Feeling anxious? Anxiety seems to be our new normal state.
Watching the news for more than a few minutes ends up being a real adrenaline rush. Coronavirus, wildfires, inflation, shootings, Ukraine. Who can feel calm?
Self-help author Wayne Dyer wrote, “You can’t always control what goes on outside you; but you can control what goes on inside you.”
So, what can you do to change what’s going on inside you?
There are a number of self-help tools that can be quite effective ways to get rid of anxiety such as…
- Controlled breathing. Just slowing down the number of times you breath per minute will calm you. Aim for 6-8 breaths per minute
- Progressive muscle relaxation. Tense and relax each muscle group throughout the body
- Visualization. Think of a calming, safe place that makes you feel at ease
- Distraction. When my toddler grandson is upset, we look out the window for animals to distract him. Distraction works for adults too.
- Compassionate self-talk. I’ve coped before. I know I can handle this.
- Worry Time. Choose a convenient time to worry for 5-10 minutes and set it aside for now.
- Relaxing Music. Studies have shown that creating a relaxing environment that includes relaxing music can lower anxiety.
- Exercise. Exercise lowers stress and anxiety. It can also help with sleep if not done in the hours leading up to bedtime
- Sleep. Shakespeare wrote, “Sleep, that knits the raveled sleeve of care.” Everything look a little better when you’re rested.
Recently a woman told me another method that worked well for her.
She externalized her anxiety. Feeling her anxiety was located in a particular spot inside her head, she imagined gently pushing the anxiety out of her head as though it was a cloud exiting her body. The anxiety was still hanging around her so she was aware of it, but her anxiety was no longer inside her causing her stress and distress. It’s similar to methods used in yoga and meditation where a person learns to be aware of anxious thoughts, but simply lets them go by rather than follow them down an anxious path.
The main point is, if you are feeling anxious, take a moment to consider what you can do to control what goes on inside you.
If you are feeling anxious at work, there are a number of ways to address that in my latest book, Working Through Menopause: The Impact on Women, Businesses and the Bottom Line available at Amazon.