Updated: Aug 22
The best way to combat anxiety is finding ways to calm down, but that is easier said than done. Throughout this series on anxiety, we, here at New Leaf, are going to share various tips and ideas to aid you in self-regulation, calming down and meditating on the positive.
When you're already feeling anxious, it can be challenging to get yourself to a place where you can calm down.
It can be tough to find both the willpower and concentration to make it happen.
When you find yourself experiencing anxiety, you can practice what we call a calm down ritual.
Your ritual can be short or long and looks different for everyone because it's what you need it to be. It could look simple, like repeating a short mantra to yourself, in your head while doing some breathing exercises until you've calmed down. It can also be more detailed like getting home, diffusing a calming scent of essential oils, drinking herbal tea, while listening to calming music, sitting in your favorite chair, cozied up under a weighted blanket. This process is about what will work for you and your life depending on your age and stage
It is ideal to have a simple ritual and a more involved one. For a short routine that you can do anytime, anywhere, try focusing on breathing and meditation techniques. Going on a quick walk, or listening to music or a guided meditation can also work well for these situations.
While quick techniques can work well some of the time, it isn't always enough. To truly calm down and get rid of the anxiety that you are experiencing, you sometimes need an exercise that is more involved and to be in a space where you feel safe, like your home. While you wait to get to your safe space, try to make it through the day by thinking about your ritual that you will start the minute you walk through your door.
By focusing on the future ritual, it could take your mind off of what you are dwelling on and hopefully alleviate some of the anxiety you are experiencing.
To start planning your calm down ritual, think about some of the things you already do that reduce anxiety and help you calm down. Are there new things that you want to add to that list that could be helpful? Give them a try! For example, see if diffusing essential oils helps you feel calmer, try a hot bath with Epsom salt. If you already do yoga, maybe focus on a new pose or try a new meditation technique. One new ritual practice should be quick and easy to do on the go, and the other should be one that takes a little more time with multiple steps. These practices will be helpful when you feel particularly anxious or stressed.
Don't be afraid to try new practices, and if they work well for you and you practice them regularly, they can become a default solution when you're feeling stressed.
If something doesn't work or doesn't quite feel right, keep changing it until it helps you. Remember, this is your ritual, and the only person it has to work for is you.