"Anxiety's like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you very far." - Jodi Picoult
These suggestions are not a substitute for working with your therapist. For additional help, please schedule a therapy visit.
Just take a deep breath
During stress, the nervous system's fight-flight-or-freeze system overshadows the rest-and-digest system. It becomes harder to see, hear, perceive, and think clearly. It becomes incredibly difficult to problem solve, reason, and integrate wise emotion with behavior. Pushing through can make matters worse. Instead, try to bring your rest-and-digest system back online with simple breathing practices:
Ground yourself in your senses
Grounding yourself in your senses and watching nature can also help you bring your rest-and-digest nervous system back online:
- Five Senses Meditation, by Lion's Breath Counseling
- Body Scan, by Lion's Breath Counseling
- Guided Sensory Questions, by Lion's Breath Counseling
- Yoga for Anxiety with David Procyshyn of DoYogaWithMe
- Calm Radio
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Jellyfish Cam
- Cornell University's FeederWatch live webcam
- Nature Relaxation films by David Huting
- BBC's Springwatch nature webcams
Move mindfully to relax
Try Tai Chi arm swings.
Try a 15 minute relaxation yoga practice with Jason Crandell.
Practice mindfulness daily
You can train your nervous system to be more resilient to stress and anxiety by practicing mindfulness daily for a few minutes. The key is to practice daily, even if only for a minute or two. Try to find several practices you enjoy and cycle through them.
- Malcolm Huxter free guided meditations
- Blooming of A Lotus by Thich Nhat Hahn
- Plum Village app
- Calm app
- DoYogaWithMe's Let Go of Anxiety and Fear 21-Day Program
Cut the root of suffering
Analytical meditation can help you identify and transform root causes of suffering.
- Venerable Thubten Chodron on Insight Timer
- Sharon Salzberg's Metta Hour podcast
- Jack Kornfield's Heart Wisdom podcast
- Joseph Goldstein's Insight Hour podcast
- Sister Dan Nghiem's Flowers in the Dark: Reclaiming Your Power to Heal From Trauma with Mindfulness
- Decorate your home with parallel verses from Plum Village
Educate yourself about anxiety
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*I am licensed to treat patients in Pennsylvania (LCSW #CW013287), Massachusetts (LICSW #119344), Michigan (LMSW #6801100720), California (LCSW #83491), and Florida (LCSW #SW16327 ). I abide by the NASW Code of Ethics.