5 Holistic Exercises to Help Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety affects 40 million adults, and one in eight children in the United States alone. This debilitating condition is often compounded by symptoms of depression and stress. Although medical attention is the primary intervention, medical care may be complimented with holistic exercises. A balance of personal efforts, combined with the guidance of a medical physician, has the potential to heal at an accelerated rate.
Integrate these five self-practices into your routine to compliment your healing and bring ease back into your life.
Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, a psychiatrist at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says that mindfulness meditation goes hand in hand with anxiety treatment. “People with anxiety have a problem dealing with distracting thoughts that have too much power,” she explains. “They can’t distinguish between a problem-solving thought and a nagging worry that has no benefit.”
The thought of meditation alone may give you anxiety. Fortunately, with meditation, no “right way” exists. You can sit for as little or as long as you want. You can lay, stand, or get up in five minutes and go back. The beauty of mindfulness is there are no rules set in stone. Start where your mind and body feel comfortable, and increase various aspects over time.
It’s important to remember that your mind isn’t going to shut off. The brain likes to think; it produces a natural, continuous stream of consciousness throughout the day. The goal is not to turn it off, but rather to take charge of it. Use your mind as a tool rather than allowing it to control of you and your anxiety.
It will take practice but over time, you will gain more control of your internal chatter. Use these five meditation techniques to build your practice, starting with just 5 to 15 minutes daily and working your way up. Choose your favorite method, or switch them up depending upon your mood each day.
2. Positive Self-Talk
We all talk to ourselves. The question is, what are you saying?
If there are thoughts, words, and conversations going on in your mind that create anxiety, you have the power to change them. Ask yourself: