A Few Tips For Controlling

A few tips for controlling anxiety


Anxiety has many sources, beliefs, genetics, history, thoughts, to name a few. Psychotherapy can help you find long term relief from anxiety. However, that may take some time and you may be looking for a way of lowering anxiety in the interim. Anxiety lives in the body. As the founder of Gestalt Therapy, Fritz Perls once said, “Anxiety is excitement without breath.” So the first tip I am offering has to do with interrupting what you may be doing with your breath. 

Yoga Breath

This simple breathing exercise can often slow the nervous system.

Find a comfortable chair, sit with both feet on the floor, shoulders relaxed, hands to your side or resting on you lap. Take in as much air as you can and hold your breath. Count to 8. Let out half the air. Count to 5. Let out the rest of the air and sit quietly gently breathing for a few moments.

It is best to do this interruption when you notice your anxiety beginning to increase, as opposed to waiting till your anxiety is unbearable.

Tension-Release

This next method takes a little longer, between 5-10 minutes, and can be an effective practice to do once a day. 

Feel free to skip any part of this made difficult by physical limitations.

Find a comfortable chair, sit with both feet on the floor, shoulders relaxed, hands to your side or resting on you lap. Let your eyes be comfortably closed or open to a soft focus.  Do a body scan from head to toe. Notice what you notice. Notice where you may place judgement. Just notice, letting go of judging the judgement.

Bring your awareness to your hands and squeeze them into really tight fists. Take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. Now slowly allow the air to leave your lungs as you gradually allow your hands to open and relax. Notice what your hand feel like. And then repeat the entire tightening and breathing process with your hands once more.

Bring your awareness to your arms and tighten all the muscles in your arms. Take in a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. Gradually allow the air to leave your lungs as your arms slowly relax. Notice what your arms feel like and then repeat the process with your arms.

Bring your awareness to your feet. Tighten your feet into balls. Take in a deep breath and hold it a few seconds. Then release. Then repeat.

Bring your awareness to your legs. Tighten, take in a deep breath and hold it a few seconds. Then release. Then repeat.

Bring your awareness to your gluteals. Tighten so that they lift you up slightly in the chair. Take in a deep breath and hold it a few seconds. Then release. Then Repeat.

Bring your awareness to your abdomen. Then perform the tension-release process twice with your abdominal muscles.

Bring your awareness to your chest. You can tighten your chest muscles by bringing your elbows in front of your chest and then squeezing. Repeat the tension-release process twice with your chest.

Bring your awareness to your upper back. You can tighten the muscles in your upper back by bringing your elbows behind you and squeezing. Repeat the tension-release process with your upper back.

Bring your awareness to your shoulders. Lift your shoulders to your ears. Take in a deep breath and hold it. Then release. Then repeat.

Bring your awareness to your face. Tighten the muscles in your face by making a tiny face. Take in a deep breath and hold it a few seconds. Then release, Then repeat.

Bring your awareness back down to your neck and the base of your skull. While breathing gently and slowly, very gently and slowly roll your head from side to side.

Now once again do a body scan from head to toe. Notice what you notice. Notice where you may place judgement. Just notice, letting go of judging the judgement. 

Doing this tension-release process once a day can help lower your anxiety levels.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.