Use these 5 easy anti-anxiety techniques to get out of and transform anxious moments during trying times.
BILATERAL SIMULATION Technique
Stimulate both sides of the brain to stop anxiety with this easy yet amazingly effective technique.
- Grab a ball to pass back and forth and think of the anxiety-causing agent.
- Once you feel that anxiety in your body, rate it on a 1-to-10 scale
- Now pass the object back and forth, one hand to the other, crossing the midline, so you’re stimulating both of your brain’s hemispheres. Do this for a minute. Stop. Breathe deeply, check in. Note whether or not the anxiety has dissipated.
PERIPHERAL VISION (stop the world) Technique
Internal dialogue can trigger or continue a pattern of anxiety. This easy technique can shift you out of your mind.
- Start by picking a spot or focal point to stare at.
- Slowly expand your peripheral vision to include all the space around the spot.
- Now, expand your vision even further to the sides, all the way up to the ceiling and down to the floor. Expand it even more, allowing your visual field to open so that you can almost imaginebecoming aware of the space behind you.
HEART-FOCUSED BREATHING Technique
This technique is adapted from the work of the HeartMath Institute, a group of doctors and psychologists who study heart rate coherence and its effect on mental and physical health.
- Start bringing your awareness to your heart and as you do, imagine breathing deeply, in and out, from your heart. Hold your hand over your heart to keep awareness there as you breathe through it.
- Imagine your heart pumping healthy blood throughout your body as it also radiates energy throughout your whole system.
JAW-DROPPING MOMENT Technique
Rob anxiety of some its power with a jaw-dropping experience.
- Take time to relax your jaw as much as you can. Loosen it even more and imagine it dropping to the floor.
- Relax your jaw, take a deep breath in and pause for three counts.
- Exhale twice as long through the nose. When you inhale deeply, put your hand on your belly and feel it rise. This ensures that you’re breathing from your diaphragm.
THE BACKWARD SPIN Technique
One proven fact about anxiety is its deleterious effect on your physical body. It always moves too fast and doesn’t pass through you. It stays and keeps circulating through the body. This technique interrupts that cycle.
- Locate where you feel the anxiety moving in your body. Notice which way the feeling spins. Use your hand to model the direction of the spin.
- Next, imagine that you can move the spin outside of your body. In other words, it’s still spinning in the same way that you were feeling it before, but now it’s outside of you.
- Once you can feel it outside of yourself, reverse the spin and movement of your hand if you’re using it.
- As you do, imagine bringing the spin back inside your body, rotating in this opposite direction. Notice how it feels different. Now, think of something funny and add some laughter to the spin, as this will change the chemicals and hormones coursing throughout your body.
Devi Jeanne, copyright 2022