How to calm down anxiety is a hot topic these days!
Americans are among the most stressed in the world, with 55% reporting they experienced a lot of stress the day before, according to a 2018 Gallup poll. Children, teens and young adults are feeling it too. 61% of college students said they felt “overwhelming anxiety” in a 2017 American College Health Association survey. Learning how to calm down anxiety is a necessity!
Busy parents often need help responding to family stress or to their child’s or children’s anxiety. What they probably don’t realize that it can be profoundly simple, yet it’s a life changing process.
As a parent, becoming aware of how to respond to anxiety is the first step. It’s a powerful step that sets you and your family on the course to healing from the overwhelm, anxiousness and the stress experienced in daily life. Responding rather than reacting is also easier than you think with guided practice. I’ve spent more than 20 years drilling down the simple techniques for Moms and Dads, so they can change their thoughts and implement healthy new habits for themselves that will then trickle down to their children.
I help parents to understand the shifts necessary for healing, helping families take action and to support a healthy family lifestyle.
Parents can take action for their families to calm down anxiety and to start the healing process for everyone.
Just like the airline safety message … you have to put your oxygen mask first, secure it, and then help your children. Here are 3 profoundly simple ways for how to calm down anxiety. Practice them yourself first, and then when they have become a natural and healthy habit for you, then share with your children!
Seriously, go ahead, drop that jaw and give a big yawn! What that does is stimulate the vagus nerve which, in turn, stimulates the parasympathetic (or “rest and digest”) nervous system, Whenever I see my clients trying to stifle a yawn, I get excited and say “yes, let’s yawm some more!”) This is such a profoundly simple to calm anxious feelings, and you can do it anytime, anywhere!
Breathe In, Pause, Breathe Out, Pause
We have spent our entire lives breathing in the same pattern – we inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale. Today I am going to teach you a “pattern interrupt” to literally interrupt that rote habit of breathing. When we are stressed and anxious, we have a tendency to either do shallow breathing or we hold our breath.
Again, this is profoundly simple – don’t let its simplicity fool you! Slowly inhale to the count of 4, HOLD your breath to the count of 4, slowly exhale to the count of 4 and again, HOLD your breath to the count of 4. Repeat this 3 times, or more, and notice how you feel calmer, less anxious and overwhelmed.
Shake it Off!
Have you ever noticed your beloved dog or cat have a scare and then shake all over? This is them naturally resetting their nervous system. We humans have gotten into the habit of hitting the gas on the fight or flight system and forget to take our foot off the gas. The next time you feel stressed or anxious (perhaps now?) simply shake your whole body all over and notice how simple is to to shake off those anxious feelings.
As I said, these are profoundly simple, but please don’t let the simplicity fool you. With practice, these can become healthy new habits and lead you to a calmer, peaceful and more balanced family. As a mom, I know my tendency was to learn something new and immediately want to share with my kids.
My invitation to you is to share this with a friend and become “accountability buddies” for at least the next 7 days (or more.) Steven Covey said “Accountability breeds response-ability.” Once you have learned how to calm down anxiety, then share with your kids. I’d love to hear how these techniques work for you. Please comment below or on my Facebook page.
If your self esteem has taken a hit from your anxiety, click here to book a consult and let’s talk about how I can help.