Of the four children in my family, I was known as the “worry wart” and I’m still familiar with anxiety. Sometimes it pops up as chronic low-level worry or other times it’s a gut-gripping body-wide distress. Even low-level anxiety limits our enjoyment of life and can have a negative effect on bone health. That’s why I want to share with you some of my personal anxiety tips, and each of them can be done in 10 minutes or less.
Take 10 minutes to find calm using my anxiety tips
- Use awareness. Acknowledge that you are uneasy, a bit nervous and even anxious. At times I even sit down and say, “My old friend Ms. Anxiety, so you are visiting me again.” Remember, worry and anxiety are not real things, but emotions that we take on. These energies can go just as they come, especially if we acknowledge them.
- Slow down. Sit down, close your eyes and take a several deep breaths. Breathing deeply and gently with intention can often orchestrate a mind-move from panic to waltz. Try our breathing exercise to get started!
- Get out of your mind and into your body. Do a few yoga postures, jump up and down, hit a few golf balls (my favorite) or take a 10 minute bike ride. This morning I did a “walking meditation” and it really helped me get centered. Whatever you do, put your attention on how your body feels during the physical activity.
- Think on purpose. Once your mind is a bit quieter, experiment with “thinking on purpose.” For a few minutes try shifting your attention to a thought that brings relief. This can be as simple as, “I’ve been through this before and I know things will get better” or to a thought of appreciation for a nearby item such as a colorful flower or person in your life. You might try thinking of what you want “I want to feel calm, hopeful, happy or at ease” using a memory of when you felt these uplifting feelings. Relive them.
- Eliminate or reduce certain foods. Consider eliminating caffeine, excess sugar and most processed food.
Finally, my own tendency to worry is associated with an elevation of stress hormones — particularly cortisol. I find that meditation, mild exercise and adrenal support formulas help me. For me personally, one of the best stress/anxiety-busting formulas I have come across is the Women’s Health Network Serinisol adrenal support formula which helps to control cortisol, calm me and improve my sleep.
I’m Dr. Susan Brown. I am a nutritionist, medical anthropologist, writer, and speaker. Get my free weekly newsletter here.