12 Ways to help Calm Yourself
With the present state of anxiety due to the Corona Virus, I would like to offer coping techniques that can help with anxiety and fear. Below are twelve tried and proven techniques. Not everyone is helped in the same way. Try to find the ones that work for you.
1. Deep breathing
Deep breathing has been clinically proven to calm our body, slow our heart rate, lower our blood pressure, and bring oxygen to our brain. There are many different apps that can help you learn how to deep breath if you are new to this.
2. Admit that you’re anxious and talk about it with someone you trust
Talking about our struggles often releases the pressure we have keeping it all inside. Find someone who knows you, who will listen to you without trying to fix your problem, someone who can be a kind ear.
3. Release the anxiety in a safe way (walking, working out)
Exercise has proven to release the tension that builds up in our bodies. It also helps increase our serotonin levels, which is good for our motivation.
4. Challenge your thoughts
Anxiety causes faulty thinking. Using a Cognitive Behavioral Technique chart can help you target where your thinking has gone astray, like all or nothing thinking, black or white thinking, castastrophic thinking, etc. You can find these charts online as CBT thought processing guides.
Writing things down also helps get things out of our head. If you feel you are not a good writer, there are journals that offers prompts, or look prompts up on the web.
6. Listen to music
Music sooths. Play your favorite songs, focusing on the words, or dance to the melody, or even better, sing!
Change your focus to something other than the anxious thought. It works when other coping techniques do not. Turn your attention to coloring a picture, making a recipe, painting, drawing, playing an instrument, solving a puzzle.
8. Do body relaxation techniques (find them online)
There are many types of relaxation techniques you can find online. Some start with the head and work down your muscles to your feet. Try them until you find the one that works best for you.
9. Visualize yourself calm.
Our imagination is an amazing machine. It can take us into an event of the past, or into an imagined one of the future, complete with dialogue and reactions. It can also take us down the dark hole of fear and anxiety. So, visualize yourself in a place that makes you calm. Put yourself on the beach, hear the waves crashing, feel the sun on your skin, smell the salt air, taste the grit of the sand.
10. Get some fresh air
We know fresh air is healthy for us. Go for a walk. Sit on your deck. Stand in your yard. Watch the birds.
11. Eat healthy
It is important that we get enough sleep and eat healthy to maintain a good mood. Do yourself a favor. Limit your comfort eating, and make choices that help you feel better overall.
12. Have a centering object.
When we want to center ourselves, bring ourselves back to the here and now, we can do so through physical objects. Some individuals keep a stone in their pocket with a word that inspires them, like Hope, or Courage, or Trust. Others write a sentence down and tape it to their bathroom mirror or their computer. Such physical objects help keep us in the here and now, reminding us we have this present moment.