10 ways to ease anxiety

For those of us dealing with anxiety (or in many cases, battling anxiety), one of the things we do is seek whatever we can to help ease it when we are experiencing it. We aim to get from a place of deep insecurity and/or terror, to safety; to peace. I’ve tried many tools and techniques, and these are my top 10 which have helped ease anxiety and get me to a grounded state. The goal here is to become stabilized at the stress or anxiety levels, to reduce triggering panic, which for many of us can take so long to come down from.

Meditation & Breathwork

My number one go-to for anxious thoughts and feelings has been meditation. I implement mindfulness meditations and visualizations on a daily basis. I think of meditation as an exercise for the brain and mind, in patience and awareness. We know all too well how good the mind is at thinking, but what about resting? Through meditation I have noticed even shifts in the way I perceive circumstances; I get to have more of a handle on myself whenever I am in high-stress situations, or if I feel anxiety coming on.

I use Headspace (they offer a great student discount by the way), but you can try any other app, or free meditations on Youtube. I like to start my day, before doing anything else, to dedicate at least 10 minutes in meditation–this sets me for greater success in my day. There are so many different ways to mediate, so if one doesn’t work for you, try another one. There is no “right” way to meditate; find what speaks to you.

One of the best things meditation has taught me is to focus on my breathing. I notice when I feel anxiety, there is a pressure in my chest, and I tend to hold my breathe. Breathwork is so important to release tension in the body, and let it know it is safe. You can find free guided breathing exercises on Youtube.

Mindfulness & Awareness

Through meditation I have learned to be more mindful and aware. Rather than be the one experiencing anxiety, being in a state mindfulness can help you observe, so you are not so much in the experience of it. That’s not to say you won’t think or feel, but instead you have the awareness of what is happening versus being totally involved in the situation.

It’s kind of like seeing yourself go through the motions versus being the one in anxiousness and panic mode.

It’s a little tough to explain if you’ve never experienced this state. Mindfulness and Awareness offer different perspectives so circumstances don’t feel so “black and white”; it’s not so much anxiety “bad”, peace “good”–instead it can be more “hmm, that’s interesting”. It takes practice, just like with any exercise, but it helps so much to give you another way of looking at anxiety and dealing with it.

E.F.T (Emotional Freedom Technique)

Also known as “emotional freedom tapping”, is what I consider to be another form of meditation, except that this is more of a grounding technique. With EFT you focus on tapping on different parts on the body (known as “Meridian points”), in order to release blocked energy. I think of the energy of emotions much like gas, and sometimes this “gas” gets stuck, creating a lot of discomfort. You already know how uncomfortable gas is, so imagine stuck energy or emotions–they prevent us from experiencing more of what we want, such as joy.

If you’ve felt stuck in one way of thinking and/or feeling, I would give E.F.T a try. I have felt instant relief from anxiousness with this technique, and the best part is, you can try this as many times as you need throughout the day. Nick and Jessica Ortner have a “Tapping Solution” app, which you can try for free; I’ve also found wonderful videos on Youtube.

Acupuncture

I had tried acupuncture treatment for tendonitis, as well as other health-related concerns. When the practitioner mentioned it could also help ease anxiety, I asked her to treat that as well. Acupuncture for me is another way to release blocked energy–it helps with the physical ailments and with the “unseen” ones as well. After a session I feel more grounded and relaxed; I sleep better. I also notice positive changes in my physical health; at my worst with anxiety I could barely eat and my stomach was all in knots. My practitioner helped ease my digestive issues, and a number of other things too.

The keys to acupuncture are consistency and also a willingness to relax during a session. Yes there are needles stuck in place on your body, but you are not on your phone and are not distracted by all the world’s noise; this is your opportunity to fully relax into the healing. The more relaxed you are, the easier time your energy (or ‘chi’) will flow. Some places offer group acupuncture, which will be more cost-effective than private sessions. Some health insurances may cover the costs for treatment; see what works for you. I always recommend speaking with the practitioner first and asking all the questions you need to; feel them out–if they don’t help you feel at ease, move on to someone else.

