If you struggle with anxiety, if it’s getting in the way of your everyday life, stopping you from enjoying the things around you, then you are not alone. Our modern life is full of stresses. From random acts of violence, politics or the impact of the environment on ourselves and our health to the ‘small’ everyday stresses on the road (did you just see that car overtaking!?!) or at work, who wouldn’t be anxious?
It is estimated that about 1 in 6 persons have been affected by an ‘neurotic health problem’ in the previous week and women are twice more likely to be affected than men.
There are many types of anxiety, from the very circumstantial anxiety of doing a talk in front of a big audience to more chronic disorders such as panic attacks or general anxiety disorder (GAD).
By learning how to reset our ways to respond to stress, you can allow to calm the anxiety down.
1 : Recognise what is going on
Very often, anxiety shows itself through very physical symptoms. You might be feeling your heart beating, sometimes very quickly, having a feeling of weight over your chest, getting dizzy or nauseous. You might be struggling to fall asleep at night, have some unsettling dreams or nightmares. Or you might have the urge to just run away to escape the situation. All of those are symptoms of anxiety kicking in, a biological response to a perceived threat, even when there is no immediate or direct threat. Remember these are just feelings, not the reality.
2: First Aid technique
The best way to calm anxiety on the go is to concentrate on your breath. Breathing in and out slowly from your nose will help calming your heart rate and your breathing as well as relax your body and mind.
First breathe in through your nose counting to 4, have a brief pause and then breathe out through your nose counting to 4 again. Whilst breathing out, concentrate on any area of tension (shoulders and the forehead when you are frowning are two areas where we often hold our tension) and visualize the tension melting away.
This is simple. Exercise is wonderful to reduce stress and therefore anxiety. Any exercise is ok but even more so if you really enjoy it.
4 : Massage P6
P6 is an acupuncture point on the inside of your arm. This is the same point that is used to ease travel sickness so you can either massage the point with a finger for a couple of minutes on each side or use one of those travel sickness band.
|To locate the point:
P6 is situated between the two tendons on the inside of your arm, about 3 finger width from the wrist (see picture). To check that you are at the right place, put some pressure on that point. It should feel slightly ‘bruisy’.
5: Get some acupuncture
In my clinic, I regularly see people who are or have suffered with anxiety. Acupuncture and ear acupuncture (where you put some very small needles in the ear) are both very efficient at calming anxiety down. But they can also make the body itself stronger so that people are more able to deal with anxiety inducing situations, tackling both the symptoms and the root of the issue.
Over to you
What are your tips to calm anxiety? Not every tip will work with everyone and you might have to do a bit of trial and error before finding what is working best for you.