Many of my clients have reported feeling overwhelmed by anxiety in recent months. It’s super hard to make decisions when we are in the throes of a fight/flight/freeze response. So before I delve into a deep dive life-planning session with a client, we take a few moments to release lingering anxiety and calm down our nervous systems.
Here a few of my favorite methods for releasing feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.
Please note that this is not a substitute for psychological counseling or any other type of therapy or medical advice. If you find that feelings of anxiety are frequently interfering with your ability to function, please consider talking to a mental health practitioner. (And here’s a guide for finding one.)
Tip #1: DRAW IT OUT
A: Embrace your inner toddler -- and SCRIBBLE!
Using a crayon or soft pencil, scribble HARD on a piece of paper for a full 20 seconds. (Set a timer!) Hit that paper like a toddler attacks a freshly painted wall when the parents think it is nap time. (Or like my little brother scrawled on the family van with a rock when everyone thought he was just sitting quietly in the driveway.)
You can also growl if that feels good. Give it all you’ve got.
B: Now, take a deep breath and pull out a clean piece of paper. SLOWLY draw and retrace a LARGE infinity symbol for 40 seconds - or twice as long as you committed to your toddler rampage. Try not to lift the crayon off the page. And keep your eyes on the curve of your drawing without moving your head.
When you finish, take another deep breath and sigh or yawn it out. Did anything shift for you?
Sometimes exercises (like this one) that use physical embodiment and a little EMDR can help manage anxiety symptoms.
Tip #2: TAP IT OUT
Try a little tapping. EFT or Tapping can be a useful tool for engaging the parasympathetic nervous system and helping your body relax.
Here’s a video I made for Tapping for Anxiety:
(If you listen closely, you can hear my husband’s zoom meeting in the background. Just letting y’all know that the working-at-home sound bleed happens to the best of us.)
Tapping Videos this February
As part of my coaching practice, I’m committed to sharing mindfulness and growth tools at no cost to folx who need it. I’d love to make you a free, personalized tapping video this month. Consider it my valentine to you!
HERE IS HOW IT WORKS:
Sign up for a 15-minute session on my website (TheLovelyUnbecoming.com)
We will have a brief discussion about a challenge you are facing or a goal you have for this month.
Within 24 hours, I will create a bespoke 5-7 minute tapping meditation for you to use on your own.
Tip #3: GET OUT. SERIOUSLY.
Get outside. Walk in the woods. I know how hard it is to leave the comfort of your couch, but it will be worth it. Studies show that taking a walk in nature naturally decreases anxiety, increases feelings of happiness, and generally improves sleep quality. The Japanese call it shinrin-yoku or Forest Bathing. I just call it a perfect afternoon.
Too tired for a hike? Did your best friend “borrow” your hiking boots and forget to return them? No worries, even sitting in nature has a positive effect on your well-being. Here’s a book about it, in case you need more encouragement.
Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness (Viking, 2018, 320 pages)
Want to find ways to bring more joy into your career, relationships, and home? Together we can help you to find, create, and enjoy more of what you love. Sign up for an Introductory session, or subscribe for a Three with Bree coaching package and jumpstart a life aligned with your core values!
The Lovely Unbecoming never wants cost to be a barrier -- email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can discuss a price or trade that works for you.
This service is not a substitute for psychological counseling or any other type of therapy or medical advice. Services provided by The Lovely Unbecoming do not replace the care of psychologists or other healthcare professionals. Therapy is awesome! If you are in the Charlottesville area and need recommendations for finding excellent mental health practitioners, email me.