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5 Powerful Strategies to Ease Anxiety

When that feeling takes over, we look for a way to ease anxiety as quickly as possible. It's a terrible feeling to have that running loop in your head, the cold clammy hands, the lump in your throat or pit in your stomach.  For some, that feeling can hijack you for hours or days at a time.  I help clients with these feelings all the time.  Here are some strategies that have really worked for them.  When your anxiety is really bad, you may have to do these strategies several times in a day.   

1. Introduce intense sensations by taking a hot or cold shower/bath, going outside in the sun (or cold), putting hot pack on your neck/shoulders, listening to loud, intense music.  This can sometimes create enough distraction to help your brain shift gears.  

2. Do jumping jacks, kettlebell swings, jump on mini-trampoline or go for a run/fast walk.  Do something that actually increases heart rate for a short time. This will force you to breathe and can have a “reset” effect on the anxious response.  

3.  Try looking at your pointed finger (or pen) a few inches from your eyes for about 2 seconds and then across the room (10 feet or more) for about 2 seconds. Keep switching back and forth at a comfortable pace for a minute or two.  A recent research study showed this strategy helps many people ease anxiety more quickly. 

I use these two strategies with clients to ease anxiety

4.  I talk clients through the following guided mindfulness exercise.  You can do this for yourself at home too.  

  1. Identify where you feel anxiety in your body. Don’t focus on your repeating thoughts. Just notice where the anxiety seems to be occurring in the body. Usually it’s in the chest, throat or stomach. But it might be in the head, jaw, arms or legs. It could be anywhere.
  2. Notice its shape, color, sensation, how it moves. Let it become 10% more intense with just focusing on it.  
  3. After focusing on it for a minute or two. Take a big open mouth breath in and out, almost like a yawn.  Or you can also try blowing the air out through a small opening of your lips, letting your cheeks puff out.  
  4. Then notice what changes happen in your body.  Does the original sensation move to a different place? Does it just lessen or did it get more intense? Notice for a while. Study it like you’re an explorer.
  5. Then repeat the open mouth breath one or two times.
  6. Notice what happens next in the body. See what’s happened to that anxious sensation.   
  7. Repeat the process until the anxiety appears to have cleared out.  
  8. If it’s not clearing out, focus on a part of the body that feels particularly calm.  Move your eyes (let them wander) to see if you where you’re looking can help you access that calm place even more.  Place one hand over your heart and one hand on your belly as if your holding yourself gently.  Take breaths and see how you can let yourself become even more grounded and calm. Listen to calming music.  

5.  Come in for Brainspotting sessions, a powerful brain-body based therapy to help you create a deep shift in the brain around what’s making you anxious.

Ready to get started? 

1. Call me at (720) 432-4409

2. Book an appointment online

3. Email me by using the Contact form below.  

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