How does anxiety feel for you? Nagging worry? A feeling of doom? Maybe some physical signs show up, like racing heart, sweaty palms, and tingly feet. However it manifests, it’s a feeling that most of us would prefer to avoid.
That’s how I got interested in yoga. I found that the movement and opening quieted my mind and body for a while and gave me space to breathe. At first it happened just during bits and pieces of practice, then eventually that feeling started following me off my mat. And I was hooked.
Years later, as a teacher trainee, I ate up anything I could get that would help me find that freedom from fretting. Once I was teaching, it was something I could hardly wait to share with everyone who walked into my classes.
From my own experience, I’ve learned that dealing with anxiety requires more than one tool. Different triggers and situations need different approaches. Some of them are long-term changes that keep things a little quieter. Others are “fix me now” solutions that break the anxiety cycle before it takes off.
A few ways you can cool things down when you start feeling anxious:
- Take some deep belly breaths. Stress breathing is high in your chest and tends to be shallow. Slow and deepen your breath into your diaphragm.
- Get some light exercise. Push too hard and it’ll crank you up. Choose something moderate and rhythmic like walking, dancing, or yoga.
- Check in with your body. Are you hungry? Thirsty? Having pain somewhere? Sometimes anxiety can be a response to your body’s needs not being met.
Looking for more? Join me on January 11 at 1pm for my Yoga for Anxiety Relief workshop. I’ll share yoga sequences, breathwork, meditation, and lifestyle tips to help you manage anxiety and feel better.