3 Simple Tools to Stop Anxiety and Overwhelm Before It Takes Over
"How do I stop feelings of anxiety and overwhelm before they take over?"
This question rolled into my inbox recently and it's such a goodie.
When we let ourselves get wrapped up in anxiety and overwhelm, it can be really difficult to unravel ourselves from that. It's so much easier to protect ourselves from going down the rabbit hole and preventing those feelings before they take hold.
In today's video, I'm sharing 3 simple tools that you can do anytime, anywhere to slow down the momentum of any thoughts that might lead you into anxiety and overwhelm.
These tools (with a yogic twist) act as pattern interruptors and just like pinging a rubber band on your wrist, they'll help you change your mind and shift the flow of your energy fast so you don't get stuck in stories that will take you out of alignment.
1. Repeat Your Favourite Mantra
The first practice is to use a mantra. This is just a single word, or a phrase, that focuses and grounds your energy and attention. As you repeat your mantra, this interrupts the negative thought loop in your brain and stops it from taking over your body, mind and heart.
One of my favourites is from A Course in Miracles and it's I choose peace instead of this. I repeat this hundreds of times throughout the day whenever I feel myself being taken out of alignment. I silently repeat this mantra to myself, or simply I choose peace. This shifts my energy instantaneously and interrupts the pattern in my mind and stops me from moving into a space of anxiety or overwhelm, that I know will be difficult to get out of.
2. Boost the Effects with a Mudra
Another great way to do this is to use a mudra with your mantra. A mudra is a 'seal', gesture, or hand position we often use in yoga and meditation. They can be practised separately, but when it's used in combination with a mantra, mudras become even more powerful because they harnesses the energy of those words in your body.
A meditation I return to again and again uses both of these tools and it's called Peace Begins With Me. Here's how to do it (and you can check out the guided version in the video).
Sit in a cosy seat and close your eyes.
When you touch your index finger, say: PEACE
When you touch your middle finger, say: BEGINS
When you touch your ring finger, say: WITH
When you touch your pinky finger, say: ME
Breathe deeply as you say each word (silently or out loud) and continue until you feel a sense of relief.
The best thing about this is that you can do it anywhere to keep anxiety and overwhelm at bay - under your desk, walking down the street, in the middle of a difficult conversation or waiting in line for coffee. Let it guide you back to a state of inner peace - wherever you are.
3. Tap the Gamut Point
This final tool is inspired by Emotional Freedom Technique or 'tapping'. If you're new to this, you tap on various acupressure points at the end of your body's energy meridians.
EFT is really supportive for emotional healing and clearing out the feelings that live below the triggers.
A fast-action tapping point is the Gamut Point which is located on the back of each hand, at the base of your ring finger and pinky finger, in between the knuckles.
You can either hold that point or gently tap on it.
This switches off the fight/flight response and is a really great pattern interruptor to bring you back to calm.
You can also repeat a mantra as you tap. This can be anything you like, perhaps one that I've shared above, or my personal favourite, I am safe.
I really hope these tools serve you in stopping feelings of anxiety or overwhelm before they take hold. After all, calm is your natural state - it's who you really are.
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Set restful intentions and relax deeply with this guided meditation for stress and anxiety.