6 Proven Ways to Reduce Anxiety

 

anxiety sign and lightbulb

For some reason, anxiety has been a big subject with my coaching clients this week.  Maybe it is the time of year or something in the air, but it seems like a lot of people are feeling anxious.

That makes it the perfect time to share some of my strategies for stopping anxiety in it’s tracks.

4 Count Breathing – With the exception of real emergencies, anxiety is usually about something that may happen in the future or a reaction to something you already experienced. Focusing on your breathing brings you back to the peaceful present moment.  And, since your mind can only focus on one thing at a time, counting blocks out the thoughts that feed your anxious moments. It goes like this:

Take a deep breath in as you slowly count to 4

Hold your breath for a count of 4

Breathe out slowly to the count of 4

Pause before your next breath to the count of 4 

Challenge Your Anxiety – Most of what worries you never really happens.  It is probably not even true.  Your mind just takes you on a wild ride of creative bad scenarios.  I know mine sure does.  When this happens, ask yourself the following questions to bring your focus back into reality:

  • Can I be absolutely sure what I am anxious about will really happen?
  • Could I be blowing this out of proportion?
  • Am I really in danger right now?
  • Is what you are feeling temporary?
  • Do I really need to put my body into a fight or flight response now?
  • What are the facts?  What is the truth?
  • How would it feel to let this go and remember that I will be okay?

Give It To God – Many of the things that cause anxiety are not in your control.  So, what would happen if you just let the Big Guy handle them?  Let him know you are going to put the issue in his hands and will check in with him after a certain period of time.  And then, set the issue out of your mind until it is time to check in.  It is amazing how well this can work.

I give my concerns over to God every night before I go to sleep.  This not only allows for a good night of rest, but can be an excellent preventive measure in the battle with anxiety.  I often wake up with the worrisome situation being resolved or the solutions given to me. Sometimes, I just no longer care as it has lost it’s power over me.

Make Friends with It – Anxiety can feel like a big, powerful thing that has control over you, but that is just not true.  Many things that trigger anxious thoughts were installed in us when we were little and vulnerable and everything felt more powerful than it was.

When you see anxiety for what it really is you can relate to it in a different way.  Even make friends with it.  Some of my clients give their anxiety names like Minnie Mouse, Cookie Monster, or Jumpy George. Doing this facilitates seeing it in a different, less controlling way.

When it shows up, talk to it.  Thank it for offering to help and let it know that you are all grown up now and have things under control.  Have a nice little chat with your new friend and then give him a new assignment, like Protector of Peace or Facilitator of Fun.

Audit Your Input – What you put into your mind and body can contribute to either peace or anxiety.  I am often surprised when clients who drink a lot of caffeine or energy drinks don’t realize that this can contribute to their feeling anxious. You can cultivate more peace within by drinking calming teas and allowing your body and mind to work at their normal capacity.

Another way you can set yourself up for feeling tense and worried is by reading or watching movies and shows that are full of violence or tense energy, especially before bed.  If these are your preferred forms of entertainment give yourself a cushion between them and your bed time to let your body and mind calm down. Even better than that, switch to more peaceful, fun, or meaningful entertainment.  I once read that our bodies react to violence we watch or read as if it is really happening. Do you really want to put yourself through that?

Practice Peaceful Habits – Creating habits and practices that support your calm and well-being can lead to an anxiety free life.  Let go of what no longer serves you and bring in people and things that feed your soul.  Many of my clients find that simplifying their lives by de-cluttering and learning to say no make a big difference.  Others, will swear that exercise, art, meditation, prayer, yoga, or music have minimized the anxiety in their lives. Find what works for you and make a commitment to doing it regularly.

These tool have proven successful for my clients and myself.  I am confident that they can help you too.  Go ahead, give them a try.  You will find more peace when you do.

