Blog - 8 Great Remedies for an Anxious Mind

By Matthew Manning: 23 Mar 2016

  1. First, slow down. When we are anxious, everything speeds up - our thoughts race, our heart pounds, our breathing accelerates. This makes it difficult to think clearly and make healthy decisions. At the first sign of things speeding up, move a little slower and see what else you can do intentionally. Slow things down.
  2. Come to your senses. Anxiety lives in our minds and often manifests in the body. When we're anxious we're not connected to where we are. Take a few moments to connect with your five senses. It will help to bring you back into the moment.
  3. Be mindful of a simple task. Life is full of simple tasks: walking, eating, answering emails, gardening, cooking. When we're anxious, we feel out of control. Being mindful of a simple task helps remind us we're in control of our choices. Choose a task and imagine it's your first time doing it. Dip into the richness of your life.
  4. Do a reality check. Anxiety often stems from fear about events that haven't taken place. Our minds are very creative and powerful and often tell stories that aren't true. When you have a catastrophic thought, ask yourself, "Is this thought absolutely true?" Chances are your worst fears are just that - fears, not facts, not the reality of what's happening.
  5. Release the critic. Not only is anxiety painful enough, but we often get hit with a second round of self-critical thoughts. A simple question: Do the judgements make you more or less anxious? The answer is almost always, more. When you notice the self-critic, see if you can interrupt it by dropping into your heart and saying, "May I learn to be kinder to myself."
  6. Channel your anxious energy. Not all anxiety is bad. Like most mental events, anxiety lies on a spectrum. If your anxiety isn't severe, you can actually channel that energy into something productive. If you're nervously waiting to hear some news, get active - go for a brisk walk, clean, organise, or garden instead.
  7. Lie down and look up. This is an age-old trick: a natural experience of mindful awareness sets in when we just lie down, look up at the sky, and watch the clouds. Experience the nature of how all things naturally come and go.
  8. Listen. As an experiment, take the day and set an intention to listen. Listen to the sounds of leaves in the wind, of children playing, or someone speaking to you. When we pause and listen, we can get back in touch with the simplicity of life, and anxious thoughts start to recede.