Meditation and deep muscle relaxing exercises are all well and good when you have the luxury of time but sometimes you need to reduce anxiety right there on the spot, in the supermarket, or at work. You can hardly get out a yoga mat and start meditating in the middle of the office and you’d look a bit daft and get a few stares doing your muscle stretches in the checkout at Asda, which definitely wouldn’t help your anxiety much!
So here’s some quick sharpish ways you can reduce your anxiety in a pinch!
5 Ways To Reduce Anxiety When You Have No Time:
You may have already heard about this a million times but it really does work, especially when you need to stop an anxiety attack in its tracks! The idea is to find objects, smells and sounds to focus on and that helps drag you back into reality when your anxious thoughts have taken over everything.
So if your standing in a queue in Asda, waiting to purchase a lovely bit of coffee and walnut cake but all of a sudden, your overcome with fear, you’re wondering if you’ll manage to shove the change back into your purse quick enough or if you’ll hold up the customer behind you or what you’ll do if the bag splits?! Quickly stop your mind from derailing and find some things you can focus on.
Here’s a quick guide on the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique.
Remember something funny or positive that happened
Even if I’m in an absolute bitch of a mood, I can’t stay in it for long if something hilarious happens. Sometimes, to get out of feeling down or anxious, I’ll watch outtakes from Friends, or a video of my twins doing something cute and if I don’t have those at hand, I replay them in my head.
Try and think of something that made you smile or laugh and focus on it until you feel your anxiety drop.
Ask yourself in your head if there’s actually any evidence to support your anxiety and if there is, what’s the worst that can actually happen? Will holding up the customer behind you be the worst thing in the world? Try to rationalise the situation. Is worrying about what might happen going to actually help or stop it from happening? Can you change anything?
In your head of course but try counting and taking deep breaths at the same time. Mix it up so you’re having to concentrate on the counting, so count to 4 the first time you take a deep breath, then count to 6 etc.
Take a quick break
If you’re able to and the situation allows for it, like if you’re at work or at a party, take a quick toilet break. Sometimes if I’m in a situation and my head is running away with me, I like to nip off to the toilet for a few minutes, take a breather, do all the things mentioned above and return with a fresh head. It can help just to get a bit of clarity and return a little less overwhelmed.
What other quick ways help reduce anxiety when you have no time?