Are you serious? Covid-19, country-wide lockdown, then Murder Hornets – and just when we began to be hopeful, our country implodes. We are all striving to do the right thing, to protect the most susceptible from illness, to voice our concerns over anyone being mistreated. It’s enough to drown a peaceful soul in nerves.
But we know that we can’t do anything to better the world if we are not healthy ourselves. So, after a hard day of fighting off disease, racism and all the other evil in the world, here are a few self care techniques to help ease your anxiety.
4 Ways to Calm Anxiety in a crisis
1. Check-in to your happy place
Do you have a happy place – even if it’s only in your mind? Treat yourself to a mini-vacation by visiting your favorite peaceful spot through visualization. Start by getting comfortable, then close your eyes and take yourself there using all of your senses. Do you see something beautiful? Can you smell flowers, or the salty ocean air? Do you feel the wind sweeping over your skin, or the warmth of the sun?
I usually take myself on a trip to the beach or the mountains. Where will you go?
The deep connection between the body and the mind makes visualization a powerful anxiety fighting tool. This method of relaxation not only eases stress. It boosts immunity, decreases chronic pain and helps with insomnia.
2. Connect WITH SOMEONE ELSE
No battle should be fought alone. Refresh your inner warrior by connecting with friends and family, especially if you are prone to anxiety. Multiple studies confirm that loneliness has been linked with physical and psychological diseases of several kinds. One of these is anxiety. Connecting with someone else helps diminish anxiety in several ways, including:
- Helping you not to feel alone
- Getting you out of your head and into the real world
- Changing your mind’s focus
If you are feeling anxious, visit a friend. If a physical meeting is not possible, call them.
3. Take care of your body
So much of what we feel psychologically depends on how we treat our physical bodies. You may have heard that 90% of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for well-being and happiness, is made in your gut. That’s right. The gut is where brain function starts. Eating a balanced diet that provides essential vitamins, minerals and bacteria isn’t only essential to outer beauty. It’s the first step to peace and calm.
After that, treat yourself to a good night’s sleep. During sleep, your brain is busy repairing and restoring your entire body. When you are sleep deprived, those processes are cut short, resulting in increased anxiety. Studies show that sleep derivation precedes problems with anxiety 27% of the time. Adding adequate rest to the right nutrition sets your psyche on the fast track to psychological health.
Light-up your brain with the feel good hormone oxytocin by snuggling an animal. According to the ADAA, positive human-animal interaction brings on physiological benefits including a decrease in anxiety and an increase of oxytocin levels in the brain. Studies show that these biological responses provide measurable clinical effects. So, cuddle-up!
Taking these 4 steps helps to guard against anxiety even in the most worrisome crisis. Nurturing yourself will help you to keep your cool when the world is unpredictable. If cooler heads prevail, we are more likely to stay healthy and make the changes we need in this wonderful world.