Why can’t I stop worrying? If you’ve ever had any kind of anxiety, you’ll know that there is no quick fix that will make it ‘go away’.
Those butterflies in your stomach that just won’t budge, the constant worry about everything and nothing all at the same time… sometimes we wonder why we can’t just enjoy life, relax and be in the moment.
While anxiety sadly cannot be swiped away like a TikTok, there are a few things we can do to help ourselves manage it. If the usual anxiety self-help tips don’t fit with your lifestyle, we’ve rounded up a few lesser-known tricks that people swear by for easing anxiety:
- Focus your attention on other body parts
Reconnecting with other parts of the body helps shift our focus away from negative/anxious thoughts, says life coach Naama Zusman.
Sounds a bit crazy, doesn’t it? How can you focus on other parts of my mind if you can’t get it to stop spinning and overthinking?
But take a moment, hold a hand over the crown of your head for a minute whilst closing your eyes, or think about the soles of your feet (yes, feet), pay attention to any sensations you are feeling.
- Schedule in ‘worry time’ during the week
Stop trying to resist anxious thoughts: it will only make them stronger. Instead, schedule yourself 30 minutes of ‘worry time’, to help keep anxious thoughts in one place and stop them from eating away at us all week.
Mindset coach Maya Zack says, “By allowing ourselves to think anxious thoughts without resistance, we actually lessen the charge around them and gradually, we calm down.”
Stacey Solomon has her own version of this, which she calls her ‘Brain Junk Bin’: a picture of a wheelie bin where she drops her anxious thoughts.
- Enhance your lunar connection
Ever heard of moon cycle awareness? Like the moon, we also go through cycles of how we are feeling – emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Hayley Merrick, Cosmic Business Coach, started noting the current moon phase and writing about how she was feeling. Believe it or not, patterns started to arise, something she would have more energy and confidence and other times she would feel more inward and preferred her own space.
“Connecting with the moon has enabled me to get to know myself on a deeper level and to honour my needs,” says Merrick. “This was huge for reducing anxiety.”
- Take a forest bath
Before you start dragging your bathtub into the nearest treeline, stop.
We’re talking about the Japanese concept of Shinrin-yoku – ‘forest bathing’ in English – which is all about spending more time in the woods to reunite with nature, destress and detox.
Don’t have a forest nearby? Slap some forest sounds on Spotify and head to Forestry England’s virtual gallery – you’ll be transported to your own personal Narnia in no time.
- Wear an anxiety necklace
An accessory that also helps us remember to take a breather – win, win right?
That’s the idea behind The Shift – a small flute-like object that you can breathe through, to help calm anxious thoughts.
The Shift encourages you to exhale for longer, helping prevent anxiety symptoms by releasing more toxins, loosening your muscles, and decreasing the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) released. With a design approved by therapists.
- Alternative exercise
You’ve definitely heard this one before, but yes, exercise is a great way to help combat anxiety. As for what kind of exercise, any physical activity is good for improving mental health, but there are some more left-field fitness trends that people are exploring specifically to ease mental health symptoms, including open water swimming, rock climbing, dancing and even trapezing.
Yes, you read that right: Amanda Miles, owner and teacher at My Aerial Home, found that people reported reduced anxiety after attending trapeze lessons.
Courses were even funded by Status Employment, a charity helping people with mental health issues back into the workplace.
- Go for a massage
A massage helps you feel happier, invigorated, full of life, and in a much better place mentally. And with some businesses (like The Massage Company) now offering massage as a subscription, it’s easier than ever to take an hour aside for a massage and experience the extraordinary benefits on your mental (and physical) wellbeing.
So, there you have it: a few ways you might not have thought of to help you ease anxious thoughts.
We understand opening up can be hard, but it is one of the best ways to relieve anxiety in the long term. If you are struggling with anxiety, it is important you get the professional help you need. Make sure you talk to your GP or get help from a certified therapist.