There is no shortage of stressors in our world as of late. Change is on the horizon in many forms, but even the most favorable versions of “newness” can leave our minds spinning a bit out of control. If you’ve been feeling anxious more often than not lately, you are not alone. Read on for five simple ways to not only recognize your anxiety but to reduce it without breaking the bank.
Write It Out
As someone who deals with anxiety in many forms, I find that grabbing my notebook or laptop and writing out exactly what I am feeling in the moment can help to organize and rationalize my thoughts. Elizabeth Scott from Very Well Mind notes that “Journaling can be a powerful tool for examining and shifting thoughts from anxious and ruminative to empowered and action-oriented.” Don’t know where to start? Pick up your fave pen and click the link below for a list of prompts related to purging those anxious feelings, and breaking them down to manageable sized pieces.
30 Journal Prompts: https://selfcareoverload.com/2020/01/15/30-journal-prompts-for-anxiety/
Break out the Yoga Mat
It’s no secret why yoga professionals rave about the mind and body connection. Whether you’ve never stretched a day in your life or are a self-proclaimed yogi, the benefits of taking some time out of your busy day for yourself and your body are tremendous. Harvard Health explains that Yoga can reduce anxiety by decreasing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and clearing the mind. If you’re new to yoga and need a place to begin, check out my favorite Yogi YouTuber, Adriene. You can find her videos at the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJJWArRfKa0.
Mind and Body Meditation
If you are anything like me, sitting down with the intent to clear my mind is just short of impossible. When dealing with anxious feelings and thoughts; however, Margarita Tartakovsky of Psych Central believes centered mediation may be one of the best ways to stop anxiety at its source. Tartakovsky writes that meditation can aid in managing stress because it helps “quiet an overactive brain.” Cool, right? That doesn’t make it easy, though. If mediation for anxiety is something you’d like to try, I recommend downloading the Headspace app from the app store. Headspace takes you through a guided meditation in short increments that fit any schedule.
Call a Loved One or Go on a Social Distance Walk
While the days of Covid-19 may have stopped us from meeting our friends and family in large gatherings, they have not ended the healing power of human connection. Ornish Living reports that “people are the happiest on days when they spend 6-7 hours of social time with family and friends.” Simply being in the presence of someone you love, or hearing their voice on the other end of the phone can change your outlook. So next time those pesky anxious feelings wash over you, don’t shy from letting someone know how you feel. Talking to them may be just the dose of medicine that you need.
Stop and Smell the Lavender
Ever heard of essential oils? They aren’t as basic as you think. In fact, Healthline tells us that lavender oil has natural calming properties that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety when used safely. Healthline also explains that over time, your body will associate the scent with the feeling of calm, raising the effectiveness even more. On your next grocery store run, pick up a bottle to use when you’re feeling a bit out of your element.
Sydney Cox is a recent graduate of Ball State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting. Originally a Goshen, Indiana native, Sydney has roots in Muncie and Indianapolis as well. When she is not on stage, you can find Sydney writing, trying out the latest fitness classes, or brewing her favorite coffee. You can find her online on Instagram: @thesydneyrenecox and Twitter: @thesydneycox.