Living Well With Anxiety

Sometimes the discomfort of the anxious symptoms is simply too high to sit with and do nothing. “Unfinished business” keeps the worry thoughts and emotions swirling around generating the unease we call anxiety. It becomes such a physical response that it can feel overwhelming. When this happens we can support ourselves as in these ways as best as we can.

Photo by cottonbro on

#1 One of the ways to down grade the swirling feelings is to give them a voice without words. You can give yourself 20 mins of time to first pay attention the swirling mass of emotion thought and draw with crayons letting yourself free to choose shapes and colours that simply express whatever is arising. Try then giving some words to what you feel when you look at your own drawing. You can even try to see if there are hidden shapes that you could then write more about.

#2 Another way is movement to help contain the swirling mass of emotion thought. Yoga in particular as you encourage yourself to be fully present with your moving body , breathing into the poses especially when directed by another ( there is free yoga on line these days on YouTube)

#3 Movement of all kinds helps to process the cortisol that is created when the flight and fight alert nervous system is activated or over activated. Running walking jogging swimming cycling; movement that brings your awareness into your body is the right kind of support to allow the swirling mass to come to a halt, or slow down a little.

#4 Sitting very still for 5mins breathing consciously into the sensations of the very swirl of thoughts and trying to catch your attention. Catch one thought and write it down then catch and name the emotion attached and write it down then focus back on your still body and repeat. After 5 mins get up and gently walk around while still allowing some consciousness of the anxiety then sit down to focus again and simple say it aloud this time saying …”having a thought that?????…and name it aloud. Having a feeling of ????????…and name it aloud…no need to analyse or understand this is just an acceptance exercise. Let yourself feel all the emotions: sadness,anger and fear as if they were the messages from you to yourself that just needed hearing holding and soothing. 

#5 Warm baths and warm sweet drinks

#6 Vitamin C and some Vitamin B to support the body ( a trip to the naturopath for support in this can really help)

# 7 Stay away from alcohol or compulsive distractions as that can increase anxiety in the long run

#8 Remember at some level you have the resources to be able to feel anxious and not feel endangered. Listening to our fragility with a good friend or relative brought to mind gives us the internal sensation that we can slightly welcome this in just for now. 

#9 Gentle Japanese acupuncture, osteopathy and bodywork massage can help to move the congestion of emotions trapped in bodily systems such as muscles, soft tissues, organs and the nervous system as a whole. 


Published by Annie Garrety

Counsellor and Psychotherapist Independent Researcher Educator Gestalt Therapy Hypnotherapy

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