3 Ways to Self-Soothe When You Feel Anxious

It’s no secret that feeling anxious isn’t exactly fun—anxiety can be overwhelming at best, often causing intense physical and psychological discomfort. While treating anxiety disorders usually requires working with a medical professional, for occasional anxiety, there are certain simple techniques you can use to self-soothe and calm your nervous system in the moment. These methods can help ground you feel more grounded and promote a sense of inner peace.

Self-touch

Like a big bear hug from someone you love, self-touch is also an effective way to soothe your nerves and calm your body when anxiety strikes. Try hugging yourself gently or placing your hand over your heart, directing your attention to the sense of warmth and connection that this touch provides. This technique can help calm racing thoughts and reduce the intensity of anxiety symptoms by signaling to your body that you are safe. 

Expand Your Vision

When you feel overwhelmed, pause and take a moment to observe your surroundings. Allow your peripheral vision to expand, redirecting your focus from whatever is right in front of you toward the details of your environment. For example, try looking out the window and noticing the colors, shapes, and textures of any trees or buildings you may see outside. Expanding your vision in this way signals to your nervous system that it’s safe to move out of fight or flight mode. 

Do Yoga

If you’re in a location where it’s possible to do so, yoga poses like Child’s Pose, Legs-Up-The-Wall, and Corpse Pose are great options to self-soothe. These poses have been shown to have a deeply calming effect on the nervous system by releasing tension from the body and encouraging slow, mindful breathing.

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