Calming an anxious mind - Deepstash

Calming an anxious mind

All you need are two pieces of paper, something to write with, and a timer:

  • At the top of page 1 write, “What I’m grateful for" and on top of page 2, “What I’m anxious about.”
  • For 7 seconds, focus on what you’re anxious about.
  • Shift your focus to what you’re grateful, for 17 seconds (the brain is very quick to feel anxious, and takes longer to experience gratitude).
  • Do 2 more sets, taking a few deep breaths between them. Most people find that by the third round, they experience less anxiety.

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By consciously shifting from anxiety to gratitude, you’re reminding your brain who’s in charge.
You decide what thoughts to focus on, even when the news reports and panicked interactions with your peers would normally cause your mind to spiral.

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The anxious brain

With the threat of the new virus, we all feel anxiety, distracted and overwhelmed to a certain degree.
It’s exhausting to live this way, especially when we don’t know when things will get better.

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How does exercise help ease anxiety?
  • Engaging in exercise diverts you from the very thing you are anxious about.
  • Moving your body decreases muscle tension, lowering the body’s contribution to feeling anxious.
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  • Exercising regularly helps to control the amygdala, our reacting system to real or imagined threats to our survival and builds up resources that bolster resilience against stormy emotions.

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1. Make a list of activities that feel restorative to you right.

It could be taking a walk outside, petting your dog, meditating, baking, drawing, organizing your closet, listening to a podcast or anything else you enjoy that alleviates stress.

You can make a list of such activities when you’re feeling pretty good, so that when you feel burnt out — which happens to everyone — you don’t have to then think of self-care activities.

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