There is good news and bad news. Let’s start with the positive. Certain levels of anxiety are normal and even healthy – it can sharpen your focus, prepare you for the “what if’s” and “worst case scenarios”. Now for the negative. High levels of anxiety can be paralyzing, sap our energy, hinder healthy sleep, feel out of control, damage our relationships and take a huge toll on mental health. Thankfully what you do during the day can help keep your stress levels in a healthy range, or your “sweet spot”. Here are five ways to find calm during your busy workday.
These are coping strategies that reconnect you with the present, a self-regulation mechanism for times of stress and anxiety. The easiest way to incorporate this into your daily routine is to start with the senses.
Count all the blue objects around you.
Play your favorite song and sing to it.
Light a scented candle.
Bite into a lemon or lime.
Put your hands into hot or cold water or get an ice cube between your fingers.
A 2016 study reports that people who took chamomile extract for 8 weeks had a reduction in generalized anxiety disorder symptoms. Its effects were comparable with those of an anti-anxiety drug. The participants took 1,500 mg of chamomile per day.
4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Breathing techniques are designed to bring the body into a state of deep relaxation. Specific patterns that involve holding the breath for a period of time allow your body to replenish its oxygen. From the lungs outward, techniques like 4-7-8 can give your organs and tissues a much-needed oxygen boost.
- First, let your lips part. Make a whooshing sound, exhaling completely through your mouth.
- Next, close your lips, inhaling silently through your nose as you count to four in your head.
- Then, for seven seconds, hold your breath.
- Make another whooshing exhale from your mouth for eight seconds
You have at your fingertip’s multiple resources through your electronic device to help you deal with anxiety:
- Complete Relaxation: Guided Meditation for a Happy, Stress-Free Life
- The Mindfulness App
- Calm – Meditate, Sleep, Relax
- OmVana – Meditation for Everyone
Fitness doesn’t have to be about pushing yourself to the max or even going to a gym. Our bodies naturally want to move. Add resistance to your movements in order to build muscle to protect your body. A strong body enjoys activities and handles day to day stress more effectively.