Taking the edge off
Few of us in the developed world can escape feelings of anxiety on a daily, if not hourly, basis. While on one level we know that the problems that we have are, in common parlance, ‘middle-class problems’ they can still feel acute and overwhelming. Finding a way to experience anxiety without being overwhelmed by it is a key to navigating our way through the day without feeling permanently on the brink of collapse. These simple 3-minute techniques that can help alleviate the immediate feeling of pressure include:
What You'll Need
- Just yourself!
What You'll Do
- Square breathing: set a timer for 3 minutes breath and sit somewhere comfortable with your eyes gently closed. Follow this breathing pattern – count four on the in- breath, hold for four, breath out for the count of four and hold for four. Continue for three minutes.
- Get outside: for 3 minutes notice the elements as much as you can. What is the temperature and how does it feel on your skin, what colour is the sky, how does the ground feel under your feet, can you feel the wind (or rain, if in the UK!).
- Gratitude List: widely cited as a technique to help boost mood, writing a simple gratitude list is an effective tool to help re-calibrate when feeling overwhelmed. If you feel unable to be grateful for anything, ask yourself what you’d mind being taken away from you and write that down. Even if you feel like you’re only going through the motions, the brain will be receiving and registering what is being written down.