I was recently asked by a journalist for some unusual recommendations on how to keep calm and reduce feelings of anxiety… so thought I’d share them with you too.
- Blow up a balloon:
A change in our breathing pattern can often be the first physical sign that our bodies are feeling anxious. There are many ways to bring your breath back to its calmer and deeper equilibrium, however, the best way to achieve a full breathing pattern is to blow up a balloon. In doing this, you will be forced to activate the diaphragm and breathe slowly and deeply – exactly the way humans are meant to breath. In fact, the act of simple exhalation stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system which is the system that we are to thank for relaxation and rest.
- Activate your nostrils:
Smell is one of our most powerful senses and has been proven to affect our emotions and actions. You can reduce stress by incorporating essential oils into your daily routine. We incorporate essential oils with a strong yet calming scent such as Lavender or Bergamot into Moddershall Oaks treatment menu and this can easily be done at home too. You can make your own scented spritz by mixing 10-15 drops of essential oil and one ounce of water in a spray bottle. Be careful not to apply undiluted essential oil to the skin as this may cause a reaction.
- Break something:
A slightly more unconventional but satisfying tip is to release any pent-up anxiety or bottled up feelings by breaking something. The rise in anger rooms over the last few years is unsurprising as the ability to be able to throw a solicited temper tantrum is freeing! Blow off steam and smash a plate in a safe environment – trust me, you’ll feel much better.
- Go bananas:
Bananas are packed full of potassium which is a wonder nutrient for our health. Not only does potassium send more oxygen to the brain, it also helps to regulate your blood pressure and keep your stress down. Potassium is also proven to help the muscles relax and prevent them from cramping which is perfect for when you’re feeling tense and uptight. At the MADE café, banana is a prominent ingredient on our menu – especially our Recharge Smoothie (my favourite!) which contains mango, pineapple, banana, coconut yoghurt and coconut milk.
- Make some music:
Have you ever experienced the tingling feeling in your lips when you hum? There is a reason why humming plays an important role during meditative practices. The action of humming alone can relax tense muscles and warm up the vocal cords while improving airflow to your lungs. Your voice box is attached to your vagus nerve and when activated will stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system to relax you. Remember, your choice of tune is important too, so make sure that it is a cheery one that is associated to happy memories.
If you have any unusual anxiety relieving techniques, make sure you share them with me!!