Anxiety can feel like such a massive beast at times hanging out in our closets. Cheers to thinking it would all go away after childhood and no longer being afraid of the dark.
The truth is anxiety is something that creeps in for many of us at the most inconvenient times. And I am sure many of us wish it would just disappear all together.
The Scarlet Letter: “A” for Anxiety
And no, I am not talking about the book. I am talking about the “A” for Anxiety.
Here’s the thing about anxiety: it’s a matter of how we process emotion. It is much more realistic to aim to manage it versus trying to do away with it all together.
Many people are thriving with anxiety . . . even some of the stars who many of us look at and think they’ve got it all together.
Popular singers to the likes of Adele and Zayn Malik have expressed feelings that they would never be able to perform again due to their crippling anxiety. Adele, after having her own bouts with anxiety, actually phoned Zayn Malik to be of support.
So consider this our phone call to be a support to you!
For some of us anxiety cripples us so much it is paralyzing. It’s kind of like a tidal wave that slowly builds and takes over your whole body.
The thing about anxiety is our thoughts begin to go rogue and once we enter that spiral it can be challenging to get out.
And when we encounter this feeling in the moment, it can be very vulnerable. Maybe it even leads to feelings of shame or guilt.
Let’s take a deep breath and know that with each breath, we can let go of what no longer serves us and open space for what does!
Hmm . . . all of sudden my chest feels a bit lighter. The veil has lifted a bit, yes?
If that was helpful, then keep reading because we’re just getting started!
Quick Check-In: How Do You Manage Anxiety?
The thing about anxiety is our thoughts begin to go rogue and once we enter that spiral it can be challenging to get out. It’s important in these cases to have grounding techniques in your healing toolkit to recenter and reset your thought patterns.
It’s all about providing yourself with as much support as possible to serve as a reminder that you are in fact ok.
Help is on the way!
Try These 5 Grounding Techniques to Manage Anxiety:
Here are five grounding tips to manage your anxiety in the moment.
Play with your breath!
When we free the breath, we free the body. Practicing breathwork serves as a drishti or focal point that allows us to recenter our thoughts. Try these breathwork exercises and make note on how your body responds to them.
Expand the belly fully and let it contract fully. Think of the image of a beach ball or balloon inflating and deflating. Let the belly be truly free.
Take a deep inhale through your nose and a cleansing breath through an open mouth as if you’re fogging up a bathroom mirror. Feel the warmth build in your cheeks and the back of your throat. These are signs that you are in fact alive and everything is working out for you.
Inhale through your nose and exhale with a gentle ‘hum’ sound. Allow the vibrations of this bhramari breath to provide your body with a gentle hug. Feel your breath dance inside of you. Know in your heart that you are good.
2. Move Your Body
When we free the body, we free the mind. So – dance like nobody’s watching!
Do you enjoy movement? Because dancing is a major mood changer! Have your go to song ready to play in these moments and dance like nobody’s watching. This is sure to free up your mind and uplift your vibrations.
For the record, I for one am a terrible dancer. I made peace with that a long time ago. Middle school dances gave me major anxiety and I would be practicing moves in the mirror for hours with my brother as my dance coach.
But it doesn’t matter! You’re not dancing for anybody but you. Take the pressure off and just have fun!
If dancing is just really not your thing, that’s ok! What is your thing? What movement inspires you?
If you enjoy exercising, go for a run, or walk. Get some sun and fresh air! Sometimes it may feel like chaos is ensuing in our bodies, but really we just need some sun and fresh air. Never underestimate the power of the sun (sidenote: wear sunscreen).
Do you enjoy yoga? Yoga has many mental health benefits including reducing anxiety. Move through a few sun salutations, your favorite flow, or sequence. Practice new poses. Allow your body to be spontaneous and free.
What movement do you find supportive? Comment below. Someone else may find that option to be supportive for them as well.
3. Challenge Your Mind
Reroute your thoughts!
If you feel your thoughts spiraling, come back to your breath. Come back to your body. Fight back against the loophole your brain is trying to take you into.
Here are a few fun suggestions to support you. Make a game out of it!
- Name animals that start with the letter A. 1,2,3, GO!
- Use each letter of the alphabet to name a color or shade
- Pick up an object in your home. How does it feel? Is it heavy? Is it textured? What does it look like? Does it have a smell? How does this object make you feel?
And just like that you’re back on track. Your thoughts are more positive and you are calmer. Do as many as you need to and keep adding to your list of ideas to challenge your mind and reroute your thoughts.
4. Speak Life
You will have what you say!
In the moment, our anxiety begins to write its own story. When under this attack of the mind, we become clouded with negative thoughts, judgements, and straight up lies.
Anxiety works underneath the surface to unwire your glow up and new found peace! Don’t let it. You got this and you are doing so well!
It’s important to have grounding techniques in your healing toolkit to recenter and reset your thought patterns.
Use your own words as a weapon or shield in these moments. Affirm yourself positively as a reminder that you are in control and you are safe.
Here are a few affirmations to ground you in the moment when anxiety sneaks in the backdoor:
I am safe.
I am protected.
I am pure, positive energy.
I am love.
I am adored.
I have all that I desire with me.
Everything is always working out for me.
5. Take a Break
Know when to stop!
There are certain tasks, conversations, and interactions that can cause more anxiety for us than others. In those moments, it’s important to know when to walk away. And to give yourself permission to walk away.
You can disconnect at any moment and any time to reset your energy.
But, we first need to be able to identify when these moments arise.
Notice what’s triggering your anxiety and attempt to process it in a healthy way through positive thinking. If that is not working, move through the previous grounding techniques discussed in this article.
You have the right to remove yourself from situations, conversations, interactions, and so on that are not serving you without explanation. And if that feels uncomfortable when you are with others simply find a reason to excuse yourself.
You have the right to remove yourself from situations, conversations, interactions, and so on that are not serving you without explanation.
Social media can also be a major trigger at times for various reasons. When you begin to feel that tidal wave coming in, choose to support yourself by taking a screen or social media break.
And to go a step further – unfollow any content that triggers your anxiety. You are healing, it takes time.
Lastly, a change of scenery can also be very grounding. Enjoy an early lunch or dinner, sit outside for a while, or if you have the flexibility to work or travel to a different environment – try that! Adjust depending on what the situation is for you.
Choosing to support your mental health is a form of self care. You can support yourself and manage your anxiety using all things that already live within you.
Anxiety is Manageable. You’ve Got This!
It does not have to be an end all be all to the exciting, joyful, life you yearn to live. These grounding techniques are here to support you and hopefully encourage you to develop a few techniques of your own.
Sharing is caring, so let us know what you come up with to add to our list.
You are ohhh-so loved and free . . . live joyfully . . . with or without your anxiety!
Remember, you are not alone! If you need support, National Alliance on Mental Health is a great resource. Visit nami.org or call their helpline: 800-950-NAMI