Tips For Kicking Anxiety To The Curb!

Meditating Santa girl


Here are my best tips for kicking stress and anxiety to the curb this holiday and every day!

1.   Be Present

The simple act of being present can immediately dissolve worry and anxiety.  Easier said than done.

I recently learned a technique for staying in the present moment from meditation teacher and expert Tara Brach. When you find yourself feeling anxious or you notice that your mind is racing and distracted, place your hand over your heart and quietly say to yourself, “Please, be here now.” You can do this practice as many times throughout the day as you like.   Try it the next time you feel distracted and unfocused.

2.  Meditate.

If your goal is to move through your day with ease, grace and contentment meditation will get you there.

Try a guided meditation, or just spend time focusing on your breath.  Start with 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night, and then increase your time if it feels right.

Try this simple exercise to get you started:

Find a comfortable sitting position, keeping your spine tall and supported.  Close your eyes, relax your shoulders and breathe deeply into your belly.  Feel your belly rise and fall with each breath.

Breathe in for 5 counts. Hold your breath for 2 counts. Breathe out for 5 counts. Repeat

3.  Move your body

Exercise releases endorphins, which help to increase happiness and reduce cortisol.   As soon as you start to feel anxiety come on, go for a walk in nature, do yoga, or take a dance class …  any activity that you enjoy and gets your body moving will help!

Exercise has an immediate effect on anxiety. Even better, REGULAR exercise will decrease the amount of anxiety you feel overall, so make sure you stick with it!  Try to move your body every day for an hour. Or aim for 10,000 steps a day by using a fitness tracker, like Fitbit.

4.  Eat Healthy Fats!
You may notice that every time you’re stressed you crave sugar and junk food.  Cravings are your brain's way of tricking you into thinking that you’ll feel better after eating these foods. We all know how we feel after that pint of ice cream though…not so good.
Instead, take a handful of raw almonds.  Eat a banana with peanut butter. Try an avocado on toast.   Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce surges of the harmful stress hormone cortisol and boost levels of serotonin, which stimulate a feeling of calmness and happiness.  By the way.....Dark chocolate has the same effect.