Consider the state of the world at the moment.
We’re still in the throes of a global pandemic. Many countries are experiencing political unrest, emotionally charged elections, and humanitarian crises. Our climate is changing, disrupting established seasonal patterns that millions of us rely on for agriculture — let alone the billions of animals who are also affected by rising tides, warming seas, and ferocious forest fires.
When you add all these factors on top of managing work, families, finances, social calendars, and our physical health — It’s no wonder that so many of us are experiencing heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
That said — living in a state of anxiety triggered by these factors doesn’t have to be “a given”.
While anxiety can be debilitating, there are five simple, effective measures you can take, and practices you can engage in, to reduce your cortisol levels and keep feelings of anxiousness at bay.
We know you’re probably sick of hearing about it — but the reason so many millions of people recommend a daily meditation practice is that it works. And — if the thought of sitting on a woven cushion, silently peering into your mind’s eye for two hours isn’t altogether appealing — that’s okay. There are countless apps and free online videos that are designed to keep your meditation practice simple and easy.
Start with an app such as Breathe, Calm, or Headspace. Then, commit to one simple 5 or 10 minute guided visualization per day. This simple addition to your daily routine will lower your heart rate, and help you retain focus and sleep more soundly — all of which can help to lower your cortisol levels.
Similar to meditation, mindfulness can become a short, daily practice that allows your mind to “zoom in.” It helps you to focus on one small thing at a time — rather than circle round and round in an endless, anxious cycle. The best part is — you can turn almost anything into mindfulness practice. Simply engage all five senses in whichever activity you’re doing, and allow your mind to laser focus on the task at hand.
You can practice this technique simply by going for a walk. Choose a place you enjoy walking. For example, you could choose the beach, through the fields, or around a beautiful lake. As you’re walking, deliberately notice all the sounds, colors, smells, sights, and the feeling of the ground beneath your feet with every step you take. So long as you’re focused on each singular sensation, your mind will be unable to spiral back down the anxiety vortex.
Also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique, tapping is a combination of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern-day psychology. Tapping releases energetic blocks and can stimulate and accelerate the healing process. To complete a round of tapping, start by literally tapping on the pressure points at the crown of your head, above your eyebrows, besides your eyes, under your eyes, under your nose, under your bottom lip, under your collarbone, under your armpit, and on the inside of your wrists.
As you tap on each pressure point, start making statements that acknowledge your feelings of anxiety and where they are coming from. As you move through several rounds of tapping, these statements are then replaced with empowering, affirmative statements of healing, love, and forgiveness. The best part is — simply tapping on these pressure points can significantly lower cortisol levels, and even prevent full-scale panic attacks. Check out this video for a detailed explanation and demonstration.
Grounding is another energetic practice that focuses on reconnecting your physical body with the physical world. One of the main causes of anxiety is when our thoughts become overwhelming. This means we are living in a cerebral, conceptual place, rather than in our physical, tangible space. A great way to reduce feelings of anxiety and connect with the present moment is to ground yourself.
Grounding is simple and effective. Simply kick off your shoes, and stand with your bare feet on the grass, or in dirt, sand, or water. Allow yourself to sink into the physical realm, imagining your energy flowing down through your legs, through the soles of your feet, right down into the earth, as though you are growing roots. Visualize yourself becoming deeply connected to the solid earth, stepping down out of the frenetic energy of your mind.
As with all things, if you feel as though you need some extra support while navigating these difficult times and managing feelings of anxiety, reach out to a licensed professional.
Therapy can help to resolve problematic behavior, rewire an empowering belief system, and relieve related physical symptoms. Building a relationship with a trusted, licensed therapist can help you to develop new levels of self-understanding and make wonderful changes in your life.
Begin Anxiety Treatment in Roseville, CA
There are many ways to treat anxiety. Our caring therapists treat anxiety for many clients due to many circumstances.. Our Sacramento area counseling practice would be honored to help you thrive! To start anxiety treatment, please follow these simple steps:
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Other Services offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:
In addition to anxiety treatment, Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include anxiety treatment, therapy for children, teen therapy, depression treatment, codependency counseling and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.