If you would like coaching support to deal with the anxiety in your life, I would love to help.  Contact Me

Related posts:

How to Cultivate Inner Peace

3 Steps for Successfully Navigating Life Challenges

Rewire Your Brain to Feel More Positive

30 Ideas for Random Acts of Holiday Kindness

Christmas Kindness

Even as we are out spending money on gifts for our loved ones, we are surrounded by people for whom the holidays are challenging.  They may feel stressed, alone, depressed, or be having financial difficulties.  So, I encourage you to take the spirit of the season to a new level by giving in little random ways that can make all the difference for someone in need.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Smile at strangers
  2. Leave a large tip
  3. Pay for the person behind you in line
  4. Visit a nursing home
  5. Invite someone without local family to your holiday gathering
  6. Buy extra pet food and donate it to a shelter or rescue group
  7. Give blood
  8. Put change in an empty parking meter
  9. Send flowers to brighten someone’s day
  10. Bring treats for your office mates
  11. Adopt a homeless animal
  12. Leave hidden love notes for your family
  13. Donate money, clothing, or anything that will support charity
  14. Let someone go ahead of you in line
  15. Volunteer your time to help others
  16. Hold the door open for others
  17. Be a Secret Santa for someone in need
  18. Support local charities and businesses
  19. Thank your local police and/or fire departments
  20. Send a heartfelt letter of appreciation to someone
  21. Pick up trash
  22. Adopt a family, senior, child, or soldier for the holidays
  23. Contribute to a toy or food drive
  24. Go Christmas caroling
  25. Hug someone
  26. Listen to someone who needs to talk
  27. Compliment people around you
  28. Give away your parking spot
  29. Shovel someone’s walkway or clean their yard
  30. Leave a nice comment on a blog or Facebook post

 

How I Came to Be a Vegetarian

vegetarian vegetables on plate

The truth is, I think I was born a vegetarian.  I can remember being a young girl and feeling sick to my stomach when I saw raw meat or bird bodies defrosting in the sink.  My parents weren’t open to the idea of me eating differently and eventually I adapted and became an average American carnivore.

I used to love chicken pot pies and traditional Thanksgiving dinners.

And then, one day about 15 years ago I broke out in hives and had to go to the emergency room.  The doctors thought it was a reaction to something I ate and suggested I get screened for allergies. It took a couple weeks to get an appointment and I didn’t want to risk getting hives again, so I began to research food and allergies on my own.

Along the way, I learned some really disturbing things about the foods we are sold and my heart guided me into a vegetarian lifestyle.

It felt like coming home.

While I have been a vegetarian for almost 2 decades, I am not a political one.  I like my meat eating friends and family and it is not up to me to say what is right for them.  I don’t go around introducing myself as “Linda the Vegetarian” and some of my friends may even be surprised when they read this.

What I do know is that being a vegetarian feels right for me on a soul level.  It doesn’t feel like a decision I made, it feels like who I am.

There are other reasons why this lifestyle feels in alignment for me and might appeal to you:

  • My doctor says I am a lot healthier than her other patients my age
  • Food production is bad for the environment
  • If we ate less meat, we could produce more food for starving populations
  • Food production can be cruel to animals
  • Animal products are often full of hormones and other drugs
  • Food animals are often sick and already dying
  • We take in the energy of what we eat

If you are interested in learning more, these resources can get you started:

Movies: (most of these are available on Netflix)

Food Inc

Vegucated

Forks Over Knives

Food Matters

Websites:

Vegetarian Times

Cookie and Kate

The Vegetarian Resource Group

Vegweb

Vegsource

And, of course, there is always me.  Just ask your questions in the comments below and I will be happy to respond.

How to Integrate Gratitude More Deeply Into Your Life

gratitude

Gratitude. It feels warm and fuzzy, but is powerful enough to rewire your brain. It is my go to strategy when feeling a lack of abundance and can literally change how you feel about life.

The trick is to stay tapped into it and let it integrate through your body, mind, and soul.

I used to have my clients write 5 things they are grateful for every day in order to connect with this thankful energy, but over time the practice began to feel stale.  It became just another thing to do and the feeling connection to gratitude was lost.

Mixing things up helps.

  • Looking for hearts, signs, or synchronicities
  • Taking pictures of things we find beautiful
  • Spending time in nature
  • Fostering awareness of magical moments in daily life

All of these are great tools to spark a practice of thankfulness, but they only work when you take the time to really feel and fully integrate them.

