Anxiety can be really hard to live with and even downright terrifying at times. I know from my personal experience with anxiety that it can sometimes even be debilitating. While the cause of anxiety is different for every person, it's important to do the work for yourself. Chronic anxiety is often related to either something in your diet or a part of your life that you’re experiencing helpless-ness. Getting to the root of your anxiety is very important in learning how to handle it. Only you can answer that for yourself. It's good to sit down, get comfortable and quiet, and ask yourself what’s going on. Ask yourself what is bothering you. Chances are you already know the answers. That being said, there is still relief from the torment of anxiety. Here are five quick fixes I’ve used in the past to calm my anxiety. Keep in mind, though, that this might not necessarily ‘cure’ your anxiety, it will, however, help you cope.
Nature is very grounding. It is soothing for the soul. Nature teaches us about living in harmony. When you feel anxious, get outside! Sit in the grass, jump into a lake, dig your hands into the Earth; whatever is available. Nature always brings us closer to our natural state: peace. In Ayurvedic studies, anxiety and stress are often a sign of excessive air qualities in the mind (vata). You can counteract this by surrounding yourself with earth and water qualities either by playing in your garden or swimming. Get closer in any way to the elements of earth and water, you’ll likely notice the difference almost immediately.
Breathing exercises can be very helpful in reducing anxiety. I personally practice Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing everyday. This simple technique calms the mind and balances the left and right brain. You can practice this as often as you like, but for better results, practice it daily. Aside from that, even just closing your eyes and taking 5 deep breaths will help you quiet your mind.
Meditation does wonders for calming the mind. However, for a lot of people, the traditional way of practicing meditation isn’t always accessible, especially for those who suffer from anxiety. I personally love using guided meditations as you can allow yourself to relax a little more. If that doesn’t work for you, try other non-conventional ways to meditate like yoga, swimming, or coloring. There are many ways to get present. See what works best for you.
Yoga is the ultimate for relaxation as it was designed to get you out of your head. Also, poses like child’s pose, forward folds, and inversions are very calming. Aside from yoga, any exercise will benefit you and make you feel better and less anxious. Whether it be yoga, running, snowboarding, skiing, mountain climbing, biking, or walking, the most important part is getting some form of exercise everyday.
Positive affirmations are a great way of reprogramming our thoughts. Try implementing them into your everyday life either in your journalling, meditation, or with little post-it reminders around your house. Use sayings like “I am enough” or “I am happy” or “I am safe” to help alleviate anxiety.
I hope this article helps you to find more peace in your every day life. Remember to take the time to figure out what’s going on in your life that’s causing the anxiety and take actions accordingly. Life is too short to be anything but happy, healthy, and peaceful.
By Inner Fire Luminary: Jessica Pyper