Ways To Calm Our Anxious Minds: Handy Tools (Part 3/8)

COLORING

Adult colouring books have become very popular lately. If you read our previous article, you know colouring has a ton of potential therapeutic benefits. To many, it is considered a meditative practice. Benefits include increased focus, increased creativity and reconnection with your inner child. If you’d like to try it yourself, then print out some of the mandala templates we have created for you.

 

SET A REMINDER ON YOUR PHONE TO GET READY FOR BED AND READ FICTION TO UNWIND.

We all know that we need sleep, but we get busy sometimes and simply forget about it.  Make sure that you go to sleep on time by setting a reminder on your phone. When you set the time, don’t forget to give yourself enough time to get ready for bed. Do this for short naps too. To help yourself relax, try reading your favorite book.

 

STRESS BALL

Stress balls are fun! They have so many health benefits, including stress relief, nerve stimulation, diversion of attention and mood enhancement. In other words, it’s a great idea to have one with you at work or play with it for a bit whenever you feel overwhelmed.

 

SLEEP MASK

Going to sleep on time and spending seven to nine hours in bed does not ensure that you get enough sleep. Using a sleep mask can help ensure that your brain recognizes 100% darkness so it releases powerful neurochemicals that help you go to sleep. You can also use earplugs if you are having trouble with noise in your surroundings.  White noise, as from a fan or recording, can help, too.

 

MASSAGE BLOCKS

Massage blocks help you release tension by applying pressure to certain points of your body, similar to what massage therapists do to relieve tension. If you’re interested in these, check out Amazon for a good selection and be sure to check the reviews.

 

SCALP HEAD MASSAGER

Feeling a bit itchy? If so, you’re in luck! Not only can the scratching of a scalp relieve you from that nagging itch, it could also be an easy way to make your hair stronger, alleviate headaches, improve your sleep, and above all, reduce stress and anxiety.

 

ACUPRESSURE MAT

Self-acupressure is a pretty common and effective method, although most experts recommend seeing a specialist.  Laying on it for as little as 20 minutes daily  can help you lower your stress levels.  Plus, it increases circulation, energy, reduces back pain, blood pressure, muscle aches and much more.

 

ZEN GARDEN BOX

Zen gardens are created to represent different soothing elements of nature. These meditation gardens were first used centuries ago by Buddhists. However, anyone can use a Zen garden to find their inner peace. Small Zen garden boxes represent the same elements of traditional Zen gardens and they can help you reduce stress and anxiety in powerful, positive ways. Cultivate your Zen garden to develop quiet mindfulness and inner peace.  Like coloring, this meditative practice enhances your ability to find and maintain your own inner strength and peace.

 

ESSENTIAL OILS (AND DIFFUSER)

Our mind and body respond to scent as the brain reacts directly to smell.  Aromatherapy is based on exactly that. Different scents have different effects, and there are volumes of research about which scent does what. Some have the ability to calm and relax, which is exactly why aromatherapy could be very useful for people with anxiety. Use an oil diffuser to spread the aroma of your choosing around your household or simply add a few drops of oil to your bath or onto your skin. Take care using undiluted oils on your skin, however.  Read the instructions carefully as some can cause irritation.

 

ANXIETY APPS FOR YOUR SMARTPHONE

There are quite a few smartphone apps which have been designed to help people deal with their anxiety. This could help you out a ton when you’re on the move, so make sure that you have a few of these apps installed on your phone to access them whenever you feel your anxiety building.

 

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Ways To Calm Our Anxious Minds: Lifestyle & Productivity Continued (Part 2/8)

PET AN ANIMAL

Taking care of a pet can help you deal with anxious fear and a sense of aimlessness. Caring for your pet by providing food, love and safety may give you affection and satisfaction that will help you when you are feeling anxious. You want a caring companion, so make sure that you get a pet you can manage and look after without too much trouble or expense. Alternatively, you can borrow a friend’s dog and take him for a walk!

 

REALIZE THAT YOU ARE NOT ON YOUR OWN, FIND A SUPPORT GROUP

Sometimes it really helps to know that you are not alone. There are many people who have similar issues and find comfort and help with each other. Support groups are amazing when it comes to sharing feelings with like-minded people. Find a support group nearby and attend their meetings or if that may seem a bit too much at this point, find and join a private chat group on social media.

 

REALIZE THAT YOU ARE STILL YOUR ‘OLD YOU’

Always remember that you are still your ‘old you.’  Never stop working on yourself.  You are always there, even when you are experiencing anxiety.  You are not just your anxiety!  Remember your struggles and solutions to provide a path back when anxiety strikes. Keep track of what works to help you move through your anxiety.

 

LEND A HELPING HAND, EVEN IF IT’S SOMETHING VERY SMALL

Remember how you felt when you helped someone? It’s one of the best feelings anyone can feel and could especially benefit those who are dealing with anxiety. Your actions may be very small, but that doesn’t take the satisfaction away. There are so many ways that you can help people and you don’t have to spend money to do so. Many civic and other helping groups need volunteers to operate so find one that works for you and volunteer!

 

WELCOME ANY FORM OF HELP FROM FRIENDS OR FAMILY

Never turn down family or friends who offer help. Keep them close to you and go to them whenever you feel like you need someone to talk to or need help. It’s much easier to handle anxiety with the help of others rather than trying to do it all by yourself.

