You can’t sleep, can’t concentrate at work, and can’t even enjoy dinner with friends because you’re worried about work, family and/or your marital/fertility status and everything else under the sun, even if the dog is ok at home without you.
Come to think of it, what aren’t you worried about?
But when anxious thoughts replace everything else, including joy, optimism and even your relationships with friends and family it may be time to take decisive action. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to reduce anxiety and ease the burden of an overtaxed mind.
Here are six tips from Rebalance Yoga Teachers that are designed to help reduce anxiety.
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1. Get physical.
It may feel counterintuitive but, rather than stay at home and brood on your worries, it’s a far better idea to get out of your head and into your body. This often provides an outlet for you to relieve tension in both your body and mind.
Yoga is an amazing activity that provides exercise and benefits in addition to spiritual benefits; the poses, coupled with the deep breathing techniques that make yoga such a unique activity, can also help reduce the physical symptoms (shallow breathing, increased heart rate, muscle tension, racing thoughts) that come with distress.
2. Face your fears — safely.
Be brave; do a handstand, headstand or backbend. If you’re terrified of doing a headstand or handstand, work yourself up to facing that fear through yoga. You may be surprised how facing a manageable fear on your yoga mat translates into the real world, whether at work with a difficult boss or at home in resolving an issue with a loved one.
Letting ourselves get uncomfortable in a safe environment is a good thing. It’s also a good way to practise acceptance that there is both comfort and discomfort in life.
3. Observe your thought patterns.
Don’t dwell on your thoughts; meditate on them. What’s the difference? Dwelling is a reaction to upsetting thoughts, where meditation or simply mindfulness is simply a way to observe thought patterns.
“Meditation helps melt your tensions and leaves you with a relaxation effect that will help bring in positive thoughts,” says Rebecca Thompson, General Manager at Rebalance.
Find a quiet space in your house, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Notice the type of thoughts that keep coming up. Don’t react to them; simply notice your thought patterns and how they may be keeping you on a worry loop.
4. Breathe it out.
Whether in meditation, at home, or on the bus in peak hour traffic, use conscious breathing exercises to calm down when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Don’t fight your feelings, breathe through them.
Try this breathing exercise: Breathe in slowly and gently through your nose for five seconds. Hold your breath for three seconds. Breathe out slowly and gently through pursed lips for seven seconds. Repeat.
5. Live in the moment.
We spend a lot of time dwelling on the sorrows or slights of the past and fearing the future and its endless unknowns, but too little time enjoying the present. One way to keep your mind in the present tense is to celebrate small but meaningful moments throughout the day.
6. Share your experiences.
“Chatting with someone about your anxiety is a great way to stay on track and remain encouraged on your journey to overcome it”
More importantly, when you open up to a friend or join a community forum where others are openly sharing their thoughts and feelings you take away one important lesson: you’re not alone.
Surround yourself in a community that is open and always looking to build and grow within themselves. This is exactly the community that we provide (Rebalance Family) for people to grow and learn from their pasts and grow to be the very best version of themselves.