Tips for Calming Your Anxiety (Part Two)

Here is Part Two of my new series, Tips for Calming Your Anxiety. Before you start in on this post, you can check out the first one here if you missed it!


In Part One, I shared that my reason for beginning this new series was because I found myself stuck in this prolonged anxious sate that was driving me insane. I can thankfully share that it has since passed now and I’m back to feeling like my typical self. (Still anxious, but I’m at my own ‘normal’ level again). However, I know that just because I’m feeling okay for the time being doesn’t mean that others out there aren’t having these awful anxious spells and who knows when I myself will have another one again. (Plus not feeling like ‘You’ sucks, doesn’t it?)

Well since I’m full of tricks, I’m going to share some more of my favorite tips for calming anxiety. I think the focus on this installment will be about how to keep anxiety at bay longer between the heightened spells. (Whereas Part One’s focus was how to quickly calm anxiety during its peaks). Both are really important concepts here while we all figure out how to better handle our anxiety and to better care for ourselves mentally.

So, with this short introduction out of the way, here are more of my favorite ways to keep my anxiety at bay: (Seriously, that rhyme wasn’t intentional… but now that I’ve noticed it is there it is definitely staying for the final draft).


Tips for Calming Your Anxiety (Part Two)

  • Engage Your Mind. Whatever that means for you; challenge yourself mentally. You can read a novel or try coloring in an adult coloring book. The coloring books are really trendy right now. They are becoming so popular because they are being described as “stress relieving”. I myself have a cat-themed one from Amazon that I couldn’t find any more but I found this awesome one that has tons of intricate animal designs. The coloring books are a nice relaxing way to use your time productively that otherwise could be wasted on something mindless like idling on your phone or watching TV.
  • Strike A Pose. Child’s Pose to be exact. This is a very basic yoga pose that complete yoga virgins are capable of doing. Personally, even after learning some much more challenging poses, this one remains my favorite because of how relaxing it is. The yogi at my studio explained that when your forehead makes contact with something firm (usually your mat during a yoga class) it releases chemical signals in your brain to start relaxing your body. Which makes a lot of sense if you consider that about the only time your head isn’t elevated is when you are going to sleep (thus the only time your head makes contact with a firm object). Lie in child’s pose for at least 10 minutes or until you start to feel more relaxed when feeling particularly anxious. Not sure how to get into Child’s Pose? Here you go!
  • Essential Oils. There is plenty of controversy about the effectiveness of essential oils, which I’m not here to argue about. However, from my own personal experience, they can be a powerful tool for calming stress and anxiety. Right now I am using this 100% pure Lavender oil for my anxiety. I will add a few drops into my bath water for a nice aromatheraputic effect, or (and this is life changing so take note) I will add several drops to my pillow once a week so throughout the night I am surrounded by the soothing smell of lavender. Make sure you don’t put too much, so it isn’t distracting. But having a wonderful smell softly in the background of the atmosphere while you are falling asleep is amazing. And if you toss and turn in the middle of the night more scent is released! I also found this article that discusses some other commonly used essential oils for stress if lavender isn’t your thing.
  • Hug Someone (or something) You Love. Compressions also help release stress by sending chemical signals throughout the body to relax. Yes, there are other yoga poses that are specifically designed to do this, but you will get even better benefits from hugging it out with someone you love, or maybe by loving on a dog or kitty cat of yours. We tend to like to isolate ourselves when feeling anxious, which is honestly quite counterintuitive, but we are all guilty of it. Spending time with a loved one is a great way to make sure you are not isolating yourself when your anxiety is bothering you and irrational thoughts that run through your mind are harder to ignore.

Alright loves, that is it for now. Try this out and send me your thoughts and what worked/didn’t work for you!!

Hugs and Positive Vibes,

Miss lessanxiouslife

 

The Third Step: Battling Your Anxiety Disorder

In The First Step I explained how important it is to get to the bottom of the causation of your anxiety problem. Where does it all stem? Is it biological in nature, rooted in a traumatic experience, or a little bit of both? The Second Step is all about becoming more familiar with your anxiety triggers and discovering healthier ways to handle them. Now we have come to the third step! (Who knows how many there will end up being, but I feel like we are making some nice progress here).

The Third Step is all about building a support system. And I can not stress enough how important this part is. All of these Steps are designed to build on one another, and if you never create a support system for yourself you may as well declare “I’m tired of making progress with my mental health, I think I’m going to stop here.” But I don’t think you are the kind that is going to do something rash like that, otherwise what are you doing on my site?

Sarcasm aside, I do stress the fact that creating a support system can be a scary or uncomfortable experience for many individuals. As people with anxiety disorders, we tend not to be the best at putting our trust in others. It feels unnatural, scary, or feels as if it places power over yourself in the hands of someone else. Well, it can be uncomfortable, especially if you don’t particularly make it commonly known that you suffer from an anxiety condition, but overall, it is the best thing ever to have a group that knows what you are going through and is available to talk with you about how you are feeling if you ever want to; even if it is just one person.

