In my last post, I shared 5 yoga poses to help relieve anxiety. In this post, I’m sharing a few other super simple techniques you could use, especially if you’re new to yoga and would like some other things to try!
If your anxiety is affecting your day to day life, then I really encourage you to seek professional help. However, if you experience mild anxiety from time to time, which many of us do, these super simple techniques will hopefully help you find a little calm in the moment.
As you take long, calm exhalations, our parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated, which is the body’s relaxation response. Even taking just one deep breath can make a difference! Try this simple technique of breathing in for a count of 4, and out for a count of 6 or 8. Try to allow your shoulders to relax with each exhalation, as well as anywhere else you’re holding tension. I love adding this to the start of my yoga classes as a way for students to feel grounded as we begin our practice!
Meditation is a great way to reduce anxiety – if you already have a regular practice. If not, you could use visualisation to ease you into a tranquil state of mind. If sitting and trying to empty your mind of negative thoughts just isn’t working, picture each thought on a cloud, floating out of your mind. Or maybe imagine tying your worry to a balloon, and allowing it to float off into the sky. If those don’t work, you could always simply imagine yourself sat in your favourite place, whether that’s on a sandy beach with the sound of the sea, or in a shady forest with birdsong all around.
Countdown from 10
Another super simple one, a little like counting sheep when you’re trying to sleep! Just take a deep breath, close your eyes for a moment if you can, and count down slowly from 10 to 1. Really try to be fully present as you do this, maybe visualising each number, or a calming colour as you do so.
Right now, think of a positive sentence you can tell yourself when you’re feeling anxious. For example, “I accept that I am feeling anxious, and I’m using techniques to help me manage it”. Trying to fight the anxiety won’t help, nor will sitting around obsessing over your thoughts and letting them consume you. Instead, try to tell yourself your positive sentence when you’re feeling anxious, then try and find something else to do to occupy your mind.
I hope this post helps you find some super simple techniques to help manage your anxiety, and realise that it doesn’t always take complicated, deep internal work to help you feel better.
Do you experience anxiety?
What is the most helpful way you have found to deal with it?