It’s difficult to find relief from anxiety when our mind is racing every which way. It’s a lot easier to slow down our thinking when we have something specific to concentrate on. We’re not always in a place where we can get fresh air or be away from people. I like to use my senses – because they’re so powerful.
1. Use your sense of touch
Whenever anxiety sneaks up, I prefer to use my sense of touch. You can do this anywhere. Notice the plastic texture of your steering wheel. Feel the condensation on your iced coffee, or rub the change in your pocket. Honing in on the way something feels puts the brakes on our mind racing. Tip: invest in a smooth worry stone to carry in your pocket!
2. Use your sense of smell
Scent is a powerful memory trigger, quickly bringing us back to a prior time. It’s not unusual to carry a small vile or perfume in your purse, or an essential oil roller (try Lavender or Rose). If you have nothing on hand, indulge yourself in the scents of your surroundings. (Even if it’s just the smell of your coffee.)
3. Use your sense of hearing
Music is an excellent way to ease anxiety. Play soothing tones, or locate a nostalgic album that sends you to a pleasant place. If you’re experiencing trouble falling asleep, try a meditation or hypnosis.
4. Use your sense of sight
I have Googled my way out of panic with help from cute baby animals – (true story). Try looking up feel-good images, or finish reading the article you bookmarked. Entertain yourself at home by watching a show or film.
5. Use your sense of taste
I am by no means condoning “stress eating”, but occasionally, you have to allow yourself a savory snack or beverage. When I’m feeling uneasy, I like to make a cup of Kava tea (I like this one by Yogi) , or sometimes I’ll eat something spicy. Strong flavors can distract us to a better mood.
Next time you feel anxiety creeping in, remember to use your senses. It’s okay to distract yourself. Reflect on the issue later – when you’re not about to panic!