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  • Writer's pictureLexy Spreitzer

Tiny Things to Help Your Anxiety

[originally published August 20 2019]

Being gentle and kind to yourself is hard. The world puts so much pressure on people to do the right things, the wrong things, and everything in-between. It's overwhelming to most people, however, it can feel like a nervous breakdown to many others. I often find myself stressed out about the littlest things when I'm affected by anxiety. It usually attacks me randomly and other times it increases gradually. For those of you who also deal with nervousness, anxiety, fearing the future or social anxiety, this tiny and well-intentioned list can hopefully fill you with positive insights. I hope you can learn to better manage your anxiety after reading this article. xx

Write down your intense thoughts on a sticky note

When I'm dealing with intense emotions, the hardest thing for me to do is speak. I don't like hearing the sound of my own voice when I'm feeling anxious. Instead of trying to 'let it all out,' I'll often write down the first words that come to mind on a sticky note. Whatever I'm thinking or feeling, I will write the most applicable words down. This also helps me to connect my feelings to a more linear thought process. When I see the words I've written down, I can better think about how to deal with my emotions. For example, if I write the word "fearful" I'll know that I am afraid. Then, I can identify what exactly I'm fearing.

I calm down fairly quickly when I use this method. After I start to feel better, I'll crumple or rip up the sticky note. Until next time, anxiety!

Brush your hair or massage your temples

This seems simple and actually a bit strange, however, I think hair brushing is so relaxing! Softly brushing my hair is always very soothing. If you don't brush your hair often, gently stroking your hair, scalp, or the back of your neck always helps too! Massaging my temples and right behind my ears helps me focus calm energy exactly where I need it the most - in my head. I will even watch ASMR head massage videos to calm my anxiety as well. I know that some people don't like ASMR, but I am not one of them, lol.

Stretch and strengthen your body

For those of you who are able to do so, doing gentle workouts can definitely help with anxiety management. I personally do not recommend strenuous workouts - anxiety takes enough out of me as it is! Funny story - I was so anxious one day that I went for a 4-hour long power walk in 95-degrees Fahrenheit and 80% humidity IN FULL SUN (with no water). I never work out in the heat like that (I think some bodies are more accustomed to doing that!) and was super sick when I finally arrived home. That being said, I recommend being as gentle as you can tolerate when you work out with anxiety. It's easier to be hard on yourself when you feel stressed or anxious. Practicing to be kind and gentle to yourself is definitely beneficial - trust me.

I will lay down and do sit-ups until I start to ease the anxiousness. Other times, I'll push up against a wall as if I were trying to push the wall down. Going for walks helps too. And don't give yourself heat poisoning. That's bad.

Seek out nature

Watching birds fly or leaves rustle always soothes my anxiety. I'll watch the sky for airplanes or changing cloud formations. Looking at and immersing myself in nature reminds me that there's more to this world than humans and our problems. There are bugs and birds, dogs and cats - they all need our care to flourish. Let nature remind you that most of our anxiousness and stress is of our own creation.

Actually cut things out of your life

Cancel the coffee date or take a long-deserved rest day away from work. You deserve to operate functionally and feel free. You deserve to rest. Again, be kind to yourself. Clean your home or don't clean. Sleep. Take an aromatic bath. Blast the essential oils. Read your favorite books and watch your favorite show! Do whatever you need to do to feel refreshed. Talk to your friends and family or spend the day alone. Show yourself some love.

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