A Practice to Ease Anxiety
Relax before bed, running late for an appointment, or whenever you’re freaking out.
QUIZ: You (possibly unknowingly) endure chronic anxiety if you:
(1) have trouble sleeping at night,
(2) tend to get “run down” or fall sick on a semi-regular basis,
(3) have lists upon lists upon lists upon lists,
(4) startle easily, or
(5) experience the occasional (up to frequent) panic attack.
When we constantly experience anxiety, our happiness takes a huge hit. High quality of life isn’t possible when we’re in an anxious state because of the effect of anxiety on our bodies. When feeling anxious or worried, our nervous system is on high alert as if danger is looming around the corner. This is what you’ve heard referred to as “fight-flight-freeze.”
Most of us don’t even realize we’re experiencing low-grade anxiety most waking hours because we’re so use to it.
The constant stimulation of modern life draws us into a hyper-aware mode that tips our nervous system into high-alert or anxiety mode really easy, which means we have to bring habits into our lives to pull ourselves out of this state so that we can:
- experience calm
- be present in your life
- feel happiness
- find enjoyment (rather than irritation) out of work, spouses/partners, friendships and kids
- connect to your life’s purpose and your highest self
- age beautifully (rather than prematurely)
I heard it said that anxiety robs us of our lives, and I completely agree. It’s our life’s purpose on the line and worth developing an orientation toward finding inner stillness, peacefulness and calm rather than allowing ourselves to be pulled into the mainstream culture of anxiety.
Five Simple Steps to Calm
Once you go through these steps once all of the way through, you’ll find it’s super quick and easy to do this practice anytime, anywhere, on your own.
- Step One. Take a comfortable seat in a chair with both feet flat on the ground.
Sit up straight. Slightly drop your chin so the back of your neck is long. Lift your shoulders up toward your ears, then let them fall and completely relax. Put your hands, palm down, on your knees.
- Step Two. Take three deep breaths.
Breath in through your nose for a slow count of five, and exhale through your nose for a slow count of five. Pause for one count at the end of each exhale.
- Step Three. Tap the spot above your nose/above your mouth.
Using two fingers – pointer and middle – gently tap on the spot right beneath your nose and above your mouth. Continue to slowly breath in through your nose and out through your nose as you tap this spot for five rounds of slow breath.
- Step Four. Next, tap your chin.
Use the same two fingers to tap your chin for another five rounds of slow breath in through your nose and out through your nose.
- Step Five: Bring breath and mind into your belly button.
Once you’ve completed steps three and four two times, each, bring your awareness to your navel, as if your mind/brain physically existed right behind your belly button rather than in your head. With your mind/focus behind your belly button, fill the space behind your navel with breath as you slowly inhale. Feel the space behind your navel relax as you exhale. Do this ten times.
Repeat steps three through five until you experience a physical shift in your body and mood state. You may:
- Feel your back muscles release.
- Experience your jaw unclench.
- Notice your eyebrows soften away from each other.
- Experience sensations in your hands – relaxation, tingling, softening.
- Notice the chair supporting your weight and the strength of the floor support your feet.
Set up a daily appointment in the calendar on your phone early in the morning to establish your daily calming ritual.