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Anxiety Tips

Swans at Meadowbank, Dorking.

Anxiety can hit the calmest of us when we are faced with particular situations. For some, however, it can be a regular occurrence, and it can easily spiral out of control. It’s a complex issue, but below are 4 simple tips to help when you feel anxiety brewing up.

TIP 1: Counting 5-4-3-2-1

I found this useful tip on Facebook. When feeling anxious, try to do the following.

Notice (and name in your head)

  • 5 things which you can see (e.g. the mug of tea on the table; the fold of your skirt; the colour/pattern of the carpet; the clouds in the sky; the details of a poster)
  • 4 things which you can touch (e.g. your fingertips; the fabric of your scarf; some nearby foliage; the chair you are sitting on)
  • 3 things which you can hear (e.g. distant traffic; a bird in the garden; someone talking)
  • 2 things which you can smell (e.g. fragrance in the garden; kitchen smell)
  • 1 thing that you can taste (e.g. after taste of a recent meal; saltiness of your lips)

In anxiety you can lose your grounding, which contributes to a feeling of insecurity. This exercise helps to ground you and bring you to the present moment. It helps to take the focus off the anxiety and onto your immediate surroundings.

This could also be used to guide a friend through an anxious spell.

TIP 2: Your friend – Water and some salty support

In an emergency, drinking a glass of warm or room temperature water can also help bring a sense of calmness.

If you are prone to anxiety, it’s a good idea to drink water regularly throughout the day (and ditch the stimulants such as coffee, alcohol, sodas and tea).

Anxiety hits the adrenals and kidneys big time, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine are linked to the taste of salt. A small pinch of natural salt (Himalayan is good) is a nice addition to your emergency glass of water, and indeed, your daily diet, in order to support the kidneys.

TIP 3: Nature and Flower Essences

I feel that anxiety can happen when we lose our connection to nature. One great way to calm ourselves is take a walk in natural surroundings (find a tree and hug it – go on – try it). Sadly, we can’t always escape when we wish. Taking a few drops / sprays of Bach Flower Rescue Remedy can provide us with some much needed natural energy in order to bring a sense of calmness.

TIP 4: And breeeeeeeeathe

Very few of us breathe properly anyway but when anxiety kicks in, we tend to take more shallow breaths which can make matters worse. If possible, focusing on our breath and taking a few deep breaths can help.

If you are prone to anxiety (or even not), the above are all useful exercises to practise regularly, even when feeling fine, so that you can more naturally tune into them when you feel the need.

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