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Don’t. Don’t deal with them.
Because sometimes anxiety is not meant to be something we need to “fix”—well, not with our anxious mind anyways. It may be our body’s and mind’s way of communicating with us that we need to shake it up, shake it off, and lighten the load.
And trying to fix anxiety ends up making us feel more anxious!
It seems the more we don’t want to feel anxious, the more we feel anxious. Maybe subconsciously it’s kinda like saying to ourselves, “You aren’t enough!” “Be better!” “There’s something wrong with you!” And this can also be anxiety-provoking.
I’m an advocate for meditation and breathing practices, but sometimes they don’t help.
So, when those pesky anxious thoughts run wild and I have scanned myself, “Is there anything bothering me?” but the answer isn’t arriving, I like to do things that shake off the nervous energy.
From here, I either feel better and it was a matter of built up stress from the week or a lack of movement—or I find clarity and can take mindful action.
I see these activities as still meditative in style but a little more fun and relaxed.
Here are 11 tips for those times when the pesky, anxious thoughts won’t go away:
1. Move the body.
Moving helps us disconnect from our minds and drop into our physical being. Anxiety can keep us trapped in our minds and out of sync with our bodies. A good old-fashioned walk or workout can shake up the anxious energy and dismantle the grip it has on us.
The key here is to do something we enjoy, which means doing whatever the heck feels good to us. We can walk, work out, do gardening, cleaning, dancing—anything that makes us sweat, raises the heart rate, and gets those endorphins rolling is ideal. And, it doesn’t have to be hard-core to work.
2. Take a longer walk or trek at least once a week.
If those pesky anxious thoughts are stubbornly sticking around after a week of exercising, I go for a longer walk than my average daily ones. Due to sitting down many hours in the day and week, I sometimes need a long trek toward the end of the week to clear out any stress or stagnant energy in my body. So I’ll walk for almost two hours until my mind is too tired to think. It’s kind of like a cleanse. It also acts as a reset.
3. Be less serious in the morning and start the day in party mode.
While making a healthy nutritional breakfast, listen to a song to invigorate the soul. I love listening to trance, afro beats, or pumping tunes and dancing in the kitchen while cooking or preparing food. I believe that this happy and loving energy can transfer into the meals we create.
Think of when we have had a homecooked meal from someone we love and how it makes us feel joyous and warm inside.
4. Completely switch off from everything.
Sometimes, those pesky anxious thoughts won’t disappear because we haven’t spent enough time completely relaxing and enjoying ourselves. I’m talking about a day of pure enjoyment and doing whatever we feel in the moment.
The soul needs this.
No phones. No to-do lists. Maybe a day of op-shopping, laying in the sun, hiking, watching a favorite movie, or reading a glorious book.
5. Cut down on caffeine.
I know, I know—our long blacks call to us every morning! But, we need to find our sweet spot with coffee, as a little too much can leave us feeling jittery and anxious. Cutting back caffeine can be a game-changer.
6. Get a dose of sunlight.
This may not be for everyone, but ensuring we have had enough daily sunlight on our bodies can seriously do wonders. We need sunshine (Vitamin D) for optimal health and mood stability.
Some of us may require a little more than others. This doesn’t mean we need to sunbake, but getting outside for 20 minutes during the day can help melt away an overthinking mind and raise those calming vibes.
7. Get dressed up.
When I’m having one of “those” days, I put on an outfit that makes me feel confident, energized, and happy. Although I work from home and can get away with wearing my pajamas all day, I get dressed up purely for myself as it helps me get into work mode.
However, when I am having one of those pesky anxious days, I put in a dash more effort—maybe some gold rings, a different color, or something that makes me feel flirty and fun. When we feel good about ourselves, it can elevate our mood and energy.
8. Get organized and take action.
Create a schedule that is not too busy, not too relaxed, but just right! Sometimes I have pesky anxious thoughts because I have a pile of things I want to do, but I haven’t planned when I will do them. When we organize ourselves, it leads to action and less clutter in the mind. It is incredible how ticking off our “to-do” list can also boost our mood and help us to feel more in control.
9. Be mindful of the people we hang around.
Some of us may feel anxious because of the people around us. In this case, learning to be grounded and protecting our energy is essential. Being highly sensitive to others’ energy may sometimes be beneficial, but it can also clutter our thinking. What’s ours? What’s there’s? Grounding rituals can help us from taking on other people’s vibes.
10. Have a good ol’ belly laugh.
A good old-fashioned belly laugh can shake off the seriousness and allow us to breathe. But how can we make ourselves laugh? I usually watch a funny movie or find a comedian I love on Youtube. It’s simple and can be effective. Other times, my silly side will come out, and I will do random, funny things with my dog. She probably thinks I am a little fruity, but we both end up having fun.
11. Solo time is on the cards.
Some of us need time alone to feel less anxious, and if we know this about ourselves, we need to honor it. So take a time-out from everyone and everything, and have some one-on-one fun or relaxation.
Please let me know if these were beneficial, and feel free to add your tips in the comments!