In order to ground yourself in the warm, fuzzy, life is amazing, miracles happen, anything is possible energy of gratitude you must sit with it, give it your full attention, and let it fill your heart.

A gratitude practice is not something you do, it is something you feel.

When you let the awareness of blessings touch every moment of your life, you open the door to a life full of miracles.

My personal gratitude practice may look different from day to day. Yesterday, I was mesmerized by clouds and took a lot of pictures. The day before it was a meditation on all the special people in my life. And, as I write these words today, my heart is full of love and gratitude for all of you.

The one thing I do consistently as I lay my head on the pillow each night is to review my day with an open heart.  I savor the day’s blessings, let go of what does not serve me, and thank God for all I have received.

No matter what is happening in your life, you have much to be grateful for, too. I invite you to focus on the gifts in your days and let them lift you up and fill your heart. It can be life changing.

4 Ways to Feel Abundant & Attract More Money

abundance wayne dyer

If you are a human on this planet Earth, you probably feel like you don’t have enough money.

Since money represents security, safety, and worthiness in our culture this can be a real problem.

The very thought of it can trigger thousands of voices in your head that make you feel afraid for your future or not good enough.

And then, there is all of the programming you received as a child. Money is the root of all evil. It’s selfish to want money.  Our family will always be poor.  Rich people are the enemy. Continue reading

Is Tidying Up the Secret to Happiness?

clutter

Not too long ago I found myself feeling kind of low. I was in a funk. All I wanted to do was sit on the couch and read novels with a cat on my lap.

This felt great for a couple days, but eventually I knew I needed to get moving. I was turning into a slug and I wasn’t sure how to become human again.

As I drove into my garage one day after running an errand I could feel my energy drop. My garage felt heavy, like something that weighed me down. While mostly neat, piled along the left wall were all the things I was saving for a garage sale. Over time that area had become, shall I say, messy.

When I realized how yucky the garage made me feel, I knew what my therapy would be. I started going through the cluttered piles of things and after a couple hours of sorting, organizing, throwing away, and generally tidying up, I felt good about what I had accomplished. Even now, pulling into my nice and tidy garage makes me smile.

When our car, house, or office look uncared for it can be a sign that we are: Continue reading

How to Reconnect with Your Happy, Playful Inner Child

happy lttle girl 600

I have a friend who everyone seems to love. She is of a mature age (trying to be polite here) and lives life in a responsible way. What makes her stand out, though is her penchant for wearing pink, sparkly high top sneakers. Everywhere. Even business meetings and church. She says they make her happy and remind her to sparkle. I’ve noticed that they also make the people around her smile.

My friend has tapped into her playful inner child.

I want what she has. She seems to feel lighter and happier than the rest of us. More care free. And, her sparkliness invites adventure, fun, and friendships into her life.

It’s easy to forget what it feels like to play. As an adult you have responsibilities and expectations to live up to. You are probably so busy doing what you think you have to do that you don’t even remember you have all that joy within. But, don’t worry. You inner child will never give up on you.

You can reconnect with her again through: Continue reading

A Quick Solution to Being Stuck in Dilemma

woman stuck in dilemma questioning

 

Back in the old days, when I worked as an employee, I had a boss that would often get stuck when facing a decision. The voices fighting for each option in his head would keep his mind spinning and paralyze him at the same time.

Sound familiar? It happens to me too.

My former employer would keep talking to me about whatever the issue was, but just could not move forward.  He was knee deep in dilemma.

Until I found the magic question. Continue reading

What Do Life Coaches Really Do?

 

life coach life coaching holding a flower

There is still a lot of confusion about what life coaches do.  Even coaches have trouble explaining it.  And, everyone seems to be a coach these days.  How confusing is that?

In general, a professionally qualified life coach will listen carefully and provide support, perspective, guidance, new skills and tools, motivation, accountability, and champion you along the way to your best life.

Who doesn’t want that?

Most clients work with a life coach because they: Continue reading

3 Ways to Feel More Empowered When Facing a Challenge

woman overcoming challenge obstacle

When something or someone challenges us it is easy to get stuck in the idea that things should be different. Really stuck.

