Over the years, I have seen an increase of individuals burdened with symptoms of anxiety. The feeling of being overwhelmed, hopeless, helpless, with excessive worrying, restlessness, and fearful. These days, we are being met with the daily hustles of balancing work, family/friends and home. We are dealing with the inflation of gas, food and cost of living. Many of us are constantly trying to please others, stay on top of our bills and avoid work burnout. We forget about ourselves. The importance of self-care and taking the time to breathe. Stopping for a few minutes just to take a deep breath can be the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself. You are giving yourself the time to gather thoughts, regain your sanity and relieve stress. The continued overwhelming feeling of anxiety and stress can impact your health, your daily functioning, performance at work and your social interactions in a negative way. That is not what we deserve or want. Take the time, breathe and focus on positivity.
Think about all those times you had a good laugh to the point you had tears in your eyes. When you were sitting with family and friends, reminiscing about the good old times. Or even spending the night at a comedy show. How did you feel after that? Did it change your mood in a positive way? Were you more relaxed? Laughing is the best natural medicine available. Laughter reduces anxiety, relieves stress, relaxes muscles, improves mood and it is an immune system booster. We are all human and we make mistakes. Avoid feeling down about those mistakes, instead laugh and learn from them. Do not dwell on the little things, life is too short.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed; like the walls are closing in on you, your heart is racing, you’re sweating, unable to concentrate, just STOP and if you are able walk away to a quiet room. Close your eyes, inhale deeply through your nostrils, hold for a couple of seconds and slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat this as long as needed, inhaling the positivity and exhaling the negativity. Afterwards, try to think of something funny, look at a funny video on your phone, check out memes or simply fake laugh. Believe it or not, but fake laughter has the same benefits as real laughter. The body does not know the difference. Like the saying goes, “fake it until you make it!”
So, the next time you are feeling anxious remember you have the tools to alleviate the situation. Daily self-care is important, do not cheat yourself of it. Utilizing deep breathing and laughter will also provide you with inner peace. The best part about breathing and laughing is that it is FREE at no cost. Remember, you are only one person. Know your limitations, take time for yourself and think positive. At least once a day, set aside a few minutes to take a deep breath and laugh. You would be so thankful that you did. You are worth it. Love yourself.
This month’s blog post was written by Constance White, MA, LPC.