Friday, December 7, 2012

8 anxiety busters and mood changers

Anxiety is a difficult thing to live with and people with anxieties are often misunderstood. "Just think rationally," simply doesn't work. Here are some natural remedies most of which involve engaging the senses to change the direction of your thoughts and mood.

1) MUSIC! I cannot stress this one enough. Many nights I come right in and turn on the radio. Right now it's Christmas music, but it's often Delilah's night time show with wonderful soothing music, other times NPR's jazz music, or Christian rock, or classic rock. Whatever I'm in the mood for. Other than #8 (I saved the best for last) I find this to be the single most effective anxiety buster. Music calms the psyche, gets the body focused on rhythm and beat, and makes the heart want to sing along.

2) Scent. A good smelling candle can stop the brain in its tracks and completely divert it from the irrationality center. Or maybe try a nice stick of incense or a Scentsy warmer or plug-in. Or put cinnamon, orange slices, vanilla extract or anything similar and boil it on the stove or place it in the crock pot. It produces such a wonderful warm scent.

3) Taste. A nice cup of tea or cocoa, a sweet treat, spicy salsa, a lemon. Again, divert and distract the invader!

4) Touch. Take a warm bath, rub on a nice lotion (this doubles with scent!), put on soft comfy clothes, open the windows for a breeze or warm ray of sun.

5) Sight. Put inspirational sayings all around your house for stressful moments. Open the blinds to let light in and show the outdoors, write in a journal, put in a movie, fill the house with beautiful paintings or photos of family and friends. Put up a digital slide show or read a book.

6) Get outside or otherwise change your location. Sunshine and fresh air and flowers or snow, depending on the season, go a long way. So would a park, the mall, a library or any other dynamic, interesting place. A change of scenery can change your mood.

7) Exercise. Release those endorphins, get yourself moving and your blood pumping.

8) Now the most important: Pray, pray, pray. I read or heard or saw somewhere the idea that you should turn worries into prayers. With practice, this gets easier. I pray and I visualize myself giving it all to God. Do your best, then give God the rest. 

So next time you feel ready to snap, remember: change it up! Distract and divert! Enlist the endorphins! And kick anxiety's butt!

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