Holistic psychotherapist Jessica Hernandez works with individuals who feel overwhelmed due to past trauma or a major life change, and need some guidance re-establishing their sense of well-being and self-connectedness. Connect with Jessica to learn more!
Whether you’re dealing with the occasional anxious thought or suffering from regular anxiety attacks, it can be difficult to know where to start when looking for solutions for managing anxiety.
Luckily, there are some tried-and-true ways to make anxiety easier to manage as well as help prevent future attacks. Let's look at some ideas to empower you to take your life back from anxiety.
Photo Credit: Claudia Barbosa via Pexels
Deep Breathing and Meditation
When it comes to managing anxiety, deep breathing can be incredibly helpful in calming your mind and body because it tones the Vagus nerve. This can be as simple as pausing throughout your day to take 3 slow, deep breaths in through your nose, and then exhale slowly and fully through your mouth. Doing this several times throughout the day will help reduce feelings of stress and tension. You can also learn Yoga Breathing techniques from Jessica so that you understand the science of breathing, which breathing exercises work best for anxiety, and fill your "mental health toolkit" with a variety of tools.
You can also begin a meditation practice, which helps you to calm both your body and mind as you clear the mental clutter. There are a wide variety of meditation techniques, so you will have to experiment to find the one that works best for you. Some people mistakenly think they have to obtain a state of "no thoughts" in order to be successfully meditating. That's nearly impossible, especially in the Western world! The goal is to acknowledge thoughts as they arise, and let them go. EVentually you will increase the space between them, and that's where the mental ease and clarity comes in.
As an added touch, for both deep breathing and meditation, adding aromatherapy with essential oils like lavender has been known to have deeply calming effects. You can diffuse the oil in your room, spray it in the air or on your pillow for sleep, or place a couple of drops on your pulse points like perfume. A little goes a long way!
Adopting a Pet
Having a pet can be extremely helpful when facing anxious thoughts or feelings. Animals are known for being loving and loyal companions, which can help ease stress levels and provide comfort during difficult times. Consider getting a pet that fits your lifestyle if you’re looking for an additional source of emotional support.
Please be kind to the animal by making sure that you are in a position to be its forever human. Pets can be a big responsibility, so be sure to choose one that requires the level of care that you are comfortable and able to provide. It's not meant to add stress to your life! Pet fish, hamsters, rabbits, & guinea pigs can be just as rewarding a pet as cats and dogs and reptiles who require more care.
And if having your own pet is not an option for you, visit a local animal shelter and volunteer to help out for a day. Those animals will benefit greatly as well as provide the loving attention you may be needing.
Relying on a Support System
Mental Health First Aid notes that having someone you can trust and rely on during hard times is essential when dealing with anxiety attacks. Don't hesitate to make a plan with a family member or friend who you trust so that they will be there to offer advice and support.
Joining an online support group can also be valuable in overcoming your anxious thoughts and feelings.
A Supportive Workspace
Technology has the potential to cause stress and anxiety in users. To mitigate this, ergonomic furniture such as chairs that promote good posture can help reduce frustration levels. An optimized home office with updated technology, ergonomic furniture, and appropriate storage systems for documents can create a more stress-free environment. That in itself can reduce anxiety if you know that yours is connected to working from home. Plus, you may find that if you have a messy, cluttered home environment, it leads to more anxiety. Keeping things tidy is beneficial for your mental health, too!
Reframing your thoughts in a more positive light can have a beneficial effect on your overall stress and anxiety levels. For instance, SoulSalt points out that, instead of focusing on what you are not able to do, focus on what you CAN do and remind yourself that you are capable of doing the task and it may just take more time. This shift in attitude can enable you to gain more confidence and empower feelings about yourself and your skill set.
Your Routine and Schedule
Creating and using a scheduling system can have many benefits, from increased productivity to reduced anxiety and stress levels because you know what you are supposed to be focusing your efforts on. Setting reminders ahead of time is particularly helpful for keeping track of important meetings and deadlines. Digital calendars or physical agendas or planners can both be effective tools for remaining organized and on task throughout the day. There's planners with virtually every theme out there nowadays, Find one that suits your line of work or interests.
Plus, make sure your daily schedule includes time taking care of you! You cannot give to others if your cup is empty. Use your calendar to block of time in the morning and the evening to do something kind for yourself, have unstructured downtime, or participate in your favorite sport or hobby. Or try a Radiant You Journey!
A Less Stressful Job
If you're feeling increasingly stressed and anxious about aspects at work, it might be time to look into other job opportunities. Refresh your resume by using a free resume builder, so potential employers can get an idea of the relevant skills and experiences you have. This free online tool allows you to choose from a library of professionally designed and customizable resume templates. Revising your resume is a great way to showcase your abilities in a modern, professional way.
You may also find that a career change is in order. Perhaps you simply fell into your current line of work, or maybe it’s simply time for a change. There are plenty of accredited universities that now offer fully online programs that work around your schedule. Whether you are interested in a BA in education or something else, there are plenty of options to help you move into a career you will enjoy.
In Conclusion, You CAN Find Ways to Manage Your Anxiety
Taking care of anxiety can be a challenge, but it's very possible. Practicing deep breathing, engaging in guided meditation, updating home technology, getting a pet, and considering a new job are all effective ways to take control of anxious thoughts and prevent future attacks. Surrounding yourself with supportive people is also an important part of this process.
If you need more guidance and support, reach out to Jessica here.