Personally, one of my biggest challenges with my anxiety is in those moments that it pops up, as if out of nowhere, and suddenly my face feels hot and prickly, my breath is shortened, I simultaneously feel like I want to scream, but not echo a word…and I all I can focus on is “how the fuck can I make this terrible feeling go away as quickly as it came?!”
For years, these moments would take over my life and take me away from the things I truly wanted to be doing, either out of fear of being triggered or from the pains of the physical manifestations of my anxiety. Too often it just felt easier to hide.
Fast-forward 5 years later and add in a LOT of self-development work, a holistic nutrition certification, NLP training and essential oils, and I’m grateful to say I’ve created a whole tool belt of in-the-moment remedies. In conjunction with the internal work I’ve done, these tools have blessed me by giving me back those moments I once sacrificed to my anxiety.
My hope is that they’ll help you too.
6 Anytime Anti-Anxiety Tools
I know this one may sound cliche, but stay with me for a moment. I once learned that anxiety and fear cannot exist or persist in the presence of breath. When you breathe deeply, your breath will quite literally take back the space that your anxiety is trying to reside in.
Tool 1: Give yourself the space to just focus on your breathing for 2 minutes. If this means getting up and stepping outside for a moment, then do it. In this space, spend at least 2 full minutes, eyes opened or closed, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Be aware of where your breath is moving in your body. Is it just going into your chest? Or is it going all the way down into your diaphragm and to your root, fingers, and toes? Focus on moving this breath into all parts of your body, especially the areas that you’re feeling the most anxiety or constriction.
Bonus: I often like to picture my breath in as a clean, warm, glowing light healing every cell in my body that it touches, and my breath out as a release of all that is no longer serving me.
Chances are, that this is likely not the very first anxiety attack that you’ve experienced. The best thing about that? You survived it, just like you’ll survive this one too. I promise.
Tool 2: Speak kindly, confidently and reassuringly to yourself. Remind yourself, “Hey, I’ve been here before, I’ve felt these feelings, and I was okay! Everything turned out all right. I was alright. I AM alright. I know that I can get through this. I am getting through it even as I speak! I choose to be free of anxiety now. I love how easily I can free myself from anxiety.” Be sure you’re using conscious language, such as: “I am”, “I can”, “I have”, “I choose”, “I enjoy”, “I create”, “I love”, “I will”.
Let it out
Sometimes we just need to identify and speak to what’s behind our anxiety, giving it a voice with which to release. Putting pen to paper and getting out whatever is going on is very cathartic.
Tool 3: Grab your journal, computer, or a piece of paper and for 5 minutes, just free-write whatever comes to mind. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or if it makes any sense, that’s not important here. What’s important is giving yourself an outlet for what’s on your mind and getting it off your heart and onto paper.
Bonus: Increase the release by burning, ripping up and flushing or burying in the ground the page(s) you just wrote on.
Here’s a great NLP Hack for those of you wanting to learn more about how I use NLP in my everyday life. Have you ever noticed how certain smells or songs can trigger a very vibrant feeling or emotion? Well this tool works exactly like that, but instead of using smells, we are going to use touch + sound linked to relaxation (anti-anxiety) that you can trigger for yourself at anytime.
Tool 4: Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Think about a time in your life or a memory of when you felt the MOST calm and anxiety free. Really feel into that memory with your whole body. Then, right at the HEIGHT of those feelings, make an easy sound (like “pewww” or “whoooosh”) as you gently press your index finger on the top of your thigh by your knee. Now, think of another memory, one where you felt the MOST relaxed. Once again, when you’re right at the HEIGHT of those feelings, make your same sound and press into that same spot on your same thigh. Do this whole process once again with a memory where you felt your MOST at peace, free from anxiety.
Congratulations! You’ve just created an anchor. The beauty of this is that you can use it anytime, any place, all you need to do is make your noise (out loud or in your head) and press gently on that same spot on your thigh to trigger your anchor. I’ve found that the more I fire my anchors, the more powerful they become. Try it yourself and fire your anchor anytime you desire to feel more calm, relaxed and anxiety-free.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re really really excited about something, you may actually feel physically anxious? I used to be very confused about this myself until I learned that anxiety and excitement have the same energetic vibration. Because anxiety and excitement are both ‘high-arousal states’¹, it can sometimes be much easier to go from anxious to excited, than from anxious to calm (a ‘low arousal state’¹).
Tool 5: It’s crazy simple, but it works – flip your internal dialog from “I’m feeling anxious about [blank]” to “I’m feeling excited about [blank]!” Example: “I’m feeling so excited about this huge interview for my dream job!” or “I’m feeling excited about hearing all of my boss’ criticism about that project I know I dropped the ball on.” Try it! What do you notice? What’s different?
Keep in mind, this tool won’t necessarily calm or relax you, but it will transform your anxious energy into excitement. (And personally, I much prefer feeling excited!) This tool is particularly great for performance anxiety, such as before a big test or interview or speech.
My favorite essential oil anti-anxiety weapon! “Liquid Calm” is a blend of 3 oils that independently are already very calming & grounding, and together are even more powerful. Almost like when the Power Rangers transform into Megazord and their powers unite into one super power. (If you didn’t already know…yes, I’m a nerd and proud of it!)
Tool 6: This last tool is more of a recipe.
– 5ml glass rollerball bottle
– dōTerra Balance
– dōTerra Serenity
– dōTerra Vetiver
– Fractionated Coconut Oil
– In the empty rollerball bottle, add 10 drops of Balance, 10 drops of Serenity and 5 drops of Vetiver
– Top with FCO
– Lightly shake to blend
Simply roll this calming blend on the inside of your wrists, chest, temples or your neck for an instant boost of relaxation and ease.
I recommend keeping this blend with you in your purse or pocket for easy access anytime you need it.
I would love to hear which of these tools worked the best for you in the comments below!
I welcome you to share your favorite anti-anxiety tools, so others can benefit from them as well ♥