• Camila Santiago

5 Tools That Will Help You to Relax if You’re Feeling Anxious During the Pandemic



During a lockdown situation where we can only stay home most of the time, we might start to feel some sort of anxiety. That’s normal because human beings are by nature social animals. Our interactions with one another are crucial not only for our body’s health but especially for our mental health.

Also, interacting with nature has been proved by science to be healthy. Some benefits are reduction of stress, it makes you feel energized and it can help people recover from mental fatigue.


During times like this, in which we are forced to stay home and have no interaction with the outside world, what can we do to reduce anxiety, fear and stress? Here are 5 tools you can use if you’re feeling anxious during the pandemic:


Breath


Taking a few moments during the day to just breathe consciously and practice some breathing exercises helps to calm the nervous system down, increases energy levels, detoxifies and releases toxins, relaxes the body and mind, and so on.


If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep, a simple breathing technique called equal breathing will help you to calm your mind down.


How it works: Sit in a comfortable position or lay down. Close your eyes and start to inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds, both through your nose. Do it for 7 to 10 cycles. Once you’re used to it, you can increase to 6-8 counts per breath.


Another technique, called alternate nostril breathing is also an incredible method.


How it works: Sit in a comfortable position. Open one of your hands and press the pointer of the pointing and middle finger into your palm, leaving the other fingers extended. Bring your hand in front of your face and press your thumb on the outside of one nostril. Inhale and exhale deeply through the opened nostril. In the next inhalation, release your thumb and press your ring finger on the other nostril and inhale. Do it for 7-10 cycles.


Journaling


This is a tool I personally love and use it on a daily basis. Whenever I’m feeling down, sad or going through any hard situation, I like to put my emotions on paper. It feels like therapy to me.


If you’re thinking about journaling as an old-fashioned thing, you'd better change your mind.


The benefits of writing with pen and paper are tremendous, it helps you to declutter your mind, reduces stress, improves memory, strengthens the relationship with your emotions and etc.


It’s important to stick with pen and paper because typing in a computer or smartphone won’t have the same effects. That’s because handwriting activates the same brain areas that meditation does. When we are typing, our brain gets “lazy”.


Tapping


Also referred to as EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique is a healing technique that helps the body to releases stress, emotional traumas, chronic pain, limiting beliefs, just to name a few.


EFT works on tapping on specific meridian points, believed to hold some emotions. When addressed to those points, tapping will help to release those stored energies and restore the body’s natural energy flow.


The process is divided in 5 steps and you can address whichever emotion you feel like is blocking you. To learn work it works, visit the Tapping Solution website.


Practice gratitude


Are you thankful for things in your life? I mean, the smallest things we usually take for granted such as the air we breathe, the food we eat, the bed we sleep in every night, the beloved people in our life.


It might sound silly, especially when going through some hard times but appreciation for the good things that happen in life is a building block of happiness. And let me tell you, it’s backed by science.


Whenever you shift your focus from negative thoughts to positive ones - like being thankful for anything you can imagine - it can balance out some of the negative stuff. You’re also firing and wiring new neuropathways in the brain, from “good” ones to “bad” ones.


Being grateful can be simple as just closing your eyes and say thank you Universe, God, Consciousness, whatever you wanna call It, for this present moment, for this body I’m living in, for this beautiful and sunny day, for the clothes I’m wearing.


The moment you start doing this, you will quickly shift your mood and start to feel great.


Meditation


Last but not least, the game-changer, at least for me. When I started to meditate daily I noticed some real changes in my mood and energy.


Meditation helps you to disconnect from the outside world, where lies all the worries and concerns that are causing you to feel anxious, and brings attention to the inner world. All the distractions that are connected with your daily life are set aside for a moment. It can bring instant relief.


Anyone can meditate. You don’t need to believe in anything or belong to a certain religion to do so. Meditation is not about stopping your mind from thinking, it’s rather the opposite. You become aware of your thoughts but you don’t engage with them.


If it’s too hard to stay still and sit for a few minutes, you can try some breathwork first, paying attention to your breathe or try some guided meditations. There are several videos on YouTube and free apps.


Conclusion: Any of the techniques you choose will help you somehow. You don’t need to get overwhelmed and try them all at once, if they’re new to you. Pick one, try it out, then pick another and see how it goes. All of these tools aim to slow down your mind and focus within, where lies all the peace you’re looking for. It’s not on the outside. Just close your eyes and you will see. =)

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