You can tell when this happens because you will find yourself marinating in a yucky, heavy feeling. You might hear yourself complaining, comparing, blaming, or asking, Why? Why? Why?

This is your victim mentality showing up and it is the opposite of being empowered.

When you recognize that you have fallen into the victim trap, you can make a choice to face the situation in a more positive and effective way. Here is how: Continue reading

How to Bring More Joy and Well-Being into Your Life

dog jumping

When I was studying spiritual psychology, one of our assignments was to create and follow a weekly action plan for bringing more joy and well-being into our lives. To be honest, I wasn’t really excited about the idea. It was just one more thing I had to do.

Being the little rule follower that I am, I actually followed through on the assignment and started creating moments designed to invite in joy and well-being. After a few months, it became a habit and I noticed that I felt more positive and, dare I say, even happy.  Really? Me? Continue reading

How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition

intuition

In those crazy moments when we don’t know what to do or even how to begin to make a decision, intuition is the answer.

Fear doesn’t understand positive risk and thinks we are still two years old.  It wants to keep us safe but is deeply misguided.  We can’t trust our minds because they spin between different answers, telling us yes in one moment and no in the next.

Learning to discern which voice is your intuitive inner knowing is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and you can start right here: Continue reading

Simple Ways to Make Life Better

garden angel make life better

Twitter is not usually my thing, but one of my clients told me about a hashtag stream of people offering their 3 word suggestions on how to make life better.  I found many of the posts inspiring and thought you might too.

Here is what they had to say:  Continue reading

When to Let Go of Trying To Figure Things Out

answers

Persistence comes in handy. Without it I never would have the success I have today or even have figured out what was wrong with my printer this morning.

I’ve used persistence to help find answers when they were elusive and often felt inspired by Marie Forleo’s message that “everything is figureoutable”.

But then, something happened that made me realize choosing not to try and figure things out can also be an empowering choice.  Here’s how it went down: Continue reading

How Wayne Dyer Saved My Life

Wayne Dyer

Yesterday, I watched Wayne Dyer with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday and as usual felt inspired by what he had to say. Later in the day I learned he had passed on, or as he would say – left his human body behind.

Since then memories have been coming forward of how his words have touched my life over the years. He is the one I credit with starting my journey toward healing and becoming who I am today.  Continue reading

How to Use Pen and Paper to Heal and Expand Your Life

pen journal paper candle woman journaling

Call me old fashioned, but I think there are some things best done with pen and paper.  Don’t get me wrong, I have hundreds of documents in my computer, but I’ve seen real magic happen through the act of writing the way it’s been done for years.  Continue reading

A Simple, Proven Way to Clear Your Mind of Negative Thoughts

negative thoughts smile balloon

Your brain is a great tool, but sometimes your mind can drive you crazy. It can get into repetitive loops with the kinds of thoughts that bring you down or hold you back. Or, it can just spin out of control. If you are like most human beings, you are experiencing both.

Here is a simple way to retrain your brain and let go of these negative patterns of thinking:  Continue reading

How to Reconnect with Your Best Self

empowered woman

It was a few days before my client would give her first presentation before a group and anxiety was starting to bubble up. She asked for my help in minimizing her fear before it boiled over.  Continue reading

How a Little Yellow Lamborghini Taught Me to Stop Comparing Myself to Others

yellow Lamborghini

Someone in my neighborhood is driving a snazzy yellow Lamborghini. You can’t help but notice it, especially when they keep revving the engine when stopped at lights.

I may not be a big car person, but the sleek lines and deep rumble of that engine were calling out to me.  Continue reading

15 Money Saving Tips that Help You Avoid Impulse Buying

impulse buying

If you want to avoid impulse buying it may feel like the odds are stacked against you. Advertisers, stores, and even your peers are masters of hypnosis.  They hypnotize you into believing your long term goals don’t matter and there is nothing more you want in the world than to buy their product.

You become their puppet, disconnected from who you really are and what you really want.

Unless, you utilize the following tips …   Continue reading