Ease Anxiety & Stress in 7 ways
Updated: Feb 1
Summer of 2019, in July, my community experienced back to back large earthquakes. Our city was at the epicenter. On Independence Day, a 6.4 and roughly 33 hours later, a 7.1. While most of us fared well other than some broken items, there is still a percentage of the community who didn't - a neighboring city will have years of rebuilding ahead. In my community, some local businesses and offices along with homes will take some time to get back to our normal (before 7/4/19). I believe that most of us are still on edge and concerned about the 'big one' happening that many of us aren't sleeping well or at all, and with sleep deprivation, a multitude of health concerns can occur. I know for me, I had anxiety (didn't sleep well, stomach ached, heart palpitations, and worries) for about a week following the earthquakes and the anxiety was triggered with each M3.0+ aftershock! Thankfully the aftershocks have decreased with each passing day but every now and again, we still have M3s and M4s.
I generally have good habits, but somehow these went out the window after the earthquakes, thankfully only temporarily. I was able to reintroduce them to my daily routine and they helped me get back on track and kick anxiety to the curb. I'm sharing them with you in the hopes they'll be a source of aid in your day-to-day activities. As a reminder, I'm not a medical professional. As always consult your practitioner about any tips that you read here to see if they'll be a good fit for your needs and lifestyle.
Here are seven ways that may help you reduce stress, anxiety, fear, etc.
Grace - Extending yourself grace when your routine becomes non-existent is much needed and is a form of self-care. We don't always know what this looks like. Sometimes it just happens naturally because everything is at an unrest and that's the only action that begins the process of getting back in order.
Earthing/Grounding - My usual go-to for reducing stress is grounding or earthing but when the ground was always moving, it was a challenge to put this back into practice. I am usually barefoot but the first week after the earthquakes, I always had my shoes on or nearby in case we needed to get out. Here's an article about it.
Deep breathing - Grounding pairs well with deep breathing. I learned the best way through a T'ai Chi Master a year ago when I was under some stress from a series of dental appointments. How-to: As you inhale, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and then during the exhale, gently place your tongue on the back of your teeth as you expel the air. Tongue placement is key because it really allows you to focus on your breath and be present.
Journaling - Writing down what we are thinking helps us to get it out of our brain and gives us mind space. I keep a gratitude journal that I write in nightly. Some nights the page is filled! Other nights, it may just be a couple of notes. Two things I always write though is 'life' and 'love'.
Support groups/forums - Support groups were created by community members on Facebook that promotes a safe space for people to share without judgment or ridicule. There are tons of forums on social media as well as through a browser search. Some of your favorite bloggers may even have a password protected forum.
EFT / Tapping - If you've ever had acupuncture or know / heard about acupressure points, you may enjoy the benefits of tapping. Tapping is using your fingertips on your own body (hand, head, upper torso). You can find demos on YouTube or find a therapist versed in how to do it that would fit your circumstances. I combine tapping with prayer (a form of meditation) and each session lasts at least 5 minutes, but sometimes has gone for 20 or more minutes. I find a quiet place I can just sit and speak the words that are both plaguing my mind and replacing them with words of peace and joy. I just listen to my body and tap until the negativity has been released and I have a general sense of peace. You can learn more about the practice here.
Supplements - In addition to eating well or as good as possible, sometimes we need reinforcements. For my family, we rely daily on a whole food product that keeps our immune system protected and strong. I could not afford to get sick with all the stress around. Stress depletes the immune system and makes us susceptible to sickness. You can learn about this product on the Extras page.
In addition to the above, during one of the early mornings of unrest, I remembered a product I have used in the past that helped me reduce stress. You can find it on Amazon here. When I remembered it, I dug it out of the bottom of my purse, and took two drops. The normal dose is 4 drops but I find half of a dosage is the right fit for me. It's a gentle, non-habit forming homeopathic remedy developed more than 80 years ago. One of the inactive ingredients is alcohol so this may not be the best fit for everyone. Read the ingredients and make an informed decision about your lifestyle.
In this work of reducing stress/anxiety, it's about finding what works for each of us and then it's just a matter of putting into a daily practice what serves us best.
How do you reduce stress and anxiety? Share below. If you liked these tips, please share the article.