Whether you suffer from an anxiety disorder, or PTSD like me, many of us feel that familiar knot in our stomachs as our thoughts chase each other round and round in our heads. I'm not gonna say I can help totally fix that, if anyone does knows how hit me up 'cos I'd bloody well like to know! But I do have a few little techniques I've picked up over the years to deal with feeling anxious in the moment. The first being my fave go-to quick-fix...
Alternate nostril breathing
Pretty much speaks for itself! Using your thumb cover one nostril and breathe in deeply through the other. Swap over and use a finger to cover the nostril you just inhaled through, releasing your thumb from the other nostril through which you will now breathe out. Now you've got started, breathe in again through the nostril you just exhaled out of, cover it up, release the other nostril and breathe out. Repeat on this side and continue until you're breathing is steadier. This one is easy and can be used anywhere anytime! Unforch this doesn't exactly work if you have a blocked nose...
I think that's what it's called...and this one also pretty much speaks for itself! You tune into your five senses, what can you see, hear, smell, touch? If its possible go outside to do this. I'm lucky living where I do, it's not hard to find peaceful green spaces. Keep focusing on what you can hear and feel. Do you feel connected to the earth? Do you feel grounded? Keep bringing yourself back to the basics with this technique.
Tense those muscles!
Damn I feel like these quick-fixes are so obvious but I always forget to utilise them, so maybe some of you are the same and need a wee reminder of how to cope in the moment. Wherever you are, you can do this one too! Tense each muscle group one at a time, maybe starting from your feet and legs. Push down and tense into your feet and calves, you could even try and tense all up your legs and your butt! Relax then tense your stomach muscles, then arms and fists, and so on. Once you've gone through each muscle group relax all of them and just mentally scan your body for any little tensions, notice where feels most relaxed. You don't have to try and change any of it in the moment, just notice.
Listen to new music
WAIT! Stay with me! Don't just listen to any music, but a song or piece you have never listened to before ever! Ok so you might not be able to do this one in a meeting, in which case refer back to alternate nostril breathing a nice subtle one, but if you have spotify it shouldn't be too hard to find a piece of music you've never listened to before. It won't trigger any memories, happy or sad, so will be perfect to tune out of the world and meditate with the music, simply listening to it intently and letting it wash over you.
I hope one of these quick fixes is of use to even just one person. If I can help one of you a little bit this is all worth it!
Got any quick-fixes of your own? Let us in on your secret down in the comments! Peace xo