We are living in unprecedented times with a global pandemic forcing most of us to drastically alter our daily lives. Many of us are left grappling with economic uncertainty, health concerns and cut off from friends and loved ones while governments the world over are struggling to contain the fall out of this pandemic. All this can lead to an increase in anxiety levels and feeling scared and panicked. While this is a situation that is mostly out of control, we can turn to calming and relaxation techniques to help us manage our anxieties and fears while we stay safe indoors.
Let’s take at some of these techniques. The 54321 grounding technique is an easy and simple technique that helps you calm the racing thoughts that cause anxiety and brings you into the present moment. It involves taking a deep breath and then describing 5 things you see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. You’ll immediately feel calmer and at ease after this simple exercise.
Another great way to calm your nerves and anxieties is visualisation and guided imagery. This involves mentally visiting relaxing nature spots like a beach or a forest and immersing yourself in the experience. You can further set the mood by playing nature sounds while you find a quiet spot and imagine yourself taking a walk through the forest while listening to the sounds of a babbling brook and birds chirping or walking on a beach with white sands and taking a dip in blue waters while listening to the sounds of waves crashing and sea gulls overhead.
Progressive muscle relaxation is another technique you can use to calm yourself. It involves focusing on your body and relaxing your tense muscles area by area starting from your feet and working your way up your body. This focuses your mind on the tension in your muscles and releasing the pent up anxieties. Doing a body scan is another way to relax and calm your racing thoughts. This involves becoming present to the sensations in your body and noticing them without judgement.
Yoga, stretches, and even physical activity are other ways to calm yourself since they stimulate the release of endorphins as does meditation. Aromatherapy is another great way to calm yourself since essential oils have potent healing and calming properties. Music is a great way to blow off steam and practising breathing techniques can calm your mind and body. We’ll cover breathing techniques in more detail in our next blog.
What are some of the ways you calm yourself?