Community

This is a big one–anxiety can feel so isolating. I would have moments where I felt so alone–like I’m the only one experiencing this thing. It was so helpful to learn that a) other people go through this and b) other people have found tools and coping mechanisms to help them thru.

First assess your current community of loved ones–family, friends, pets–who can you turn to when you’re feeling down, or when feeling like giving up? Think about it this way, if roles were reversed, who would you be there for in their time of need? Trust me when I tell you, your loved ones care and they will want to help. They will help in whatever way they can, and sometimes it may not be helpful to you, but they are trying. They will understand as much as they can, but they most likely will never fully grasp what you are going through; no one can until they’ve been there. But you need people my love, so consider reaching out.

I get it, not everyone has family or friends to turn to, so where else can you turn to for support? Do you belong to a religious organization? Can you join a Facebook group? I found Reddit to be a great resource for connecting with others dealing with anxiety–it’s much easier to connect than you think. If you are really shy, just lurk in the Reddit or Facebook groups and read what other people are sharing…sometimes it’s just enough to know someone out there knows exactly what you are going through.

Lastly, there are so many resources and hotlines if you need someone to talk to. One of the many ways Covid has brought our global community together is by creating more opportunities for connection. There are plenty of apps and platforms to help you overcome those trying times–you don’t have to do this alone! In fact, the more you can open up to others, the more space you make for healing. And if you’re a student, please check with your school on what kinds of mental health resources they provide–there are soooo many out there! Honestly if you can’t find anything, please contact me and I will help you.

Sleep music

Vibrations are everything, and they are everywhere. During my worst moments I could not sleep, and it perpetuated the thoughts and feelings of hopelessness. I was exhausted and anxious about being exhausted. I had gotten a Tarot reading from a friend, who suggested I listen to sleep music or a sleepcast of some sort. I downloaded a free app which had sleep stories, and eventually downloaded audiobooks. They helped, but sometimes they only lasted about an hour or two, and I would still be awake by the time they’d be done. They did, however, help me relax.

What really helped me was sleep sounds, which played continuously throughout the night. I listened to different sounds, such as rain and thunder, or ocean waves, but then I found the plethora of sleep meditations on Youtube–jackpot! There are so many different kinds. This channel is one of my favorites, and I always wake up feeling grounded and restored. My favorite sleep meditations are the Chakra cleansing ones. They offer many with dark screens, but usually I just keep my phone facedown.

I recommend checking out the different sleep sounds, during the day, that way you don’t spend precious sleep time scrolling through to find the perfect video for you.

Toning & Chanting

This is another technique which is sound/frequency related. I find that a lot of the stuck or toxic energies within us, need to be expressed in order for us to heal from them. Speaking is a great way to express yourself but sometimes we just don’t know what to say. Chanting is a wonderful way to align yourself with higher frequencies, for healing and also to elevate your mood. Chanting a simple “Om” mantra over and over can get you in a serene state; you can also look up different types of chants on Youtube. There are Buddhist chants, and many others, to help you overcome anxiety, panic, and depression. Shifting your frequencies can really help shift your life.

Toning is another form of aligning with higher frequencies. You can achieve ideal tones through singing, for example, but if that’s not your thing, you can use tools such as a tuning fork, a singing bowl, or binaural beats. Again, you can find samples of these and more on Youtube.

Gratitude

Yes being thankful can lead to great relief. It’s easy to see the glass half-empty during an anxious episode; gratitude will open the door for greater optimism, and hope. Trust me, you have so much to be thankful for, and if you really can’t think of anything, try looking at videos of people living in war-torn countries, or videos of folks in refugee camps, or at children living with incurable illnesses….there’s a lot of suffering in this world, but there’s also a lot of light, and hope. There’s also a lot of triumph.

