There are so many tips and tricks out there to help bring down anxiety, and these are a few that I know have been a huge help to me. I pass these on in hopes it helps someone else as well!
- OPPOSITE ACTION- This is a DBT exercise I learned while in treatment! It means exactly what you think. For example, if you're feeling sadness, you might feel the urge to isolate, however, the opposite action says to do the opposite and get out. Go for a walk, or go and get your favorite treat. (Make sure you check the facts! For example, if you're feeling fear, AND YOU'RE SAFE, face your fear. DON'T DO THIS IF YOU DON'T/AREN'T SAFE).
- GRATEFUL LIST- Start every morning with three positives from the day before and five things (anything!) that you're grateful for! This will help shift you to a more positive perspective.
- GUIDED MEDITATION- 30 minutes of guided meditations have done wonders for my mental health. I won't lie, I was a skeptic at first! I convinced myself I wasn't someone that could sit for 20 minutes and chant. However, when I discovered guided meditations like body and emotion scans, I was changed. I started at 7-minute increments and built my time up from there. Now it's my favorite part of my morning!
- OBSERVE SKILL- When I'm feeling extremely anxious and need grounding, this is one of my favorite skills. My therapist taught me to start by finding a quiet place, laying down, and breathing deeply. In and out. Once you have a steady rhythm, you start observing your stomach going up and down. Try to tune out the inner commentary going on inside of your head and just observe. Eventually, you will be able to tune out your running thoughts and be able to start bringing yourself back to the present moment.
- 4-7-8 BREATHING- This takes a little bit of focus but you can do it pretty much anywhere! Just breathe in for four seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. Do this for 10-20 minutes and you will begin to observe your anxiety go down.
- Positive Affirmations- Writing down a list of positive affirmations and choosing one sentence each day to repeat out loud in the mirror every morning helps build self-confidence and fight anxiety. Examples include: "Thoughts are only thoughts. They do not equate to actions", "I don't like this feeling but I can accept it without trying to make it go away", and "I don't worry about the things I can't control". Write down a list that will help you and repeat one every morning!