird as it may seem, talking to myself has helped me pull myself out of spirals numerous times. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I’m over thinking something or I just need to vocally tell myself to calm down. I find that thinking and speaking positively really help lighten the stress in a situation, so start telling yourself what and how you want to feel, and it might just start manifesting for you!