4 ways to calm your anxious mind

October 11, 2017

The last few weeks have been hectic as hell. I left my job, moved countries, submitted my final executive MBA paper, and started a new job in a new country. I had ten to-do lists running in parallel and pretty much didn’t sleep properly for days, if not weeks. It was inevitable I’d have anxiety running through my veins.

Through it all though, I discovered a few interesting ways to calm my anxious mind, even if just for a few minutes a day. I’m sharing these four simple techniques with you because I sincerely believe we all deserve a breather once in a while.

1. Ask yourself this one question.
Whenever things would get out of hand, I ask myself “Is this thought helpful?”, or this one “Is this thought a fact?”. It’s funny how re-evaluating the culprit of our anxiety makes us realize how futile our reasoning may be.

2. Be self-compassionate.
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably very hard on yourself. The perfectionist fallacy. In moments of stress, I try instead to be extra hard nice to myself. Sometimes we’re simply our own worst critic when we should actually be our very own best friend.

3. Close your eyes and listen to all the sounds around you.
You’ll be amazed at just how deeply relaxing this can be. Neuroscientists have found evidence that sound therapy significantly relieves anxiety in people. I personally don’t listen to a particular song, instead I’ll focus my attention on every single sound I can hear, my dog’s breathing, the wind blowing outside my window, even the sound of the slightest floor crack.

4. Get super active.
Sometimes I get so bogged down by insanely stressful thoughts that all I can do to snap myself out of it is to start moving. I’ll organize paperwork, take my dog for a walk, or call a friend I haven’t spoken to in ages. Whatever it is, I try to distract myself and do something somewhat productive.

I seriously envy super chilled out people, you know the kind that just seem so relaxed all the time. They’re usually late for events but they’re so adorable nobody ever gets mad at them, they don’t panic when problems arise, they’re simply always mellow. If you’re anything like the other 99.99 percent of the population, you stress out quite often and you’re probably in serious need of downtime. Hopefully my own little tricks prove to be useful, even if just for a few minutes in your day.

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