Ease anxiety by enjoying your summer!
Actually, if you have anxiety it is hard to enjoy anything! When I was anxious I hardly left the house since it was hard to go places and be around people.
This was the worse thing to do. Unfortunately, there was less to keep my mind occupied at home and my wild imagination added to my torment.
I have a middle ground (pun intended) to help ease anxiety when you want to get out of your head but are not ready for social interaction.
Go outside in nature!
Here are 5 ways to ease Anxiety through nature
When I am stressed, I lie right on the ground and let all of my troubles flow out of my body and into the earth. In that moment, nothing matters and I am just there connected to this huge planet under me, supporting me.
Anxiety makes us feel separate, like we can’t handle the world. It is an “us versus them” feeling of vulnerability and out of control. You can find connection in nature to calm your mind, heart and soul.
We can go outside, look at a leaf, smell a flower, watch some chipmunks play, and these things enter our world.
2. Understand transience
Everything changes. Flowers sprout, bloom and fade.
One of our biggest fears is loss. But even sadness and loss is temporary. When something goes, something else comes. It’s just the way of the world. Nature reminds us that no matter where you are in life, there is more to come. It is not over.
Nothing stays empty. Nature will just fill it in.
3. Gives us a larger perspective.
Our problems are little when matched to this massive world. Things that we we think matter so much pale in comparison to a huge ocean. There are more stars in the sky than worries in our heads.
Out here we can let go and be part of something bigger than our constant fear and doubt.
We’ve known breathing is by far the best thing to do to ease our nervous system. Sometimes when we are anxious, we forget to exhale and then can’t get breaths in since our lungs are full already.
Go sit by a tree or a plant. Make sure you are exhaling so your lungs are ready for some yummy fresh oxygen. Talk to the plant. Ask it anything you want. Plants have loads to teach us. You may want to touch or look at the texture of the plant, too, (I do this to feel connected.) and smell the amazing smells!
The other day I went on a hike with my son. We saw a raccoon, a chipmunk, three frogs, countless birds, a squirrel, tons of wild flowers, and two butterflies. We forgot about the whole world when we were in the woods.
It is amazing how 20 minutes of walking can ease anxiety and clear your mind.
Ease anxiety by walking outside
Shinrin Yoko is the Japanese therapeutic practice of walking outside where one engages in nature using all of the five senses. Research has suggested that the scent of trees the sound of brooks, and the feel of sunshine have a physiological calming effect (decreases cortisol up to 16%!). Yes!
Find some green space anywhere, even if it is a houseplant. Everyday, and then especially when you are anxious, sit by it, look at it, smell it, feel it, and do some deep breathing.
What do you do when you are anxious?