I have lived with anxiety for as long as I can remember. In addition to regular check-ups with my doctor, taking my prescription mediation, and talking with a therapist, grounding techniques help control my symptoms by turning my attention away from thoughts, memories, or worries, and refocusing on the present moment.
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed as you're juggling multiple responsibilities and trying to keep up with constant change? Maybe you feel like you're bombarded by news and information, and being pulled in many directions.
It can be hard to stay grounded unless you train your body and mind to stay calm under pressure.
If you live with anxiety, too, try these daily habits that will keep you centered and peaceful.
15 Simple Ways to Calm Your Anxious Mind
Habits to Keep Your Mind and Spirit Grounded:
- Slow down. Make a conscious decision to stop rushing around. Do less and accomplish more by clarifying your priorities. Focus on one activity at a time, and pause in between tasks. You don't have to do it all today.
- Breathe deep. Lower your stress levels with simple breathing exercises. Work at breathing from your abdomen instead of your chest, and lengthening your exhalations. Try alternate nostril breathing to activate both sides of your brain by using your thumb to close off one side of your nose at a time.
- Practice mindfulness. Daily meditation will help you to live in the present moment. Find a quiet place where you can sit down and let go of distracting thoughts.
- Monitor your self talk. Replace doubts and limiting beliefs with more encouraging messages. Remember your past victories and cheer yourself on. How's your negative self-talk? Listen to this episode of the Catching Your Breath Podcast to learn How to Heal Your Toxic Thoughts (here's the link).
- Soothe yourself. Be gentle with yourself when you're having a tough day. Listen to soft music or take a warm bath.
- Engage in meaningful activities. Understand your strengths and spend time doing things that create a sense of flow. You may find fulfillment in your job or hobbies.
- Connect with others. Surround yourself with loving and supportive family members and friends. Create opportunities to share laughter and deep conversation.
- Express gratitude. Count your blessings. Let others know how much they mean to you and look for ways to make them smile.
- Strengthen your faith. Contemplate your purpose and beliefs. Find a community where you feel accepted and inspired, whether it's your church or a secular discussion group.
- Think positive. Look on the bright side. An upbeat attitude will increase your resilience.
Habits to Keep Your Body Grounded:
- Adjust your posture. The way you hold your body can help you feel balanced and give you more strength and energy. Stand up straight and tall with your shoulders held back and your stomach tucked in. Check that your head is level, and your knees are slightly bent.
- Exercise daily. Working out keeps your body and mind in top condition. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity at least 3 days a week. You might want to buy a gym membership or go for a run in the park before work.
- Eat a balanced diet. Make natural whole foods the mainstay of your diet, including at least 5 servings of vegetable and fruits each day. Choose lean proteins and healthy fats. Cut back on excess sugar and salt.
- Rest and sleep. Give your body time to heal and restore. While individual sleep requirements vary, 7 to 8 hours is sufficient for most adults. Pay attention to the quality of your sleep too. Darken your bedroom and block out background noise.
- Limit irritants. Ironically, some of the things we do to manage stress can actually backfire. Consume caffeine and alcohol in moderation. If you're trying to quit smoking, talk with your doctor about methods like nicotine replacement.
Your daily choices can help to introduce more peace and harmony into your life as you navigate minor and major challenges. Staying grounded will make you happier and give you more inner peace.
Free Download: 15 Simple Ways to Calm Anxious Mind Right Now via @iamsteveaustin #anxiety #catchingyourbreath #mentalhealth
Bonus Video: Visualizing Your Safe Space Guided Meditation
Feeling overwhelmed? Join me in this guided meditation video to visualize your safe space and get in touch with your feelings.
Second Bonus Guided Meditation: Progressive Muscle Relaxation
When is the last time you intentionally, patiently focused on relaxing each muscle in your body, one-by-one? Try it with me today, in the guided meditation video below. (Friendly warning: this one always puts me to sleep.)
Looking for More? Sermon: Anxiety and Peace
This recent talk by my friend, Aaron Smith (a mental health professional from Canada) includes lots of practical advice for those of us who live with anxiety, including some insight from the Bible, and several other grounding techniques.
Watch/listen to this important conversation by clicking here.