Breathe in, 1...2...3...4 and breathe out, 1...2...3...4.
Still feeling anxious? Sometimes it’s not enough to sit and practice mindful breathing, you may need a little more to help calm your racing mind, especially when it’s time to lay down and rest. Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from a long-term sleep disorder and anxiety can exacerbate the problem, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. During high stress and anxious times, it is important you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep for your health and well being. Healthy sleep has also been proven to boost your immune system.
While people who do suffer from long-term sleep disorders and anxiety should seek medical help, those suffering from situational stress and anxiety can try these remedies to help soothe their racing minds.
Release some endorphins by going for a run (bonus points if it is outside) or practice power yoga to release some of the pent up energy. Some studies suggest that a 10 minute walk can have the same calming effect on the brain as a 45 minute high intensity workout. Regular exercise can also help the brain deal with stress more efficiently and thus lead to a better night’s sleep!
Aromatherapy can help lift your mood and help you feel calmer. Studies have shown lavender can help improve mood and lessen anxiety. Burn soy candles infused with lavender while listening to a meditation or spritzing some lavender spray on your pillow to help you drift off.
Keep a Journal
When there are a million thoughts swirling around in your head, it can be tough to make sense of it all. Writing them down can help you prioritize your thoughts, problems, and fears. Keeping a journal can also help you notice patterns and triggers so you can better work through them. This is also a good place for positive self-talk to help lift your spirits during troubling times. You may surprise yourself with how helpful this exercise can be before bed!
Spend Time With your Furry Loved Ones
Pets show us unconditional love and affection, something we all crave during anxious moments in life. Spending time with your pet is proven to reduce the amount of cortisol (stress causing hormone) and reduce blood pressure. They will also help you feel less alone and boost your mood. Studies have shown that sleeping with your dog can actually be beneficial!