If self care is all about taking care of yourself, then putting effort towards managing your anxiety is the ultimate act of self care. Everyone gets anxious from time to time, it is a normal and natural human emotion. But sometimes it can become overwhelming. When anxious thoughts start getting in your way, that’s when you know you need to start practicing self care for anxiety. Read on to learn a few simple strategies to help you get started.
Practicing self care by deep breathing can help calm your anxiety
It’s common for people to tell you to “take some deep breaths” when you are feeling anxious. Sometimes this can feel silly or seem too simple. But there’s a lot of real science to this. It can actually help a lot. When we are anxious, our natural breathing patterns are almost always affected. Most people start to breath a little faster and your breath usually becomes more shallow. So when you pause for a minute and practice self care for anxiety by intentionally breathing deep, it helps to regulate our natural patterns and bring us back to a sense of normalcy. When your body starts to calm, it can signal to the mind that everything is okay and allow our anxiety to settle.
Practice self care by changing things up to distract yourself from your anxiety
When you are feeling anxious, don’t be afraid of a little distraction. Many of us have been taught that we should always try not to be distracted but it’s not always a bad thing. It can actually be a very therapeutic practice of mindfulness. If your brain is getting stuck on something that isn’t helpful for you to keep thinking about, positive distraction may be just what you need. Especially if you are spending a great amount of time and energy entertaining your anxious thoughts. We aren’t very productive when we are swimming inside our own head. Practicing self care for anxiety by finding something positive to put your mind on can slow the spiral and help unstick your brain. Try wearing this bracelet as a little distracting reminder that you are in control even when you don’t think you are.
Ignite one of your five senses
One of the easiest ways to distract ourselves is to ignite one of our five senses. These things hold a lot of power. And they never really turn off. Think about it- your nose is always smelling even when you don’t realize it. It’s only something that we recognize when we smell something wonderful, pungent, or super smelly. For example, if someone started baking blueberry muffins right now, your nose would alert you. Your thoughts would pause, even if just for a split second, to recognize and notice this yummy new smell.
If you have been feeling like you cannot stop thinking about something stressful, that split second is a powerful gift. It tells us that we do, in fact, have control over our racing thoughts. We can interrupt them by forcing ourselves to notice something else. So, next time you are feeling like your thoughts are spiraling out of control, practice self care for anxiety by manually igniting your senses.
Putting It All Together
These are just a few ways that you can practice self care for anxiety. Hopefully they will help give you a framework that you can use in various different anxiety provoking situations. Just remember, any thing you do to take care of yourself is self care. And any time you intentionally distract yourself, it proves that you actually do have some control over what you are thinking. And that always feels good to know.
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