This post is all about different practices that can help alleviate anxiety.
Anyone who has struggled with anxiety knows that a Himalayan salt lamp isn’t going to “cure” your anxiety, or that running won’t make things “go away”
All this being said- I want to introduce to you the idea of focal practices.
The term focal practice comes from philosopher Albert Borgmann and refers to human activities that demand skill, patience and attentiveness, and are worthwhile in themselves, not merely in what they produce.
The point of these practices is not convenience. The essence of these is that fact that they make you engaged, mind and body, in what you are doing.
A really good way to put it is “In focal practice the means and the ends are united and the human spirit is made whole.”
Journaling helps control your symptoms and improve your mood by:
Helping you work through and prioritize fears and stressors
Help you track triggers so you can be more aware of the margins you need to have in your life.
Makes space for positive self talk and realization of accomplishments
Journaling has been proven again and again by studies to improve mental health because of it’s grounding effect.
Take joy in the fact that journaling takes a long time, that it can’t be hurried. Ground yourself in the moment and do a check in.
Check out the FREE printable below with 10 thought provoking journaling prompts.
Okay, this one is only possible if you have an instrument, or have a friend/family member who has one and is generous.
But, I couldn’t just not include this. This practice has been proven time and time again to be one of the best focal practices.
Not only does the act of practicing an instrument and learning it take your mind off of things that are stressful and upsetting, but you can walk away feeling accomplished.
When you are finally proficient there is nothing like being able to play one of your favorite songs or improvise.
The value of expressing your emotions and your soul like this cannot be understated.
I know it’s challenging, I know it’s embarrassing if you aren’t fit, I know, I know, I know.
But, hear me out. The benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Studies like this one at Stanford University show that spending quality time in the great outdoors reduces stress, calms anxiety, and can lead to a lower risk of depression.
In addition to have mental health benefits, being outdoors improves your sensory perceptions. Some doctors even prescribe it!
It’s also been shown that the difference between walking on concrete, which is loud and noisy each time we step, and walking on soil or grass, where each step is soft and quiet is incredible for our hurried and noisy minds.
I encourage you to reach out to a friend or family member you are comfortable with- like reaaaaaally comfortable. The more out of shape you are, and the harder the trail the more you will be sweating and need lots of breaks.
It’s also super important to not choose a trail that is totally outside of what you are capable of. That will just make for a miserable time.
I highly recommend checking out our blog we have on 5 easy hikes in the PNW if you live in Washington state!
Fast food is not food, healthy food makes time and energy to make.
As part of my weight loss journey and also trying to become healthier in general I’ve taken to cooking most of my meals myself.
The importance of selecting ingredients with love and care and look at them as nourishment to your body is a key part of this.
It’s so so so easy to look at making your own food as a huge pain in the butt. I mean, it takes a long time to make and not that long to eat it.
But, when I decided to switch my mindset from “this is an absolute pain” and “fast food is so much tastier” to “this is nourishing my body” and “This is helping me in so many ways; financially, with my weight loss, and with my overall harmony as a human”.
It might sound dramatic to write that- but seriously. Knowing how this is helping me in so many ways leads to an overall harmony in my life. It’s not going against my values, it’s going with them.
Yoga was actually what got me started on my entire fitness journey this year.
If you are comfortable going to a yoga class in person- I recommend it. The value of community can never be understated.
But, if you aren’t, luckily we have our friend YouTube.
Yoga with Adrienne’s “30 Day Challenge” was what I started off my new years with and I continued to do 3 of those challenges over the following months.
Yoga became a sanctuary of sorts, a soft start to the day.
As most folks with anxiety will know, sometimes the start of a day can be the hardest. The overwhelming fear of the obstacles that lay ahead can keep you wanting to stay in bed.
This is why I recommend starting your day with yoga, as a positive focal practice to start your day off right.
If it’s not possible in the morning, that’s okay! It’s still an amazing mind and body practice that is sure to relieve some of your stress and anxiety.
Remember that there is no silver bullet for anxiety. Different things work for different people and posturing your lifestyle towards one of peace and intention is a big part of the puzzle. I love you all and I’m rooting for you.
About Healthfully Whole
This is a lifestyle blog for women who want to grow and learn and become better versions of themselves. Authenticity is the most important part of this. None of us are perfect, and as Ijeoma Umebinyuo said, “I am too full of life to be half loved.” Thank you for reading.
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