Tools for Managing Anxiety

Anxiety is something that I think more and more people are coming aware of. I have a lot of people around me who have experienced anxiety for a little while now, but until very recently it was something that I hadn’t had very much first hand experience of, except for a little wobble here and here. But a few months ago, after arriving back from holiday, I experienced my first anxiety or panic attack. It came totally out of the blue, caught me totally off guard and was a lot more physical than I ever imagined. Not only did my legs disappear from underneath me but once I eventually managed to get myself back to a normal breath pattern, I had the most intense muscle aches in my abs and diaphragm from the extreme and extended contraction that had prevented me from breathing properly during the attack.

It is safe to say, I have a new found realisation for the realness and severity of what anxiety can mean to people and I am incredibly grateful that I was in the hands of a loved one who was able to guide me through the experience. I have never felt so out of control and disconnected from my body, yet feeling something so intense and real at the same time.

There is a lot of information out there about how to deal with or prevent or avoid anxiety but it was a sharp reminder to me of how reactive we can be. So I am making a conscious decision to be proactive about it to try to minimise the chances of it happening again. I am by no means an expert on this at all so I thought I would call on some friends and share the tools that they have created to help those dealing with, and those looking to prevent anxiety that are worth investing in!

YOGA

The one thing I do know a little about is yoga. High energy practices with lots of backbends and inversions can, in some people, raise our anxious energy. I noticed in myself that just before this experience, I had been much more excited about going to classes like rocket yoga which I find both physically intense and, when I am not in the right head space, a little frantic. Although I love these kinds of classes, I now know that I need to balance them out with grounding practices such as yin yoga, which bring me back down and balance me out a little more. This of course is just me, and I will continue to practice various types of yoga but have to remember to keep them in balance.

Energetically, we are working with grounding, earth energy and anatomically that relates to the hamstrings. So think about grounding poses, forward folds, childs pose and anything where you can really focus on the parts of yourself in contact with the earth.

This is another thing that I teach, but it can take many different forms. For me, meditation that focuses on the breath is really helpful for reducing stress and anxiety. For example, I try to breathe in for a count of 4 and back out for a count of either 4 or 6 (4:4 for day to day, 4:6 to calm myself). However, one thing that a few of my students have mentioned is that due to the relationship between experiencing anxiety and the breath, it can actually make things worse for them. If that is your experience, then perhaps a guided meditation could be a good way in for you. I have a few on my YouTube channel, including this visualisation meditation which you might like to try.


THIRD EAR APP BY LEO COSENDAI

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Sound practitioner and meditation teacher Leo Cosendai has created this awesome new meditation app, featuring an extensive and varied library of his gong sound baths, mantras chants, pranayama breathing exercises and mindful meditations. The app enables you to create your own sound & mindfulness sanctuary, or lets you ask the genie to select a meditation depending on your mood & activity- a piece of peace wherever you are.

From daily reminders (if you choose) to a guided 8 step pathway, this app really helps you to explore the benefits of meditation. And if time is a barrier, if you can find just 1 minute then Leo has something for you. Got more time? Then enjoy 45 minutes of immersive gong sound bath meditation. Basically, there is something here for you no matter how much time you do or don't have.

I really love this app and have decided to work with Leo to come up with an offer for you guys. This is the first time I've done something like this but I genuinely think it is worth sharing and want to encourage as many of you to try it as I can. You can download the app for free, and that gives you access to some of it's features but to get the most out of the app, there is a monthly subscription of £3.99. There is so much content on there, I really believe it is worth every penny but if you need a little more convincing, you can use the code MINDBODYBOWL to get £10 off the yearly subscription (£39.99) making it just £29.99.


MEDITATE WITH MADELEINE SHAW

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My wonderful friend Madeleine has recently launched a meditation series, with 10 minute meditations for various every day issues, including anxiety. Many of you will know Madeleine for her delicious recipes, books and infectious smile. But did you know that she also has a meditation series too? After experiencing the benefits of meditation on her own worries and anxiety, Maddy decided to share meditation in an accessible way to encourage more people to develop a mindfulness practice to help with everyday worries. 

The series is £9.99 and includes ten ten-minute meditations which you can download and use anywhere, any time.


ANXIETY SOS BY JODY SHIELD

Meditation teacher, author and friend of mine Jody Shield has launched her latest offering - a daily programme to help people release the grip anxiety can have over their day-to-day lives. The audio guide has 3 meditations for morning, lunch and evening to help you manage your day. To add to that, there are other tools and teachings for helping you to understand and release anxiety, with an SOS panic prevention for when you feel an attack coming on.

Jody's Life Tonic programmes are hugely successful, creating a cult following of students around the world. It's so inspiring to see how this woman manifests abundance into her life and has overcome many of her own obstacles to get to where she is. Her programme is £27 unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own


THE ANXIETY SOLUTION BY CHLOE BROTHERIDGE

Therapist Chloe Brotheridge has used the latest scientific research and her own personal experience to create a programme that has already helped thousands of women to overcome fear and stress. The Anxiety Solution will provide you with simple yet powerful practical tools to help you manage your symptoms and start feeling better every day.

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From recognising symptoms of anxiety to understanding its root causes, Chloe takes an in-depth look at anxiety in the modern world and the steps we can take to manage it. Whether it is social media pressure, perfectionism or fear of failure, this book will show you how to regain control of your life.

It will guide you through easy practical methods for minimizing anxiety, including meditation tips, breathing exercises and a self-care diary. With chapters focusing on mindful eating, boosting self-esteem and managing decision-making, Chloe equips you with everything you'll need to tackle your anxiety head-on and embrace a happier, calmer life.

 

Annie Clarke