The best way to combat anxiety is to calm down. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Throughout this challenge, I share various tricks and ideas to help you start to do that. We already started with breathing techniques, to name just one example. The problem is that when you’re already very anxious, it can be hard to make yourself calm down. It can be tough to find both the willpower and concentration to make it happen. This is when a calm down ritual will come in handy.
Your ritual can be as short or involved as you need it to be. It could merely be a short mantra that you repeat in your head while doing some breathing exercises until you’ve calmed down. Or it could be as involved as getting home, lighting a candle with a calming scent, fixing a cup of herbal tea, and listening to soft music while you sip it sitting in your favorite chair, covered by a weighted blanket. It all depends on what will work for you and what you can fit into your life.
Ideally, you want a simple ritual that you can do anytime, anywhere. Focusing on breathing and meditation techniques, going for a quick walk, or listening to music or a guided meditation on your phone will all work well for these situations. While this works well for some of us, at least some of the time, it isn’t always enough. Sometimes, you need something more involved and be in a space where you feel safe (like your home) to calm down and get rid of the anxiety truly. In those cases, do your best to make it through the day by thinking about how you can get started with your ritual the minute you walk in the door.
Now it’s your turn. Think about some of the things you do already that help you calm down and reduce anxiety. Add a few other things to the list that you’ve meant to try, like using essential oils, a hot bath in Epsom salt, or a new meditation technique or yoga pose. Make a shortlist and then see if you can come up with two different types of rituals. One should be short and mobile, the other a little more involved but helpful when you feel particularly anxious or stressed. Try them out, and if they work well for you, practice them regularly, so they become an actual ritual and your default solution when you’re feeling stressed. If something doesn’t work or doesn’t quite feel right, keep changing, and tweaking until it does. Remember, this is your ritual, and the only person it has to work for is you.
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