Like many of you, Patricia and I felt stunned and anxious following the recent attacks in Paris and Beirut. It can be easy to slip into fear and helplessness.
While we live in challenging times, there are things we can do in each moment to balance the anxiety response to world events.
We want to share some of our favorite antidotes for world event anxiety with you. Our hope is that you do what works best to love yourself as you feel any emotions that come up, and know we are thinking of you.
10 Antidotes for Anxiety
It can be 10 minutes in the morning in your favorite chair, breathing and allowing thoughts to come and go, or 5 seconds on a crowded train or while sitting in traffic. Closing your eyes and pay attention to your breath. It's calming.
2. Making more time to sleep
In times of stress, try making extra sleep time a priority. Powering down 30 minutes earlier than you usually do can lead to a healthier morning.
3. Gratitude lists
Take a few minutes to jot down 10 things for which you feel grateful. Gratitude shifts the focus from tragedy and worrying to fullness. It helps us access the warmth in our hearts.
4. Listening to music
Television and radio news - even on our personally-curated social media feeds - do not have our peace of mind on the agenda. Often what we see and hear are horrific details and it perpetuates a cycle of fear and anxiety. Try turning on some music you love instead of the news.
5. Taking a walk
Anxiety takes root in our minds and can leave us feeling paralyzed. Move your body to shake it off. Take a walk. Do some stretching. Go for a run. Work out. Dance.
6. Positive affirmations
Turn any fears into positive affirmations. It's a way to retrain our minds to relax and feel stronger. Counteract the negativity by saying kind, loving, present-tense words out loud or in your mind, throughout the day. Say them in the mirror.
Read whatever you enjoy. A fun book lights up our imagination and gives us heroines and heroes to believe in. Stories bring us out of worry into adventure. Non-fiction is wonderful, too.
8. Drink more water
Even if it's one extra glass per day, staying hydrated in anxious times nourishes our cells. Just like the oxygen we breathe can calm us, the oxygen in water can do the same.
9. Make art
Art heals and soothes. Make any kind of art you like. Write a poem. Make a drawing. Doodle for 15 minutes. It doesn't need to be amazing. It's the act of creating that moves us into the present moment.
Buy yourself flowers. Paint your nails. Clear clutter from a corner. Wash the dishes and put them away. Do something small to celebrate your life and beautify it. Beauty lifts our spirits and lets us know we are worthy of all things good.
If you have more anxiety antidotes, we would love to hear them. Please leave a comment below and share.
Laura Baran & Patricia Geremia
Arts & Dreams