If you are stressed and anxious right now then let me tell you the first thing you NEED to know... you are not alone. Even though when ALL the thoughts are racing through your mind, in what appears to be a totally irrational manner, you feel like nobody else on the planet could possibly understand what you are going through and how it feels.
I promise you. You are not alone.
It took me a while to really understand and believe this - particularly in the throes of a panic attack. Rocking on the bathroom floor and googling rehab clinics was a particular low point for me - and at that moment - I couldn't imagine the feelings ever subsiding. But they did.
I have, for the most part, befriended anxiety. She has become my partner in crime. She has lead me to some pretty amazing things in my life. Yoga. Nutrition. Nature.
But the only way I have created this understanding with my anxious alter ego is by creating a set of 'tools' to make sure we keep our relationship balanced!
I am sure you can relate when I suggest that our stress and worry can often feel like we are at any point going to teeter over a cliff edge... so staying balanced is imperative!
There are many, many little techniques that I use to maintain this, but today I am going to share with you three tools that you can call upon RIGHT now if you are in the throes of anxiety or drowning in stress...
When we are feeling anxious and tense, our whole body can feel tight and as if it is curled up in a tight ball. It doesn't leave much space for our breath, or for our digestion to function optimally.
Reach your hands up to the sky, slide your shoulders down your back and grow taller in your posture - as if there was a wire at the crown of your head lifting you out of your hips.
Open up your arms wide above your head and allow your chest to open - as if you are literally shining your heart to the world.
Check in that your shoulders are not hunching up around your ears, and take some nice deep breaths here allowing your rib cage to literally expand on every inhale. Maybe even sync some breath and movement by inhaling your hands up, exhaling them back down.
Sigh it out
When we are tense we often breathe short and sharply into the chest. One of the things I love to do to allow myself to relax, let go of tension and feel more grounded, is to take a deep inhale - filling up every corner of my lungs and sending the breath deep into the belly - and then sigh it all out through the mouth - as loud as you dare!
I always get people to do this in my yoga classes and you can feel the tense energy melting away across the room. Do this 3 - 5 times and you will feel a little softer in the body and a little stiller in the mind.
We spend so much of our time sitting down or rushing around. Very rarely do we feel both feet flat on the ground without moving around at a rate of knots.
Try simply standing on both feet for a minute or so - ideally without shoes on. Lift up your toes and place them on the floor beneath you and allow your body to feel heavy.
Trust that you are supported and held at all times by the earth. If you can do this outside on grass - even better!
Finding your tools
These are just three little things that help me to relieve stress and anxiety, and can be done at any time. I hope they also work for you.
Creating your own toolkit of stress management techniques is so important, yet it can be very daunting on your own.
This is why I have launched my Mind & Body Guidance sessions - giving you the chance to find your own tools with the support of someone who has been there, done it, and is still doing it now!
Join my private Facebook group for people wanting to find holistic ways of managing stress and anxiety by clicking here and you can expect daily tips and advice. Or, if you are ready to work on this right now, click here to find out about my Mind & Body Guidance sessions.
You have got this!