The stress and anxiety levels floating around right now are sky high and it’s hard to not feel it creep on up in your own body. I’m going to be sharing how to reduce stress and anxiety naturally, when you feel them building.
These three stress and anxiety relievers can be used in the current situation (covid-19 pandemic), but are obviously applicable at any point in life. Stress and anxiety are a fact of life and it’s nice to have some tools to fall back on.
This is just a small list; there are other things that I may do to help regain my calm and balance such as exercise, praying, reading, meditating, practicing yoga, etc., but below are 3 general areas that anyone (and everyone!) should try.
This post is for general informational and educational purposes only. See my full disclaimer here. In the event of an emergency or if you are concerned about your health or the health of the person you are caring for, always seek the help of a medical doctor, call your local health link, or head to the emergency room.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. GET OUTSIDE (while practicing social distancing of course, because #pandemic).
Nature has been proven to calm those frazzled nerves. Did you know it also can create a sense of belonging to the wider world (ahem, isolation anyone??)?
Stress is relieved within minutes of exposure to nature as measured by muscle tension, blood pressure and brain activity. Time in green spaces reduces cortisol (stress hormone) and boosts endorphin levels and dopamine production (hello happiness).
Being in a natural and green environment will provide you with the most benefits, but in our current reality some people are not allowed to leave their homes. If that is the case for you, still go into your yard or pop a seat on your deck. Close your eyes put in some headphones, and fill your ears with sounds of nature. Drown out the sounds of the city and world around you and feel your tension dissipate.
Two times in the past month I have started feeling like I was going to have a panic attack. The first time, it had been a long and overwhelming day filled with various stressors. It was the end of the day, noises were loud, I felt trapped and I started to feel weak, nauseous and dizzy, like I couldn’t get enough air. Fast forward 2 weeks. I had a very high stress day – driving 8 hours on sketchy snowy/slushy/icy highways with precious cargo, with talk of covid-19 following me to whichever radio station I flipped to. We reached our destination, put my guard down and started feeling the same weakness, nausea, dizziness, like I couldn’t breath.
I’m not sharing that for pity, but to tell you how I got over it. The first attack, I was not at home. So I laid down by myself and just focused on breathing. I didn’t feel back to myself again for probably 2 hours. The second time we were at home and I recognized what was happening. I took the called for remedy (Arsenicum), and I bounced back in under 10 minutes.
Homeopathy is very effective is helping acute anxiety. If your anxiety is a chronic (long lasting or repetitive) problem, an appointment with a homeopath would be recommended to help on a deeper level.
Below are 4 common remedies, and a Bach flower essence, all to help with feelings of anxiety that may be popping up for you right now.
- A sense of panic or frantic impatience.
- Great fear and worry. Comes on suddenly.
- Restless and easily startled.
- You may have an intangible but real fear that something terrible is going to happen (like you’re so sick that you think you’re going to die).
- Breathing is short and anxious.
- Anxiety and impatience.
- Fear and anxiety about your health, or the health of others.
- You may be obsessive, tidy and have a fear of losing control.
- Nervous anticipation (of any unusual ordeal ) brings on diarrhea and possibly a headache.
- You shake or tremble with the anxiety
- You hold your feelings in and pretend nothing is wrong.
- You expose your anxiety with trembles and frequent sighing. Finally, you explode.
- You are oversensitive and nervous.
- Your moods bounce around.
This is a formulation of 5 flower essences to help you stay calm and in control.
“Just breathe.” Seems pretty straightforward, right? But what if you don’t know how?
Chest breathers unite!
Proper diaphragmatic breathing is so important if you’re feeling stressed and anxious. It helps you relax, lowers cortisol, your heart rate and your blood pressure.
When my anxiety is high, I automatically go into chest breathing mode, which leaves me feeling like I’m not getting enough air which just spirals into more problems.
So how do you “properly” breathe when you’re told to “just breath?”
A useful breathing technique:
Place one hand around your ribcage and the other on your chest. Focus on breathing into the hand around your ribs, and try not to make the hand on your chest move.
Even when you’re breathing diagphramatically, do you still feel like you can’t bring in enough air? Make sure you’re fully exhaling! Let it ALL OUT (pretending you’re blowing through a straw may help) and you’ll be able to bring in a much deeper breath. Try the 7 – 11 technique – breathe in for 7, breathe out for 11.
Have you been feeling extra anxious lately? What techniques have you tried? Let me know if you try any of the above!