Four hacks to relieve anxiety

Feb 02, 2021

We live in uncertain times and in a world of constant change.  We have to adapt very quickly to new restrictions and lack of freedom.  This comes at a price for our physical and emotional wellbeing. It is important that we focus on ways we can build our resilience and tackle our stress responses. 

In the pre Covid-19 world, anxiety and depression were some of the most common mental health problems in western society, with 10% of us experiencing anxiety in the past year. With so much change in our lives, it’s inevitable that some of us will experience more anxiety now than we did before the pandemic. 

Try these 4 simple techniques, to help ease anxiety and leave you feeling more relaxed.

1. 7/11 breath

Closing your eyes and:

  • Inhale to a count of 7
  • Exhale to a count of 11
  • Aim for 10 rounds of the 7/11 breath each time you practice

This will help you feel calmer because the longer exhale stimulates the body’s relaxation response.

2. Altering the sensation

  • Close your eyes and notice where you feel anxiety in your body
  • Visualise what colour and or shape the anxiety would be
  • Imagine how the colour and shape would need to change for the feeling of anxiety to be manageable and ok

3. Shaking off the stress

When we experience anxiety, the stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol run through our bodies. To break down these hormones we need to move, so shaking your body is a very effective way to release anxiety.

  • Simply shake your arms, legs or torso vigorously, focusing on areas that feel uncomfortable. You could put on your favourite music!

4. Dialling down

  • Close your eyes and imagine as vividly as possible a dial with the numbers 1 to 10 on it
  • See or sense the needle registering at the number that best represents how anxious you feel right now
  • Look at the dial and choose to turn it down to the amount of emotion you feel is appropriate to the situation
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Article reproduced with the kind permission of CABA, the organisation providing lifelong support to ICAEW members, ACA students and their close family around the world.