Are you overwhelmed by stress? Here are 6 DIY practices to help you deal with anxiety, fear and uncertainty from the comfort of your own home
Anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress, which is an inevitable part of life. Our fight-or-flight response helps us to stay alert to unknown threats and possible dangers. A certain degree of anxiety helps us to survive, but it can be overbearing when we can’t get hold of it. With the COVID-19 pandemic spiraling out of control, social distancing is in full swing across the world. Being isolated and not being able to do the things we used to take for granted: traveling, working out in the gym, dining out with friends, we are forced into a new reality with anxiety at an all-time high. For those who are feeling overwhelmed by stress, here are 6 practices you can do by yourself that will come in handy when anxiety is getting out of hand.
“I think therefore I am.” French philosopher René Descartes’ most well-known statement highlights how important thoughts are. The ability to think makes us human. Constructive thinking is how we create and invent everything in the world we live in. But when the thinking starts to get destructive, it becomes the herald of doom, hindering us from thriving out of fear of the unknown. We all possess the powerful tool called “the mind”, but not necessarily the skills to use it to our advantage. Being conscious with our thoughts takes practice. Just like how we train our muscles in the gym, we can train our mind by meditation. There are many types of meditation, and for some you don’t even have to sit still. Meditation apps such as Headspace, Insight Timer, Aura and Calm are perfect for beginners and people who are always on-the-go. With thousands of themed sessions of different lengths and kinds, the above apps offer you guided meditation lessons anywhere, anytime.
EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUES
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a holistic healing technique for reducing physical and emotional pain. It’s also colloquially referred to as “tapping”. It’s a psychological acupressure that combines the principles of acupuncture in Traditional Chinese Medicine and modern neuro-linguistic programming. At its core, it’s about using the power of intention and thoughts to release energy blockages held within the body that are causing us anxiety and pain. EFT works by using our fingertips to tap on the meridian points of our body and verbalizing certain issues to unblock the stuck energy. We have to focus on a particular fear by rating it at an intensity between 1-10. Then we tap on the meridian points and repeat the process until that fear is rated zero before we move on to other fears. EFT is a simple and painless healing technique that any of us can learn and apply to ourselves anywhere, anytime. EFT sessions can be done via Skype or Zoom sessions with a certified practitioner from the comfort of your own home. Energy healer, psychic development expert and contributor Phil Davies offers online EFT sessions. You can also check out his 6 Tips on How to Balance Your Chakras.
Sound has the ability to affect our emotions and mental state. It can be beneficial to us: whether it’s a song that takes you back to a magical moment in the past, or simply white noise that helps you focus, relax and sleep. On the flip side, it can generate anxiety. Think construction noise and angry honking. From gong baths, tuning fork therapy to solfeggio frequencies and binaural beats, sound healing can be very effective in curing anxiety and releasing any emotional blockages we’ve been holding on to. It’s important to carefully choose what we hear every day. Start with curating the first sound you hear in the morning: the alarm clock. Pick one that doesn’t wake you up into a state of anxiety, but one that makes you feel enthusiastic and excited for the day ahead. And if you ever find yourself caught up in your unsettling internal monologue, calm your nerves with sound healing or soothing music.
Not only is breathwork used in holistic practices to help ease anxiety and connect and restore the conscious and subconscious mind and body, but it is also a 2021 Wellness Trend. Furthermore, it is used to optimize our physical health, sports and fitness performance, and to manage pain. It is also said to alleviate and prevent diseases and to boost our immune system. Breathwork is not a new technique, in fact breathwork has been used by shamans for thousands of years, which is why it is still the foundation of many powerful practices like meditation, yoga, qigong and more. Ranging from Rebirthing and Holotropic Breathwork to Transformational Breath to the Wim Hof Method, there is something for everyone.
Just like how sounds affect us, smells also have a profound impact on our emotions, memory, and physiological responses. Aromatherapy is an alternative treatment of which healing effects are ascribed to aromatic compounds, usually in the form of essential oils extracted from plants. Many skincare brands such as Subtle Energies and Aromatherapy Associates offer face and body products, which include the healing powers of essential oils that not only work on rejuvenating and healing our skin, but also improve our emotional and mental wellbeing. Indulge in the relaxing aromas that are the essence of nature and pamper your senses and unwind with the magic of aromatherapy in times of stress: whether it’s taking an aromatic steam bath, enjoying a delightful fragrant massage, or simply inhaling your favorite essential oil using a diffuser.
Instead of simply used for ornamental or decorative purpose, crystals are gaining popularity amongst spas, holistic health clinics and individuals seeking spirituality or for their role as a facilitator in healing, meditation, channeling and spiritual growth. Crystal healing is an alternative healing modality that uses crystals to create harmonization of the mind, body, emotions and spirit. Its principle is that we are more than just our physical body. Like everything in the world, we are made up of energy, including our thoughts, feelings and diseases – all of which have an energy vibration or resonance of their own. It’s believed that crystals can channel light and energy of a higher frequency to promote self-healing. It works by placing crystals on the body in accordance with energy centers known as chakras in order to clear any energy blockages. Different stones offer different benefits. For example, rose quartz is known as “the stone of unconditional love”. Laying it on the heart chakra is said to help you feel less judgmental and more loving to yourself.
If your anxiety is extreme and persistent, leaving you a constant sense of dread that starts to affect your everyday life, you may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions. And there is no shame in seeking help. If you have experienced symptoms such as difficulty sleeping or concentrating, worsening of chronic health problems, changes in sleep or eating patterns and feeling disabling and irrational fears, make an appointment with a professional mental health doctor (a psychiatrist, or psychologist) as soon as you can. With a growing surge of online therapy websites, it’s now easier than ever to chat with licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists as well as board-licensed professional counsellors from the comfort of your home.