Easy steps to turn down anxiety

relaxed girl with no anxiety in museumWe all experience anxiety and stress. Worry can center on relationships, money, health, work, or even things we have absolutely no control over. Those times can feel very overwhelming.   Wouldn’t it be nice to have a few simple things you could do to turn down that response, letting your heart slow down and your body relax?  The truth is everyone has the ability to reduce stress and anxiety.  Here are some simple things you can do to unstick yourself from that old response, no matter what is going on around you.

Make time for you

It really doesn’t matter what kind of day you are having, taking just 10-15 minutes for yourself can completely shift your perspective.  Find somewhere where you can be alone and turn off your phone. Maybe sit outside on a bench, at a café, or just hide from your co-workers in the bathroom.   Spend this time doing whatever feels relaxing.

Try Progressive Relaxation

Progressive relaxation is both easy and effective.  All it involves is squeezing your muscles, one part of your body at a time.  Start with your feet first, curling your toes and squeezing the muscles as hard as you can.  Hold for a moment then relax.  Move up each part of your body, squeezing then relaxing every major muscles group until you finish with your face.  Add a deep breath in as you tense and a long exhale as you relax for even more relaxation.

Go to an art gallery

Art has been used therapeutically for almost a century to treat anxiety and depression.  Its ability to reduce stress is well-documented.  Even better, we now know that just looking at art good for your mental and physical health.  Not sure where to start?  Check out the new Hunter Gatherer exhibit opening on March 11th at ARTicles on Central Ave in St Pete.  It will feature the work of local artist Heidi Martin Kuster .  Her beautiful, organic paintings are sure to leave you feeling more relaxed.

Put on the Music

Music has been shown to both relax and reduce stress. With the right music, even premature babies experience calmer heart rates, more quiet alert time, and better sleep.  It doesn’t matter what you like.  Listening to music you love can make you feel better.  If you want boost your energy, turn it up and dance around.  Want to reduce stress, calm down, and improve your emotional well-being?  Try a hypnotic meditation.  Want a good one you can trust? Click here to download my free relaxation meditation.

Get a plant

There’s a reason my house looks like a jungle.  Plants are fantastic for improving indoor air quality, but they can also help you feel calmer. A Washington State University study found that being around them doubled people’s relaxation response.  Some good choices are jasmine, rosemary, and lavender.  Not good with plants?  Try an aloe –it’s almost impossible to kill.

These are just a few ideas.  There are so many ways to bring more peace into your life.  Unfortunately there’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer when it comes to anxiety.  That’s why it is important to try different things.  It’s all about relaxing the body which then calms the mind, opening you to new possibilities and ways of being.