Trigger warning: this piece discusses themes of anxiety.
If you, like me, find it hard to relax or calm down, this piece is for you! I have lived in a high level of anxiety for many years and have often struggled to find anything that even remotely calms me down. I have tried all the normal things - meditation, sitting quietly outside, and more.
Now, I’m absolutely not saying these don’t work, but for me, personally, I didn’t find them to be fitting for me - which is totally okay as we’re all different!
I wanted to write a piece for those of you who may also live in a high level of anxiety (and I say ‘in’ as it can definitely feel like you’re very much stuck in an anxiety loop!). Obviously, as I said, we’re all different, and the things I’ve found useful may not necessarily work for everyone - it might just mean a bit of trial and error to find what works for you.
- EFT tapping
- This is something I discovered at the start of this year and, oh my goodness, it has been so good. EFT stands for ‘emotional freedom techniques’ and has roots in and draws inspiration from acupuncture. You can look up how to do it, watch videos or even use an app! It involves tapping certain points on your body and, as you do this, you either follow guided affirmations or have your own ready. You can learn more about it here.
- Binaural beats
- Another recent find has been binaural beats music. I believe it has taken some inspiration from EMDR, a type of trauma therapy. This type of music is best listened to with headphones or earplugs and, as it plays, there are two different tones or frequencies that are played in different ears. Now, I’m not entirely sure how it works, but I’ve definitely noticed a big difference whenever I turn it on.
- Hugging a loved one, an animal, a squishy toy, or even snuggling up with a weighted blanket can have a big calming effect on us when we’re anxious.
- For many years now, whenever I’m anxious, stressed, or just feeling a bit down, I have found colouring books to be a great help. You don’t need to do it perfectly, but sitting there and just being mindful as you add colours to the picture is really calming.
Obviously, the above tips may not work for everyone. But for those of you who may not have known these techniques, they might be something to look into! As with mental illness, the ways we all cope are different and unique to each individual. Keep going and keep learning about yourself and what works best for you.
Voices of Hope wants you to know that you do not have to do this alone. Click here to 'find help' - it's not weak to speak!