Tools to release anxiety daily practice for healing
How do I release anxiety? Anxiety is caused by a feeling of being overwhelmed and not in control of our experiences. A remedy for such feelings is to seek out an activity that restores our sense of control and order to our day. I’m not able to have power over everything. But I DO have power over some things. What are they?
I have power over what I think about, what I listen to, and what I watch. I have the power to move away from thoughts and comments that cause fear or anger and move towards ideas, images, and people who cause relaxation. I can’t get the world to behave how I want. But I can guide myself into behaving that way.
An ancient Chinese proverb states that it is difficult to find a piece of leather that would cover the whole world. Luckily, all we need is enough leather to cover the soles of our own feet.
What are some activities that would make you feel in control again?
Perhaps you are experiencing frustration when formulating that list because you are a beginner in most activities. Being a beginner does not feel great because our desire to excel in the activity meets the reality of how skilled we actually are. The frustration we meet as beginners often stops us from engaging an activity that would be good medicine for anxiety or depression. The key is- make the activity a daily practice.
A daily practice is something you do… well.. daily for the sole purpose of making time and space each day for private communion with your being. It does not matter what you do as a daily practice so long as it is something you are interested in and it is something you can bring yourself to do regularly.
Regularity is the remedy for anxiety. Regularity restores a sense of control in our life. We have a meeting with ourselves no matter what shocking news headlines pop up today. We engage a practice. Regularly. Daily. Personally.
A personal daily practice could be jogging, martial arts, yoga, tennis, music, drawing… there are so many small, beautiful skills to engage. Find one and give it a try every day without an expectation of ever being “good” at it. In every field of study, there are always those at the top, those who are the very best of the craft- and often those people are who we meet first when beginning a skill. We can’t help but compare and feel disheartened. But when we release a need to distinguish ourselves in a field, we free ourselves from pressure and are able to value the achievements of others as an inspiration and example. And we can legalize our right to be bad at something as the only path to improving.
For me, my daily practice is writing.
Writing can be a way to counter anxiety because it is one of the few activities totally within our control. Establishing a sense of control somewhere in our life is what helps dissolve anxiety. When we make an activity a regular practice we establish control over something and effectively ground ourselves. A simple daily practice of any kind is highly effective preventative medicine as well as a huge resource for creativity. Any activity works as a daily practice so long as it is simple and you allow yourself to enjoy it even when you are bad at it.
Developing the habit of writing daily just as a physical exercise without any expectations of good content eventually takes the pressure off of writing because a regular routine improves our relationship with the activity. Regular routine takes the pressure off of needing our writing be good. We will get another chance and another and another. This allows us to relax.
Relaxation is how we access creativity. When we do not have to make any decisions and are able to just give over to a routine, all the animals in the woods feel it is safe to come out and engage.
Glenn Gers says it best in this interview where he talks about writing and other tools to release anxiety.
Need help developing a daily writing practice?
The LA Writer’s Group can help! Nicole Criona, founder and director of this priceless resource for writers has online classes as well as self-guided e-courses to help you create a lasting relationship with writing. I’ve worked with Nicole for many years and consider her to be one of the most compassionate and supportive mentors in the field of writing. Check out her classes and maybe I will see you there!