How to Manage Anxiety: Simple Steps for When You Feel Low Key Anxious

I woke up anxious this week—which isn’t a normal feeling for me (this is actually only partly true, more on this another time). It crept in and crouched, evading definition, inside my head. It was somehow elusive yet threateningly incisive.

It felt like the anxiety had lurked in from nothing but I knew it was really there to point me towards something. Something I was missing, or in excess of.

So I tuned inward.

I think of anxiety (in the MOST basic sense) as a symptom of projecting into the future. Worrying about/overthinking potential outcomes of things we have little control over. I checked in with myself—and yep. That’s what I’d been doing.

Analysing the future had dragged me out of the present, so my mind had ungrounded and anxiety grabbed the opportunity to swoop in. I was missing my mental stability, my present moment. In short, I’d given my personal power away to a fear-based fictional future.

So how did I tame my low-key anxiety before it grew into a beast of a problem?

  • I meditated. This instantly returned me to the present moment & away from the fictional scenarios. I sat and I called my wandering self back. Instant presence.

  • I breathed:

4 second inhales, 6 second exhales

to somatically calm my nervous system. This told my brain we’re all good and that the only danger is the made up kind I accidentally gave my mind creative control over. Instant peace.

  • I wrote a list of the things I need to do, and actually did the ones that I’d been procrastinating over. Instant calm.

  • I checked my stimuli. I’m an information sponge anyway, but I’d been soaking it up lately like it’s my life sustenance. Podcasts, books, IG, Medium, YouTube, old journals. No. Stop. Quit it. Instant s p a c e.

  • I got outside and gave the excess energy to nature. There are MANY proven benefits of the power of our original environment to alleviate mental health issues, but you don’t need the evidence to feel its efficacy. Go out and touch a tree and you’ll know all you need to know. Instant grounding.

The anxiety was just something unseen that wanted to be seen. Just acknowledging it was enough to reduce its pressure and enable me to surrender to what IS instead of fearfully trying to control what might never be.

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