Tools for anxiety

Tools to combat anxiety

Anxiety is something we have all experienced. To experience any emotion is human, including anxiety. Anxiety is an evolutionary physiological response system within us necessary for survival. It is like an inbuilt alarm system, warning us when anything could potentially threaten our survival, an indication from our subconscious that we don’t feel safe. This could be real, potential or even imaginary, either one, it is a state that has a physical effect on our body, mind and behaviour. In your body you may notice an increased heart rate, tightness in the chest, trembling in your hands, nauseous, a lump in your throat, short and/or shallow breathing or holding the breath. Thoughts may race through your mind about every possible thing that could go wrong, the ‘worst case’ scenarios. You may relate it to feeling overwhelmed. This affects our behaviour resulting in difficulty concentrating, restlessness, hyper-focusing, agitation, fatigue, trouble sleeping, irritability, self-sabotage and procrastination.

Anxiety like all emotions is energy, hence feeling the physical energy presenting itself in your body as the symptoms described above. The body is responding to the threat to survival. It is ready to fight or flee. I love this analogy – like a river going through a narrow constricted area, creates white water, imagine this constricted area being your body and all the energy of emotions that are flooding in, with nowhere to go. When we don’t feel emotions they are stored in the body as energy. This may resonate if you have suppressed your emotions for a long time, being told as child not to cry, or not giving the guidance how to feel an emotion. The energy wants to go somewhere, unable to be put into action it builds up in the body as tension.

As a Life Coach, I have witnessed clients go from suffering severe anxiety, to creating inner peace, through feeling into emotions, discovering the root cause of the anxiety and utilising these following tools.

Tools to combat anxiety

  1. Move the emotional energy through shaking, jumping up and down, running, dancing
  2. Verbalise the energy by yelling, making loud noises
  3. Voo breathing. Take a deep breath in and chant out the word voo. Repeat 3-5 times. This helps regulate your vagus nerve which is responsible for regulating the nervous system. The voo breathing will help bring you into a parasympathetic state, sending signals to your body that you are safe, and your body starts to relax. See here for a video.
  4. Take a cold shower to break the state.
  5. Stop and witness how you are feeling. Sit with the anxiety. Locate it in your body. Give it a voice. What may it say? What does it need? The emotions will guide you as to what you need.
  6. Box breathing. Count in 4 breaths, hold for 4, out for 4 and hold for 4. Repeat for 2 minutes.
  7. Ground yourself. Connect to nature. Stand barefoot on the grass. Bring in your senses, of smell, touch, and sound. Listen to the birds or wind.
  8. Be kind to yourself. Offer yourself words of reassurance. “I am safe”.
  9. Rephrase the language you use when you talk about anxiety. Instead of ‘my anxiety’ or ‘I have anxiety’, change it to ‘the anxiety’ and ‘I feel anxious’.
  10. Meditation. Go within to quieten the mind and connect with your body.

You’ve got this!! I hope these tools help to combat the anxiety you are experiencing.


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