Do These 3 Things Daily to Calm Your Anxiety
Not a cure or medical treatment, but doing these 3 things daily can take the edge off…help quiet your mind a bit.
I live with depression and anxiety. I’ve had to learn how to manage my own personal peaks and valleys. Or, as I like to call them, normal and the pit.
I’m going to lay out three things that I do every day to help manage my symptoms, calm my mind, and focus my thoughts toward actionable objectives.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. I’m not a doctor, psychologist, or licensed therapist. Please seek professional help if you’re experiencing any symptoms of depression and anxiety.
These three things I do are to complement my doctor’s current course of action and are approved by my doctor. I introduced these things one at a time, and they build off of each other.
They help me right now, so maybe they can help you, too.
Journaling can bring focus to a chaotic mind
For me, part of anxiety is like a madman with a chainsaw running tight circles inside a room inside my mind. I can think of other thoughts, but the madman and his noisy instruments drown them out.
It’s maddening. Frustrating. And it starts my mind spinning into the depths of doom. Even though I know for certain, there is no doom.
When I wake in the morning, I break out my journal and just start writing. I don’t really have any objective when I pick up the pen. I don’t write down my goals, my ten items of gratitude, “laws” of attraction, or affirmations to manifest my dreams. I simply write whatever comes into my head, as it comes. Usually, this starts with, “I’m still tired,” because I woke up far too early and have every day since I entered kindergarten.
I don’t yet know the science of it, but the act of streaming my barely awake consciousness onto paper has an almost magical effect. The chaff blows away. The crooked chairs line themselves up. I feel a little bit more like me.
Meditate to give yourself a break
For dealing with anxiety and depression, meditation gives me a few moments of rest. My mind is free to empty. My heart is free to slow down, and the always-tense muscles around my shoulder blades take a breather.
To meditate is to spread your consciousness across the entire galaxy, but also condensed into a pinpoint of nothing. At least that’s what it feels like to me. I don’t actually travel across the astral plane to the Bureau of Control, and my butt never leaves the slightly uncomfortable chair that could honestly use a cushion.
But my mind takes a little break. And with that, it feels like it heals just a little bit.
Meditating is free. It can cost money, but it doesn’t have to. If you want to spend some money, I recommend the app Calm. HeadSpace is also good, but I prefer the former better. Though I use neither beyond their free preview sections.
YouTube is full of meditation tracks, guided meditation sessions, and all manner of beats or ASMR to help set your mind to nothing. Or to a mantra. I use YouTube for my meditation tracks. Boho Beautiful has some great guided meditations, and also a whole lot of yoga, which is the third thing you should do.
Do some yoga every day
We all need to exercise. It’s part of being alive. And hey, once you hit 40 some days it feels like you keep moving or you die.
I do yoga for a couple of reasons. To increase my flexibility, to squish around my body in ways it doesn’t normally get to (this is actually quite handy), and because it just feels damn good. Sure, when I hold a pose that’s already near the edge of my ability and then I exhale and go deeper, it’s a challenge.
I do about 10 minutes, maybe 15, consisting entirely of simple beginner positions. When I’m done, I feel good — like I’ve accomplished something physically satisfying. My back muscles feel a little more relaxed and I want to stand up straighter. My hips feel open, my arms loose and free. My blood seems to flow more freely through my veins.
When I exercise, it’s similar to meditation. I clear my head, and it’s just me and the weight I’m pushing. Just me and the miles I’m running. Just me and the yoga pose I’m holding before going deeper.
While I’m in that zen-like state, there’s no room for anxiety or depression. Sure, they’re still there, but my mind is otherwise occupied. No matter what is going on with me, when I do yoga I am at peace.
Make it a habit…and it doesn’t even take that long
Doing all these three things every day (I recommend in the morning) has been immensely helpful to me. Along with my treatment plan, these three activities are another piece of the puzzle.
They can be done quickly, too. Write a page or so in your journal as you have your morning coffee, tea, or fancy vegan protein shake. Then spend ten minutes meditating and another ten minutes on some yoga.
Taking care of yourself is worth the investment of your time and energy. What’s great about incorporating these three things into your daily routine is that it’s not even a big investment. It’s quick and doesn’t take a lot out of you, but you get a lot out of it.
Journaling. Meditating. Yoga.
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