7 simple practices to reduce anxiety

As if the daily grind of our busy modern professional lives aren’t enough, right now we’re all coming down from a high stress election season and entering another season known for provoking pressure: the holidays. So, it’s prime time for us to consider picking up a couple new habits to reduce anxiety. Here are my top 7 simple practices …

1. Meditate

Although it seems like we are doing nothing, research shows that sitting in silence has positive effects on our brains.  Those who meditate report enhanced feelings of peacefulness and reduced anxiety levels.  You don’t even have to be good at meditation to experience positive results. As Nike says, just do it! If you’re new to this practice, check out my meditation intro video and starter kit HERE.

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2. Hydrate

My friend & healthy living guru Dawn Jackson Blatner introduced me to the idea that when we feel off, one the first questions to ask is: “am I dehydrated?”  Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, and we lose water throughout the day. Being dehydrated causes stress on the body which can show up like mental anxiety. I find that when I drink the recommended 2 liters per day, I’m overall happier and less stressed. Personally, I also found that I wasn’t attracted to drinking water until I switched to bottled water. It seems my body knew that Chicago water wasn’t right for me. And as an extra boost, you can upgrade your glass of water into green juice with spinach, a frozen banana, and a squeeze of lemon.

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3. Listen to music filled with positive vibes

We are all energy. We are vibrating beings. Music is sound vibration. So, putting on your headphones and pouring positive sound vibrations into your body can change the very makeup of your cells from negative to positive. These good vibes can help connect you to your deeper sense of inner truth when you are otherwise feeling down or fearful. Here is a new release from spiritual music artist David Newman titled “Peace and Love” to add to your positivity playlist…

4. Move your body

Our bodies are meant to be active. Yet, as professionals today, we spend a lot of time stationary staring into our computer screens. Being sedentary can open the door to our darkest and most fearful thoughts which provoke worry and anxiety. Move your body to get rid of that bad juju! Get outside for a walk, go for a run, swim, jump on a trampoline, do yoga, rock a 4 minute tabata routine, or crank up some music and have a 5 minute dance party.

5. Read a passage from an inspirational book

To get our brains off of the fear grid and away from “stinkin thinkin,” we can proactively infuse our minds with positive brain food found in inspirational books. Check out a few of my go-to books to reduce anxiety HERE.

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6. Enjoy a Salt Bath

Sometimes we catch negative energy from others just like we catch a cold. During the election season, I noticed this happening to me quite frequently as I ran into more fear than usual around my friends and in my social media feeds. There is a great way to clear away negative energy from our bodies: take a salt bath! Epsom salts are available at any local pharmacy for about $7 a bag. We can also up our game with floating, which is a practice to immerse into 1,000 lbs of healing salts in a sensory deprivation tank. Learn more about this practice and a special discount from my friends at Float Sixty Chicago HERE.

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7. Be in nature

Many of us spend our days primarily indoors. Some of us live in big cities with lots of concrete and tall buildings. Some of us live in places where it gets super cold in the winter and we don’t even want to go outside. Trees, flowers, bodies of water, animals, fresh air … these are all natural healers. Our bodies were intended to soak up these elements as a way to heal itself and replenish from the stress of life. Especially in the busy modern world, we cannot do without the benefits of nature. When we feel the need to reduce anxiety, here are a few mood-boosting ways to enjoy nature: soak up some sunshine, hug a tree, sit in the grass, breathe in the ocean air, and even indoors – surround your desk with nourishing plants. Check out this funny video reminding us of the importance of spending time in nature…

It’s easy to think we don’t have time for these types of activities when we feel busy and stressed out. And because that mindset gives us no support whatsoever,  let us consider thinking the opposite. It’s quite logical actually, that when we incorporate one or several anxiety-reducing practices into our lives, we set ourselves up to win. Letting go of the negative energy and bringing in the positive, ultimately, we do everything better.