Personally, my support group pretty much just consists of two people; my significant other and a close friend. I might at any time choose to add someone else into my support group, but for now these two wonderful people provide everything that I could ever need from them. My friend also suffers from an anxiety disorder, and while it is fairly different from my own, she is still someone who can genuinely say she knows how I am feeling and where I am coming from on a lot of the things we discuss. THAT is a pretty amazing thing. If you are a fairly private person, I whole heartedly push you to open up about what you are going through enough to find someone else who you share a common ground with. There have been countless times when I have called my friend when I have felt an anxiety attack coming on and she literally stops what she is doing to talk me through it because she herself knows how it feels to go through one. And there have been numerous times when I have been there to support her through anxiety, and that has created an extremely powerful bond between us. And while my significant other does not have any sort of anxiety condition he is extremely patient with me and he even researches on his own how to better help me when I am feeling particularly anxious. What more could I ever ask for?

In short, there is no right “amount” of people that should make up your support group. Even if you only have one person to go to, that is wonderful. And there is nothing “specific” that they need to offer you, as long as you get something positive and healthy out of it. My friend offers me someone to go to who actually understands what I am feeling and my significant other is someone who pours effort into better understanding me, learning about my condition, and pushing me to make more and more lifestyle changes to help my anxiety; my “motivator” in a way. And for now, that is all I need.

Reach out to friends, reach out to your family, reach out to people you never even thought of reaching out to before until you finally have found your support group. Tackling anxiety isn’t easy, but it sure isn’t any easier trying to face it alone. Again, it might be somewhat uncomfortable to open up about something so private and something that unfortunately in our society is kind of taboo, but had I never told my friend that the pills she saw me take during a night out were my daily anxiety medication, (I could have just as easily said they were painkillers for a headache), then she never would have given me a huge hug and confided in me that she too had a diagnosed anxiety condition.

Start with just one person and go from there. And as always, as you are building your support group, give me feedback on how your progress is going through Twitter or my email.

 

Hugs and Positive Vibes,

Miss lessanxiouslife 

Tips for Calming Your Anxiety (Part One)

As I write this addition, my anxiety has been more noticeable than usual for the past several days. Probably one of the reasons why I haven’t written anything in about a week. (Sorry). Usually my anxiety hangs out in the background of my life. It’s always there, but its not interfering with my day too much. Somedays, I actually hardly remember I have an anxiety problem in the first place. Then I have days like now. They actually usually come several at a time. Everything is harder than it usually is. Small talk with my family is more labored, breathing is harder, keeping my mind on a single train of thought is near impossible, and I start to become extremely unhappy with myself. Not too considerate to not cut myself some slack considering I have a diagnosed anxiety problem, right? Well, I’d imagine that since you are reading this you also have some variety of anxiety disorder, and I’d also imagine you know exactly what I’m talking about so I don’t have to go into too much detail over that. It’s not fair, or right of us to start getting upset with ourselves over something we can’t control, but that’s usually the problem. It is for me anyways. I’ve shared before that I classify myself as a real Type A personality. Not having control of something is kind of my worst nightmare. And not having control over my own mind is particularly annoying disappointing frustrating. So, I am already in a state of heightened anxiety, and I start to get mad at myself for it, which in turn makes my anxiety a little worse. Like I said, not very self-loving cycle, is it?

Well, I’m pretty fed up with it today. So I’m going to share some of my favorite go-to activities that almost always lessen my anxiety. (Then I’m going to go DO them). I hope you get something out of this. Anything is worth trying at least once. So give it a shot and give me some feed back.


Tips for Calming Your Anxiety (Part One)

  • Take a Hot Shower.  Even if it’s not “hair washing day” (the relief is worth it), sit down at the bottom of your shower, and let the hot water pour over you entire body. Sit there for as long as you need, not doing anything. You can have some music on if you want, but I prefer silence.
  • Make a Cup of Tea. I’m a “southern belle”, but hot tea is the way to go if you’re having a stressful day. My absolute favorite blend to unwind with is Lavender Dreams by Teavana.
  • Rub Lotion in All Over. Pick a soothing scent and strip down and cover your body in lotion. This is a weird one, but it helps me calm down. I think in general the moisturizing feeling mixed with anything that smells good is pleasing to me. My favorite lotion for this is The Righteous Butter by Soap & Glory.
  • Burn a Nice Candle. Again with the good smells. Maybe a pattern for me? Or maybe good smells are just universally awesome. And candles themselves create a nice atmosphere.
  • Listen to a Talk Down or Guided Meditation. Ever heard of a man named Jason Stephenson? He’s my fav when my anxiety is running rampant. He specifically makes calming music and meditations for a living (which is pretty cool, plus he’s great at it). It might seem a little strange at first, but give it a try and play along! If nothing else on my list is working for me on a particular day, this one never fails. He even makes this specific video for anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Get a Good Night Sleep. But what if my anxiety is keeping me up at night? I have an answer for that too, love. Another amazing gift from Jason Stephenson. He has several guided meditations for sleep, but this one is my absolute favorite. I pass out in 10 minutes tops regardless of how anxious I’ve been lately. And having a good night sleep with relentless anxiety, or even ptsd or depression, is divine.

Alright loves, Try this out and please as always, feedback is welcomed and even encouraged.

 

Hugs and Positive Vibes,

Miss lessanxiouslife