A 30-Second Practice to Calm Your Anxiety
I don’t know a single soul who doesn’t deal with anxiety at some point. You may be the most laid back person on the planet, but at some point anxiety will sneak into your psyche and begin to chip away at your health and happiness.
The physical symptoms of anxiety are difficult to miss. Your blood pressure may skyrocket or you may have sleepless nights spent worrying. Unfortunately by the time stress and anxiety manifests itself physically, we have already succumbed to its pressures The key to living a calm and nearly stress free life is to live in such a mindful manner that you recognize stress and anxiety long before they begin to take their toll on you both mentally and physically.
Today I’d like to share with you a couple of practical things you can do to recognize and calm anxiety when it comes up. These take into account some of the main tenets of my Healing Codes and you’ll want to explore these indepth here on my website, but I wanted to go ahead and give you some exercises to get you started on this path to more balanced living.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog (LINK TO BLOG 4), unhealed memories that trigger fear hold us back in our unconscious and subconscious mind. These painful memories send a signal 24/7 -- anger, fear, etcetera -- that is received by the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a small area of your brain with a very big role. It controls your body’s flip switch to stress. When this switch is flipped to stress mode, as I explain in video five of my Love Code video series, it drains you, compromises your immune system and leads to illness. On a positive note, scientists have found that this switch can be flipped to success if loving memories replace memories of fear.
Unfortunately it’s our subconscious memories that cause our stress more than 90% of the time. Healing those negative memories of anger, hatred and unforgiveness is the key to long-term healing.
In a Dallas Morning News article, Sue Ambrose reports that “Cancer can be a result of bad cellular memories replacing good ones. Psychological trauma, addiction and depression may all be furthered by abnormal memories inside cells. Diseases that turn up later in life, 16 scientists suspect, may be due to errant memories programmed into cells as people age. Even real memory, the kind that requires a brain, also seems to rely on memories locked in cells.” Images aren't necessarily limited to visual but can be sounds, tastes, smells or a combination of sensations. A certain smell, for example, may invoke either pleasant or bad memories in you. Similarly, going to a place where you had a bad accident may instantly invoke visions of the accident and initiate flight or fight response.
Now for the information you’re here for.
Three simple practices to combat anxiety
Make a date for self care. The start of a new year is a great time to wipe the slate clean and begin filling your planner with doctor’s appointments, deadlines and dental visits. I want to encourage you to do something. For every “must do to do,” schedule a self care activity. These don’t have to be costly or complicated. These can be things like take a walk in nature, soak in a hot tub, read a few chapters of a book, take a nap or make yourself a hot cup of tea.
Take time to breathe. Practice deep-breathing technique/ exercise. I call this exercise "Instant Impact.” First rate your stress on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no stress at all and 10 being an unbearable level of stress because it gives you have a measurement for your success in reducing that level. You will know whether to do it again to lower your level further. You will know when your overall level of stress begins to decrease after practicing Instant Impact for a little while.
Put your palms in any position that’s comfortable. You can interlace your fingers, use a praying position, or any other position—as long as your palms are together. Envision exactly the specific stresses that are affecting you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Use positive imagery and meditation. Although it isn't always curative, imagery can be helpful in 90 percent of the problems that people bring to the attention of their primary care physicians. Imagery is the most fundamental language we have.
Relax and dim the lights, shut your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Picture yourself descending an imaginary staircase. With each step, notice that you feel increasingly relaxed. When you feel relaxed, imagine a favorite scene -- a beach, a mountain vista or a happy time with friends or family. Try to envision this scene each time you practice your imagery. If you can create a special, safe place where you feel secure, you will be more receptive to other images.
Getting in front of stress and anxiety before it holds us back from being our most successful and happy selves is possible. I hope that these tips help you keep your stress in check!