With the world in its current state of uncertainty, many people’s day to day lives have changed. Some people are still in lockdown, others have unfortunately lost their jobs, some parents are working from home whilst home-schooling the kids and others are fighting battles we don’t even know about. With change and uncertainty often comes an increase in anxiety and depression.
When anxiety creeps in, it is great to have some handy practical tools on standby to help manage it. We are so grateful to be able to share The Anxiety Healer Alison Seponara’s Top 5 Anxiety Busters with our Real Active family.
- ANXIETY BUSTER #1: START DEEP-BREATHING
Deep breathing is what slows down your sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight), which is activated when you become anxious. As you slow your breath, focus on how to calm your body through slow, intentional belly-breathing. Belly-breathing uses the diaphragm to produce slower and deeper breaths, which also slows down your overactive brain!
- ANXIETY BUSTER #2: MEDITATE
Here's the thing, you may not think you know how to 'meditate', but I promise you that you can do it! Start here: try a short, guided meditation in the morning or right before bed. This can be 2, 5, or 10 minutes long. Check out apps like 'Calm', 'Insight Timer' or 'Headspace’.
- ANXIETY BUSTER #3: TALK TO A THERAPIST
It is so important to find professional support when struggling with anxiety. Because our anxious thoughts can feel SO LOUD, it is important to be able to process them out loud with a licensed cognitive behavioural therapist.
- ANXIETY BUSTER #4: JOURNAL
Journaling is honestly my FAVOURITE anxiety healing tool to start with. We have so many thoughts every single day and about 80% of them are negative. It is important that we can get these thoughts out of our brain somehow! If you don't feel like talking about them with someone else, then WRITE THEM DOWN! Research shows that this technique uses neuroplasticity. Our brains are plastic, which means through intentional acts we can change the pathways in our brain. However, it takes consistent repetition to change these pathways.
- ANXIETY BUSTER #5: EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE!
Exercise is nature's anti-anxiety remedy. Besides clearing the mind, firing up the endorphins, and helping you sleep soundly at night, researchers have found that individuals who exercise vigorously and regularly were 25 percent less likely to develop an anxiety disorder within five years. So at least do some form of active movement 10-20 minutes every day!
Thank you so much to Alison, for allowing us to share her anxiety tips. We love following @theanxietyhealer on Instagram, where she shares her daily wisdom on anxiety and tips on managing it within your day to day life. Alison is a Licensed Professional Counselor from Pennsylvania, USA.