Learning to function with anxiety is… an experience, as so many can relate. When anything can send you into a panic, daily life can be somewhat challenging both physically and mentally. So how do we, as sufferers of anxiety, make this work? How do we create an atmosphere where we can learn to be calm when daily life is unpredictable? Here are a few methods that I have found that help keep my mind calm on tough days:
While probably the most cliché attack on anxiety, it is effective. I keep roll on oils with me at all times. When I’m feeling anxious the scent helps my mind to focus on something else, like processing the new smell. I recommend investing in organic oil roll ons to keep at hand.
Interestingly enough, deep breathing acts as a reset for the mind. It momentarily snaps you out of the fight or flight panic and helps to ground you. I typically will put my hands against the wall, bow my head, breathe in as deep as I possibly can and release.
Distancing yourself from an atmosphere where you feel anxious is the best thing you can do for yourself. As a college student I sometimes get hit with bouts of panic and don’t always know what to do. I’ve found that leaving the room and going outside for some deep breathing is helpful for occupying my mind, and taking my body out of the environment that is prompting my anxiety.
Music or Podcast:
I keep headphones on me at all times. When I need to distance myself from the outside world, I pop them in and listen to my music or podcast of choice. I turn it up loud enough to block out the sounds of the outside that irritate me and provoke my anxiety.
The final method I use most frequently are grounding exercises. It is a five step process, addressing the five senses. First I identify five things I can see. Then I identify five things I can hear, smell, taste and touch as well. I typically do this while taking deep breaths. It changes gears in my mind, gives me a new focus and keeps me distanced and distracted.
These methods are not perfect and won’t work for everyone, but it is always worth a try as anxiety is rarely calmed by just one specific thing. Never think you are alone in this struggle. We as a community are here for each other. Always.