It’s World Mental Health Day today… so thought I’d share some tips on getting shot of anxiety, plus why they work!
- When we are in a place of anxiety we are filled with adrenaline, which makes us breathe a bit faster and more shallow. Your brain scans your body and notices you are breathing differently. It gives you more adrenaline, and then you feel a bit more anxious. So my tip – try some breathing exercises: Square breathing, 7/11 breathing, colour breathing, or watch videos of waves coming in and out from the sea, breath in calm/blow out stress. Do it a couple of times a day and you’ll notice yourself feeling better, calmer and more in control.
- When we are in a state of panic, our “Stephen King’ mind is telling us all sort of drama and what will go wrong. The creative right side of the brain is in overdrive and we stop thinking logically (left brain). So my tip – pass an object from hand to hand – keep your head still but follow the movement with your eyes. You are rebalancing the left/right side of your brain and will find the calmness again. Remember to breathe!
- When the anxiety has passed, the remaining adrenaline becomes cortisol (stress cortisol). I describe it as being like bodyguards of the system – ready to respond EVEN quicker to the next bit of danger. It takes about 24-36 hours to leave the body but you can speed it up and get back to a better place. My tips – exercise/walking/fresh air, giving yourself or someone else a hug (touch boosts oxytocin which wipes out cortisol), take a couple of fingers and trace a sideways figure of 8 around your forehead slowly.
- When we are stressed or anxious, our bodies burn up fluids and good minerals. So, drink plenty of water and eat good food. If we are low on a couple of minerals – we can start feeling ‘biologically’ anxious
- Caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes etc change our moods. For example, when alcohol (a depressant) is out of your body, you may notice or remember feeling anxious on the next day. It’s a chemical reaction as your brain is swinging back to balance. Caffeine is a stimulant so can increase anxiety.