Anxiety Busters – My 8 Top Tips
I have been interacting with people every week in the last few months and it seems that Anxiety is on the increase.
Almost everyone I have spoken to has displayed some level of anxiety which manifests in their work, home, relationships or within themselves. It does not seem to be selective and it is affecting adults, teens, and kids, males and females in equally high proportions.
At a recent networking event I was talking to other professionals and therapists with many saying their clients arrive at their clinic exhausted due to poor sleep, frustrated and a lowered immunity.
Anxiety – what is it?
A simple definition of anxiety is “a chronic condition characterised by an excessive and persistent sense of apprehension, fear and worrying with physical symptoms.”
We can all relate especially as our lives become busier and more fragmented. But this is becoming widespread and prolific. Looking at some stats; one in seven adult Australians will experience debilitating anxiety in their lifetime. One in seven young people aged 4 (yes 4!) to 17 years, experience a mental health condition in any given year. While half of all lifelong mental health issues begin before the age of 14. (https://www.beyondblue.org.au/media/statistics)
Anxiety has physical symptoms which can vary between individuals. These can include:
An increase in your heart rate or heart palpitations
Shallow and/or quickened breathing
Sweating and an increase in body temperature
Blurred vision and dizziness
A sense of brain fog, overwhelm and stress
Increased muscle tension and alertness
But what can you do for yourself and your family when anxiety knocks on your door? Are there simple tools and techniques that you can do at home or work to reduce that “fight/flight” response which can contribute to anxiety and stress? Good news is – yes there is!
Here are my 8 tips to try when you start to feel anxious:
1. Hold your forehead for about 2-3 minutes. On our forehead, directly above our eyes, we have points called the Emotional Stress Release points. When you start to feel stressed if you hold your forehead you will encourage blood to flow into your frontal cortex of your brain. This area is responsible for clear and logical thinking. Drawing the blood away from the fight/flight centres in the Amygdala. Trust me, you will start to calm down.
2. Breathe. Long steady in breaths through your nose, a slight hold and breathe out through your mouth. Aim to make the “count” of your breath about 5 in and 6 out. Ensure your belly expands so you are breathing deeply not shallow. This will ‘trick’ your body into thinking it is in a calm state.
3. March. Using opposite arms and opposite legs, marching on the spot is a great grounding exercise as it forces you to use both sides of your brain thus integrating the left and right hemispheres.
4. Brain Switchers. To switch your brain on and help you to get focused, place one hand on your belly and rub the area above and below your lips with the other hand. Then swap hands. Do this up to five times to bring focus.
5. Rescue remedy. This is a Bach flower essence, which is very effective for anxiety, nerves and stress. You can get it in a roll on or pastilles from the pharmacy or health food shop. I also like to use a Liquid Crystal Remedy called De-Stress or Emergency. Both have a very calming effect on the body.
6. Say no.. This is an exercise in putting yourself first. When we are too busy our brain becomes clouded and disorganised so much so that the smallest demand or request can be the tipping point. Saying No, prioritises you and scheduling space just for you will ensure you can say “no” without guilt or stress.
7. Magnesium and calcium. These minerals are depleted when our body is stressed. I suggest taking a warm bath or foot soaking with lavender oil and a generous handful of epsom salts. You can also take supplements but seek advise from a medical practitioner or naturopath first.
8. Get grounded & walk away. Sometimes a situation or person can aggravate our stress and anxiety. Walking away provides space to employ some of the above tips. Fresh air will clear your head. If you can, stand on the ground in bare feet or sit with/hug a tree. This connection to nature brings many benefits to our mental and physical health.
And my extra tip for those that have read this far…lift up your heads and look out. We spend so much of our lives with our heads in screens. Turn it off. Go along with your eyes up and open. You will find such joy as you smile at people, see the little things as precious, your heart will open as you connect more. Feel good hormones will replace those stress hormones and over time you will reduce your anxiety that can be driven by our addiction to screens.
And in closing…
As you begin to feel stressed and/or anxious it is important to keep telling yourself that you are safe. As adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones) begin to increase with the “fight/flight” response we need to employ techniques like those above to balance this. But sometimes we can’t do this alone. Find someone to talk to, let people know how you are feeling, open the door to a professional if needed. Sometimes just being able to offload can be all the support you need to move through this stage.
If you have any questions about how kinesiology can work with anxiety, please get in touch with Zoe at www.zode.com.au
From my heart to yours