We’ve all been there: shallow breathing, the tension in the gut, chest pains, rapid heartbeat, and some days feeling like even putting one foot in front of the other is all getting too much.
We are losing control. Every moment is exhausting, crushing, and painful.
Anxiety destroys your confidence, your productivity, your relationships, and your ability to enjoy life.
That’s why we have decided to create a list with some of the best ways to relax and ease your anxious mind!
We hope you’ll find at least some of these tips and suggestions helpful but please remember, by no means is this list exhaustive nor will every item on this list possibly feel good and right for you.
1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Our body and mind need to sleep in order to rest and refresh. Sleep deprivation is one of the primary causes of anxiety. An average person requires eight hours of sleep every day. When your brain is sleep-deprived, it may not be able to respond to emotional events appropriately. Go to bed early and make sure that you get seven to nine hours of sleep every night to maintain a healthy mind.
2. TAKE A POWER NAP
For many, short and frequent “power” naps help a lot. A quick nap, around 15 to 20 minutes, will often refresh and revive your body and mind.
3. AWAKEN 10 MINUTES EARLIER AND SET THE STAGE FOR A SUCCESSFUL DAY
Life gets a lot easier when you plan out your day. Get a head start by waking up 10 minutes earlier. Then, create a rough plan in your mind about how you plan to spend your day. Sometimes it is helpful to jot down a list and take it with you. Check off each event as you finish it and then you’ll have a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.
4. STOP OVER-ANALYZING
Over-analyzing things can quickly lead to mounting stress. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Let it go! If you find yourself worrying over things you have no control over, distract yourself. Go outside. Check out the sky. Are the stars out? Is the wind blowing? Will it be warmer as the day progresses? Play your favorite song. Look at pictures or photos that make you smile. List all the little things you can be grateful for and focus on those.
5. FEELINGS ARE JUST FEELINGS, NOT FACTS
Everything you feel isn’t necessarily correct or factual. Negative feelings bubble up sometimes with little warning. Remember fear is often F(alse) E(vidence) A(ppearing) R(eal). Remind yourself to go one step at a time. Be confident and replace the negative feelings by focusing on something you enjoy. Practice by noticing things around you that give you a sense of wonder and beauty. A painting in the hall…the cat sleeping in the sun…your dog’s cheerful greeting. Anything that creates positive feelings for you will work. Then when the negative stuff seeps up, counter it with a positive memory.
6. CLEAR YOUR MIND
Like your closet, your mind can fill up with unnecessary and unwanted stuff, so it’s important to get things straight and organized. Practice mindfulness by focusing your attention on the present. Slow down, breathe to a slow count of 5, make a to-do list, keep a journal, take a walk, or immerse yourself in a favorite pastime. Do less and focus on only one thing at a time as much as possible. Delegate when you can, ask for help if you need it.
7. ORGANIZE AND GET RID OF CLUTTER!
Just like the clutter and chaos in your mind can cause trouble, messy clutter in your home and/or workplace can create stress and feed frustration. Clean out, then recycle and repurpose anything you no longer need. Create the space you need to breathe and feel comfortable.
8. INVEST IN YOURSELF
Invest in yourself and learn something new. Are you creative? As a child, did you love to draw or play the guitar? If so, pick it up and do it again! Read, take short courses, and learn from others. Invest time and money in you and do it with joy and happiness. Just have fun with it and don’t push yourself too hard in the process.