Having anxiety and being out in society (at work or around family, for example) is one of the most difficult things you will encounter. However, experiencing feelings of anxiety while in the comfort of your own home is also a daily reality for millions of people. When anxiety becomes a way of life (even at home), coping and controlling the disorder becomes an art. While simply “turning off” unwanted thoughts is impossible, diverting attention away from them can be an opportunity to get back in touch with nature, your body and even your spirituality. Here are six ways I have found to lessen anxious feelings around your home and community:
1) Is your television subconsciously feeding into your anxiety? During times of heightened anxiety, take notice of the shows you’re watching. Are you viewing too many ‘negative’ TV shows? Shows such as horror flicks or watching news channels (to only suggest a few) may all be negatively impacting your anxiety levels. During these bouts, try to either, A) substitute stressful shows with more enlightened ones such as comedies, cartoons, animal shows etc… (whatever makes you happy), or B) Turn off the TV altogether, and do something more healthy such as going outside.
2) Get out of the house and take a brisk walk around the community. Nothing bad that can come out of being in nature. Basking in the sunlight, hearing the singing birds, feeling the wind on your face are all great nature’s gifts to help break out of your mind’s monotony. In addition you’ll be promoting another natural anxiety buster — exercise!
3) The benefits of exercising are two-fold. A) It helps your brain naturally make beneficial chemicals such as serotonin, known to promote mood, relaxation and well-being throughout the body, and B) It just plain makes you feel better afterwards, and helps you look better long-term, thusly improving self-esteem. Many studies show that your exercise of choice does not need to be rigorous to be effective — simple brisk walks (as mentioned above) can work wonders. Pilates and swimming are two other great low-impact ways of getting good exercise. Afterwards, reward yourself with a relaxing hot shower.
4) A hot shower can do wonders anytime, after working out or whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed by your anxiety. For years when I was suffering from debilitating anxiety at home, I would take a piping hot shower the moment I began to feel overwhelmed, and repeat as necessary throughout the day. A bath, hot tub, or sauna can also ease ravaged nerves. Sometimes a nice hot shower would help induce a much needed nap afterwards.
5) Napping. This is one of the best weapons against anxiety. But how do you fall asleep when your mind is so ‘out of control?’ Believe me, it’s not easy. But A) Use my advice above and use hot water therapy and lay down afterwards, B) Eat a good lunch. Sometimes the body just wants to lay down and relax after a meal, or C) Just lay down and hope to get lucky. You’d be surprised, even with a ‘racing mind,’ sometimes the body just wants sleep, and ‘rest’ will naturally over-ride your anxious thoughts. The bottom line is to try to take a nap if at all possible — you’ll be better off when you awaken.
6) Finally, fight fire with fire. Don’t fear your anxiety — in fact fight it head on! Use your time at home surfing the internet finding out ALL these is to know about your condition. When I first began suffering from anxiety in the mid 1990’s few people had the internet, but I went to the book store and bought several books on anxiety. From this education, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. By researching anxiety you are likely to gain the following knowledge:
- You will feel more reassured that you are not going crazy.
- You’ll relieve many self doubts and feelings of hopelessness.
- You’ll learn that anxiety does not have to be a lifelong battle and many
- people recover fully and end up living normal healthy lives.
- Anxiety is not classified as a disease but rather a very treatable
- You are not alone (17+ million people in America alone deal with anxiety
- at any one time).
These are just some things you can do in and around the privacy of your home to free your mind of anxious thoughts. Some other ideas include yoga or meditation, cooking a favorite dish, working on a garden, or writing a journal or blog. The possibilities are endless. Use your imagination!