Most people experience fear or anxiety in some form or other and stress and worry are very much on the increase during these uncertain times. More and more people are turning to antidepressants or other prescription drugs in order to cope with stress and anxiety. For this blog post I thought I’d take a look at some holistic self-help techniques to help you banish your fears the natural way.
The quick anxiety stopper
The quick anxiety stopper is a useful technique I learnt from an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) practitioner. EFT works by tapping specific energy points on the body whilst mentally or verbally tuning into the problem you want to address. The idea is that disturbances in the energy flow are removed, along with the emotional response and anxiety. The quick anxiety stopper involves tapping on three specific energy points. Start by tapping gently with one hand under your eye, then under your arm with a flat hand in line where a bra strap would lie, then with a flat hand tapping the side of the upper chest just under the collarbone. After tapping these points for a few seconds, take a deep breath and then exhale. Repeat the sequence until you feel less anxious.
The calming breath
Changing the way we breathe can change the way we feel. Each inhalation is linked to the body’s fight or flight response whereas each exhalation is linked to the relaxation response. When we are stressed and panicked our inhalations become more dominant, which is why we need to focus more on the exhalations in order to reverse this.
Try the following breathing technique next time you feel anxious. Breathe in for a count of five and breathe out for a count of five. Try to keep to this steady rhythm for a few rounds of your breathing. Then, start extending the exhalation by holding the breath out for a count of two after you have emptied your lungs. Repeat this several times and you will begin to find your relaxation response taking over. It takes a bit of practice and concentration but, believe me, you will notice the calming effects.
Bach flower remedies are made from natural flower essences and can help with a range of emotions related to fear. The essences are simple to take – just put two drops in a glass of water and sip throughout the day. Here are some specific essences for fear and anxiety:
Rock rose can help when are experiencing terror or fright and you feel unable to move or think clearly.
Mimulus helps when you feel fearful of something you can name, such as spiders, illness, losing your job etc. It’s also helpful when you feel shy or nervous of telling others how you feel.
Aspen can help when you feel anxious or fearful but you can’t exactly say what you are afraid of.
Use your imagination
Visualisation techniques can really help to beat anxiety and fear. Try this simple technique next time you feel an anxious episode coming on. Close your eyes and imagine that you are in a relaxing place, such as a tropical island, a beach or the top of a mountain. Imagine sitting or lying there and concentrate on how you feel, what it looks and sounds like. Really focus on the details to make the scene as vivid and realistic as possible in your mind. Allow your senses to take you into a state of complete calm. Remain in this place until you feel that your breathing is much calmer and your mind is more settled. You should find that your fears have evaporated and you are more able to face the rest of your day.
About the author: Liz Parry is a writer specialising in holistic health and wellbeing, personal development and spirituality.