I believe anxiety is a symptom that comes when we lose presence. Stress and anxiety occur when we are not 'in the moment' but caught thinking about the past or future. It can be a struggle to take a step back when caught in the tornado of stress and anxiety. The tools below are different practices I use to bring myself back to the present moment.
First, a great question to always ask yourself is. What's the real problem? I find it useful to dig deep and uncover the real reason for my stress or anxiety. If I can I discover the cause of my fear I can then ask myself the question "Is there a solution to this problem"?
1. Senses meditation (focusing one by one on your senses)
Meditation can be difficult when anxious. I like the practice of 'sense's meditation' because it gives my mind something to focus on. Sit with your eyes closed or open if this isn't possible. For a few minutes focus on each different sense.
What can I hear? Notice all the noises near and far.
What can I smell? It may be Hot chips from the cafe.
What can I feel? The ground beneath my feet, the cold wind on my cheek.
Take off your shoes and plant your feet on the earth. It is more effective if you can lay down somewhere on the grass. Ground your body to the earth beneath you. Almost like letting your internal batteries recharge. I like to lay still doing nothing, and take a few minutes to visualise the colours of the rainbow entering my body from the soil. They enter one by one and cleansing my stress and tension.
3. Child's Pose
Roll out a mat or towel and sit in child's pose pressing the centre of your forehead on the ground. Breathe and relax. Stay in Childs pose taking deep breaths until you feel centred and calm.
4. Self-massage with Lavender oil
Buy some good quality lavender essential oil. Mix 1-3 drops in some coconut oil and begin to massage it into your body. Start with your feet and legs working your way slowly up to your neck and head.
Self-massage is a fantastic act of self-love that can help you connect your internal energy. If you're in an environment that doesn't allow for self-massage. Keep an emergency bottle of lavender oil nearby. Slowly inhale the scent and let it calm your body and slow your mind.
5. Do something you love
There is an instant positive rush that comes from doing something you really like. If you have more time, some great ideas are booking in a massage, or facial. Maybe it's a coffee date or walks with a best friend.
If you're short on time maybe its sketching in a journal or treating yourself to a nice meal. My go-to is 'DANCE IT OUT', I put on a song I adore and dance and sing like never before.
6. Music cleansing
I recommend a set of good quality over-head earphones for this exercise, but any will work. Lie down somewhere comfortable and put on a beautiful song. My personal favourite is 'Bon Iver' all you need to do is relax and listen. Listen to every beat of the music, let the sounds and rhythm radiate through your physical body. Tune into the way the music feels and sounds and let all your other thoughts disappear for a moment.
I encourage you to experiment and be inquisitive in finding what works best for you. Prevention of stress and anxiety should be your first priority. Try adding these tools to your daily or weekly routine even when you are not stressed or anxious. They will create a sense of internal calm that may help you to avoid that whirling tornado.