Stress and anxiety in your body can keep you feeling trapped, irritable and overwhelmed- making it difficult to know how to move forward or get through the moment.
Movement and physical sensation offer two ways to move from your head and into your body.
In this space, you can begin to release body tension and stressful feelings, and start to restore a sense of calm and control.
Here are 5 ways to restore calm throughout your day.
1. Step outside. Feeling fresh air on your skin, even if it’s just your face in colder weather, signals a reset in the body. Face the sun if it’s a bright day. Notice the sensations on your skin. Close your eyes if that feels comfortable for you.
2. Apply cold. Depending on where you are and what’s available to you, apply a cold to the inside of your wrists. Splash cold water on your face. End your shower with one minute of cold water (as cold as possible) and practice breathing through the shock of the temperature change. Extend your time as this becomes easier.
3. Hum. During a walk or your daily commute, practice humming deep in your throat. You can use the word “om” and hold the vibration in our throat for as long as you can exhale.
4. Wring out the body. Standing with feet hip distance apart, let the arms be heavy by your side. Then start to twist from the waist up, side to side, allowing the arms to swing out and away from you. Deepen your breathing as you do this. Continue to 1-2 mins.
5. Deep breathing. When I’m most anxious, trying to breathe deeply while being still feels difficult. So try moving and then adding the breathwork in. One way I do this is to start marching in place, then adding in “snow angel” arms- inhaling and taking a big reach overhead / exhaling and float the arms back down. Continue for 1-2 min and notice the tension start to loosen up.
Try using these techniques daily to relax and recover from episides of anxiety and the general demands of the day. With regular practice, you’ll begin to notice longer periods of calm, fewer and shorter-lasting anxious moments, deeper and fuller breaths, and an overall improved feeling of calm and in control throughout the day.