Calming an Anxious Mind
Naturally in a Time of Unrest and Uncertainty
By Lia Threat
Click aqui para español- > Calmar naturalmente una mente ansiosa en momentos de inquietud e incertidumbres
A tight chest, changes in breathing, nausea, racing, repetitive thoughts, worry, sweating, these are just a handful of the physiological changes in the body that can occur when someone is experiencing anxiety.
Lately, there have been copious amounts of negative news on TV and social media, coupled with frequent and constant images of violence and COVID-19 statistics. But the body and mind are resilient, and these feelings can be temporary. I would like to provide some alternatives that may be helpful in times of high stress. Below is a routine that I go back to again and again.
Take a break from the consumption of images and negative news
Could you remove it from your day? Negative images and traumatic stories can influence the psyche. If it is not necessary, take a break.
Ask yourself- what can I do immediately to calm my mind and body?
Check-in with your breathing
I practice a breathing exercise: five seconds of deep belly breathing in and five seconds of breathing out. This method can help to calm the autonomic nervous system responsible for the fight or flight response. Anxiety is associated with fear, so by signaling that you are safe and well, you can also calm some of the physiological responses that your body is experiencing.
Try to alter your environment
Go outside, go for a walk, and get out in nature. Also, adding calming forms of exercise while outside will give you a nice boost of feel-good endorphins.
Add in some calming herbal teas*
Some of my favorites are Lavender, Lemon balm, Ashwagandha (also an adaptogen), CBD oil, Tulsi aka Holy Basil, Chamomile, Rose, or Passionflower. If it is daytime, I will also have some matcha tea full of the calming amino acid L-theanine. A bonus is most of the herbs will also help you sleep! These methods are just a handful of ideas to tap into when feeling stressed. Hopefully, you can find one that works for you!
*Check with your health practitioner if you have a health condition, are pregnant, nursing, or taking medications before consuming herbs.
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