Start by being thankful for everything in the current room you’re in; your phone, the electricity, the wi-fi, your bed, clean running water, and the list goes on…yes be thankful for every single thing; the list will be endless because you have millions of reasons to be grateful. Just go through the list anyway, and at some point you will actually start to feel gratitude; you’ll feel the warmth in your heart. Trust me, I’ve been where you are. Your heart will open to Love if you allow it to; just be willing to try.

Celebrating triumphs

This one was tough for me because I was used to thinking about how I can do something better, or be better…I never trained myself to look at how I accomplished something, or overcame a challenge. It was too easy for my mind to berate me for not doing enough or not giving enough; in those moments when I felt an anxiety attack I would feel so low about myself– I felt like I’d never feel “normal” again. Rather than look at what I accomplished during the day, I would look at how much further I had to go–it was endless. Until one day, someone I spoke to opened my eyes to the truth–I showed up!

Sometimes I’d get ready to do something and would feel to afraid to go, so I’d get down on myself, but you know what? At least I tried. At least I got ready and intended to go to that thing, so even if I didn’t go it doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate a win–I tried! My willingness is enough. And sometimes I do more, and a little more, and a little teeny bit more, and those are all wins too.

Learn to celebrate yourself each step of the way. I think of this moment as me being like a newborn baby, learning a new way to move around the world. I am learning to walk in a new way, that I have never done before, so I have to be patient with myself. Yes I will stumble and yes I will fall, but I cannot fail because I showed up. By showing up, I already won. So just show up, and try a bit, and another bit, and if you can’t try more than that, that’s OK too. Show up to yourself wherever you are. Celebrate yourself and your wins because you are doing amazingly! You’re still here my love; that’s a win!

Toolbox

I like to say that I have a plethora of tools in my toolbox. What this means is that I have tools, tricks, and strategies to help me whenever I am not feeling well. I like to think of it as showing up prepared. At this stage when dealing with anxiety, it’s better to plan ahead. I get that this tactic is kind of tricky because it can also set you up to feel like everything has to go a certain way, and if it doesn’t it can trigger a negative reaction. But I’d rather know I have something with me, just in case–not because I am planning for it to happen, but just as a precaution.

For example, when I am in a high level of anxiety, or after having experienced a panic attack, my tummy pays the price. I can’t eat and it feels like it’s up in knots. So I carry some mints, or upset stomach relief tabs, or chewing gum to help settle my stomach. So those are some of the tools in my toolbox, and my toolbox may change according to the activity I’m engaged in. Point is, meet yourself where you are.

Another tool in my toolbox is a little book of prayers, to help me call on Spirit for assistance. I also have an index card with motivational quotes…I have many things that I don’t use all at once, or even carry all at once, but I use according to how I’m feeling or what I’m doing.

Bonus technique — working with Spirit

https://blessedmanifestation.gumroad.com/l/saints

If you are someone who believes in a Higher Power, working with your faith will be so helpful, to help you overcome this dark period.

Having spiritual allies is essential to your success, especially if you are someone who is sensitive to energies. I believe that a lot of the mental ailments we deal with have a lot to do with the energies within us and all around us. Sometimes we can pick up negative vibes from others, but we feel them as nervousness or anxiousness. It takes practice to discern the feelings and sensations that come up.

I highly recommend asking your spiritual allies for help with healing from anxiety, panic, and depression. I wrote an e-book on Working with the Saints to overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Depression. I wrote about the spiritual allies I worked with for healing. I also share tips for protecting and cleansing your energy fields. Learn more about it here.

Now, please don’t think of any of these tools or techniques as a quick fix–there is no quick fix my love. You can receive instant relief, but it doesn’t mean the root cause(s) of anxiety will be healed from you; you still have to do the work to dig deep. You can do this! We can do this, together!

Let me know in the comments, what kinds of tools and techniques have worked for you?

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Capricorn Sun, Aquarius Moon, Virgo Rising. Spiritual Counselor and Energy Healer

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Blessed Manifestation

Blessed Manifestation

Capricorn Sun, Aquarius Moon, Virgo Rising. Spiritual Counselor and Energy Healer

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