Anxiety Relief: 6 Ways to Quiet Your Mind
By Milly Hailstone
Next time your brain begins to wildly buzz, try to take control and get yourself some anxiety-relief. I know that is easier said than done at times, but take a deep breath and choose one of these 6 ways to quiet your mind.
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1. Turn Off Your Phone and Go For a Walk
When I was thinking up things that can reduce anxiety, I had initially typed 'Leave Your Phone at Home'. But, due to a turn of events that left me with a broken wrist*, I think it's important to have your phone with you when you're out alone - just in case.
Instead, switch it off or turn it to silent and keep it in your backpack, so you can enjoy some peace and quiet. There's nothing like a walk through nature to calm your mind. The wind in the trees and the flow of the river have got to be among some of the calmest sounds known to mankind.
Personally, I love to be next to the water. It has such a calming and grounding effect on me. I've lived next to beaches all of my life. I was born on an Island and have since lived in Bournemouth and Brighton. Now, I find piece next to some of Lithuania's most beautiful lakes.
*If you want to know the story - here's how I broke my wrist: After taking my own advice from the WTF is Self-Love? article I wrote, I joined the gym - but, alas, no I didn't break it while puffing and panting on the treadmill. Instead, I was walking to work after 'legs day', slipped on ice and dislocated and fractured my wrist. I live in Lithuania, and I'm still yet to master the language so I wasn't really able to ask anyone for help, despite being in complete agony. This where my phone came in handy... Though, naturally, my boyfriend didn't answer my call. So, instead, I dragged my broken, dislocated wrist to work where my colleagues dramatically called an Ambulance.
Just telling that wrist-breaking story has got me feeling all anxious - but, it's nothing some meditation can't fix.
If you've never done it before, I know what you're thinking. But, there's no need to twist yourself into a pretzel shape and make 'om' sounds. It's all about getting comfortable and relaxing. I often meditate curled up on the sofa or laid down in bed. If your able to calm your mind, then there really is no right or wrong way to do it.
My favourite free meditation app is called Insight Timer. It's got thousands of guided meditations - including plenty for anxiety-relief.
3. Read a Book
Getting lost in a story is a fantastic form of escapism. Your world will mesh with what's happening in the book, so there will be no need for anxious thoughts or worrying.
If you need to take a break from your own mind, there's no better combo than a good book and a cup of tea. Listen to the rain tapping on your window and immerse yourself in a different world for a few hours. One of my favourite books that never fails to transport me to a different world is The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Luiz Zafron. It pairs pretty nicely with this Calming Tea from Yogi, too.
4. Write It Down
I quite often refer to this blog as my therapist. When I began posting my mental health struggles, it was scary I'm not gonna lie. By putting my darkest thoughts onto the internet, I left myself exposed and vulnerable - but, I knew this needed to be done. I no longer wanted to suffer alone, and I don't others to feel that way either.
I'm not suggesting you must start a blog to help with your anxiety (though you totally should if you want to), instead you can journal. Writing down your thoughts is a good way to let them go. By jotting them down on paper, you can release them. This also works well if you don't have anyone to talk to, a journal can act as an understanding friend - there for you whenever you need them, without judgment. There's no need to suffer alone anymore.
I've got my eye on the gorgeous Law of Attraction Rose Gold Planner. I've heard really good things about it, and plan to purchase one once I've finished scribbling all over my current planner.
5. Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude is a huge game changer. By thinking about and giving thanks for all the things you appreciate in your life, you can turn an anxious mood into a happy one.
Imagine how good you feel when someone does something amazing for you, whether it's an act of kindness or a material item. When you are truly thankful, you get this amazing feeling in your heart. You know the one. To me, it feels 'golden' and like my heart could burst but in a good way.
Gratitude is like a superpower, and when you choose to feel grateful instead of taking things for granted your life will change for the better. I have no doubt about it. To put this into action, make a list of 10 things that you are grateful for. It could be friends, family, objects or even the fact you have a roof over your head. There's plenty to be grateful for, you just didn't realise it yet.
6. Cry It All Out
Sometimes there is nothing better to do than CRY IT ALL OUT. All that anxiety you are feeling is pent-up emotion, and it can be a great feeling to release it through a big ugly cry. I have no idea why crying is seen as a form of weakness - I believe that's a great misconception. After unleashing a river of tears, I almost always gain a sense of clarity and know exactly what I should do about a particular situation.
Its life is getting too much, it's more than ok to cry about it. Feel free to let it all out.
If you're looking for some more ideas, here are 4 Things I Do to Control My Anxiety.