 

USE PINTEREST AND CREATE YOUR OWN INSPIRING BOARDS

With Pinterest you are able to create and manage boards (or “pins”) of your favorite quotes, affirmations and articles that can inspire you(or others) during difficult times. Be sure to check out our own Pinterest account as well!

 

LOOSEN YOUR CLOTHING DURING AN ANXIETY ATTACK

Wearing tight clothing and heavy jewellery can weigh you down, especially during anxiety attacks. Avoid wearing such clothing and too many layers in general.

 

TAKE REGULAR BATHS

Taking a nice hot bath has a soothing effect on your mind and body. To further improve the experience try lighting a few candles, read a book or add a few drops of lavender oil to your bath. Adding Epsom salt will also calm and rejuvenate you.

 

LIMIT OR AVOID ALCOHOL

While the occasional glass of alcohol might help you unwind for a bit, limit your consumption carefully. Studies have shown that alcohol use can potentially increase anxiety.

 

KICK YOUR 4-CUPS-A-DAY COFFEE HABIT

Caffeine is a stimulant, so too much coffee can make you jittery.  If you are a caffeine addict find an alternative.  Tea, for example, has much less caffeine.  While caffeine may not be the cause of your panic attacks, it could definitely make things worse.

 

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT

A healthy body contributes to a healthy mind. Maintaining a healthy weight and practicing good nutrition are vital to helping you control anxiety.  A healthy weight will help you gain the physical and mental strength that you need to fight your anxiety and achieve a general sense of happiness.

 

AVOID FINDING COMFORT IN COMPLACENCY

Watch out for self-satisfied complacency!  Be aware of each situation and avoid believing that you have things covered when you actually don’t. Be eager to learn about specific tasks, situations, and about life in general.

 

DEAL WITH ANNOYING TASKS FIRST

Complete annoying tasks first and get them out of the way. Finishing them quickly will help you feel calmer throughout the rest of the day. Whenever an annoying task takes too long, take a break. Getting it done is important, but don’t push yourself too hard.

 

FRESHEN UP YOUR LIFE

Freshen up your life by changing simple things around you from time to time. This helps your mind to unwind and refresh. Take up a new hobby or learn something new. Redecorating your room home or rearranging your desk are other great ideas, even a small change can give things a new look and a fresh start.

 

EXPLORE NEW PLACES

The world is out there to be explored. Make sure you go and visit places that you haven’t been before from time to time. This can also include a short walk on a street you haven’t been on before or a sweet, short trip.

 

ACCEPT YOUR FLAWS AND LEARN TO LIVE WITH THEM

Everyone has flaws, just like you. Identify your weak points and accept them. Learn to live with those flaws rather than trying to fix them entirely. The combination of your strengths and weaknesses make you the person you are!

 

ACCEPT THAT OVERTHINKING WON’T PROVIDE INSIGHT

Overthinking, or obsessing, seldom provides any new useful insights. In fact, it can create more anxiety.  Accept that truth and keep yourself from doing it, because it seldom helps.

 

JOURNAL YOUR DAY-TO-DAY EXPERIENCES

Keep a journal that tracks your day-to-day experiences with anxiety. By putting your thoughts on paper, you both express your feelings and may also help identify certain triggers that are causing the anxiety. Make it a point to update your journal every night for the best results.

 

GET IN THE SAUNA FROM TIME TO TIME

Either you’re a total fan or not, but there is no denying that the feeling of warmth relaxes people. Besides that, studies have shown that occasionally spending time in the sauna lowers stress, keeps the heart healthy and might even extend your life.

 

KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL

Keep a Gratitude Journal to remind yourself about the amazing things that you have in your life. Jot down three to five things that you are thankful about in your journal every day. Doing so will help focus your attention on the positives in your life and provide a sense of all the good in your life.

 

LIMIT (SOCIAL) MEDIA EXPOSURE

In a world where the only thing news sites are non-stop talking about are crime, corruption, economic breakdown, and the end of the world,  you realize that exposing yourself to this on a daily basis is the same as planting seeds of fear and anxiousness. Try and limit the time that you spend watching the news or browsing on social media, and focus your time and energy on things that will help you get forward and appreciate who you really are without you having to worry about the future.

 

AVOID THE CYBERCHONDRIA TRAP

Doctors think looking up health information online can be problematic because the computer doesn’t have the same diagnostic skills as a healthcare professional. Physicians determine whether an issue is serious by considering personal factors like a patient’s family history and age. (Wrinkles at age five isn’t normal— sorry, Benjamin Button.) On the other hand, when someone searches for “headaches” online, they may find several sources suggesting they are suffering from something much worse…

 

THE WORLD IS NOT MAD AT YOU BECAUSE OF YOUR ANXIETY.

The people in your life that matter are well aware that you haven’t chosen to suffer from anxiety. So stop feeling guilty and thinking that everyone is mad at you for it. Keep your loved ones close to you and always believe in their love to you. No one is mad at you about your anxiety and they are all rooting for you to get through it!

 

VISUALIZE POSITIVE THINGS AND HANG ON TO THOSE THOUGHTS

Take a few moments throughout the day to visualize something positive that makes you happy. It could be a beautiful place at the park, or something you saw in a book.  Hang on to those thoughts throughout the day and revisit every detail when you start to feel anxious.

 

TALK TO A THERAPIST

Talking to friends and family does help, but you can benefit a lot more by seeing a counsellor or therapist. They are trained to know what you are going through and how to help you find the best ways to move through it successfully. Read our guide on getting professional treatment to get familiar with the basics.

 

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