For most of my life I’ve dealt with mild to moderate anxiety. This showed up in the form of tension headaches, binge-watching Netflix in bed and eating a whole lot of junk food to “feel better”. I have since learned that there are better ways of releasing tension and reducing anxiety. One of the key ways I’ve learned to do this is by tuning in to my body. These small shifts have had a major impact on my energy levels, mood and have helped reduce anxiety.
This is literally as simple as pausing and taking a quick inventory of your physical and internal experience. Most days I do this on the drive home from work. I start at my toes and work my way up to the tip of my head – taking inventory of how each part of my body feels. Are my feet aching, are my shoulders raised and holding tension, are my eyes narrowed and my brow furrowed? These are all clues that I’m holding anxiety in my body that I may not even be aware of and I need to do something to relax.
You wake up and you write everything out that is in your mind. Morning pages are jumbled, they’re messy, and they’re disorganized and usually chaotic. But they allow you to release all of that from your mind and your subconscious and then move into a problem solving/focused space. There is something so powerful about getting all of that out on paper.
Move Your Body
There are so many options for this one. Weightlifting, yoga, pilates, walk your dog, go for a run, hit up a spin class, stretch. Pay attention to your feet hitting the ground, your breath-work, your heart-rate. It’s really difficult to focus in on your body and still ruminate about the events of the day.
5-5-5. Breathe in for five seconds. Breathe out for five seconds. Do this five times. When you breathe in, your stomach should expand like a balloon. When you breathe out, it should be like you’re blowing out candles. This completely resets your nervous system, calms your mind and is an emotionally regulating experiencing.