4 Steps To Take Charge Of Your Anxiety
With our environment in a state of instability, constantly changing plans and our mortalities being brought into focus, it is not surprising that rates of anxiety are increasing among adults at this time. Anxiety is an emotion that we all feel, but when we feel it too often it can get in our way. Managing anxiety can be tough, but not impossible.
Adaptogens are substances that can help your body adjust to stress on a physical and mental level.
Siberian Ginseng is a herbal remedy widely used across Asia to promote overall health. Sun Chlorella’s Eleuthero, made of ginseng, has been shown to improve memory and cognition by increasing blood flow to the brain. Anxiety can make you fatigued, and Eleuthero is an energy booster. Studies have shown the supplement to decrease recovery time from stress, enhance endurance capacity and improve heart function. As a natural health booster, Eleuthero is a natural partner for other stress-relieving activities, such as mindfulness practices or calming hobbies.
4 STEPS TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR ANXIETY
Reset Your Body
Stress is stored in the body. A lot of the time when we’re anxious, we don’t realise how much we constrict our muscles, creating a physical manifestation of the way we feel. This pain can cause headaches, back aches, tummy upsets and fatigue. The first step to releasing repressed tension is identifying the tense parts of our body and focusing on relaxing the muscles.
Try this exercise over your whole body. Intentionally constrict your muscles as tightly as you can for 30 seconds, before releasing and relaxing, while thinking the word ‘relax’. Start with your face and work all the way down your body to your feet, one set of muscles at a time. Recognise where in your body this exercise is difficult for you as these are the areas you store your anxiety.
Reset Your Breathing
Anxiety is characterised by a racing heart rate and shallow breathing. This is due to an increased level of hormones that surge through your body when it perceives danger. One way to re-set these emergency processes is to take control of your breathing, and to allow your thoughts to pass. Mindfulness is the practise of allowing your thoughts to pass through your mind without judgment. This takes a lot of practice. It is completely normal to have thoughts like ‘I can’t do this’ as you try these methods: treat these thoughts just as any other. You cannot fail mindfulness.
Sit in a comfortable position with your feet on the floor, close your eyes, and focus your attention on your breathing. Breathing deeply into the stomach for 6 counts, then out as far as you can is a great way of slowing your heart. Focus on the physical sensations of the air moving from your nostrils into your stomach and back again. When thoughts enter your mind, recognise their existence, then turn your focus back to the sensation of breathing. If your thoughts are racing or clamouring for your attention, imagine there are a line of marching soldiers travelling up your left arm, along your shoulder, into your left ear, out the right, and marching down your right arm. As you notice thoughts of any kind come along, hand them to one of the soldiers and allow them to walk away with it.
Reset Your Environment
Once you have grounded yourself in your body, noticing the patterns of your thoughts and the areas of tension in your muscles, and have reduced your heart rate back to its resting pace, you can start focusing your attention outside of you. Not every problem that troubles you can be immediately solved. Try an exercise called ‘the circle of control’: draw a circle on a piece of paper, large enough to write inside. Then, think of all of your worries, and write them on the paper, writing the ones you can control inside the circle, and the ones you cannot control outside of it. This is a great way of prioritising your problems, as the ones inside the circle are the ones you can start to remedy.
One way of reducing anxious thoughts is to do something nice for somebody else. Have you found your work or home environment to be cluttered or overwhelming? Why not try a spring cleaning exercise: fill a box of items you no longer need that are taking up unnecessary space and donate them to a friend or charity. You may find that letting go of material possessions you no longer need can declutter your internal space.
Set an Intention
Now you have practised releasing tension in the body, mind, and your environment, you can start to use your body’s energy to set goals to move forward. When setting goals, it can be easy to overstretch ourselves by thinking too many steps ahead. For example, instead of setting an intention to finish a novel, plan the first chapter. Aim to write 100 words. Any goal can be broken down into smaller, much more achievable steps.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and nobody can get on top of all their goals at once, no matter how it may appear.