Anxiety and stress are as common in our hurried contemporary living as is having a smart phone nearly constant in our possession, or within arm’s reach. Some sufferers of anxiety can quickly overstimulate their thoughts, layering one worry or dread atop another, and then another, until there’s so much chatter within, thoughts become seemingly insurmountable challenges stacking heavily upon each other like large, chiseled tablets. Thoughts race. Which problem solved first? How? Too many life responsibilities need attention. Then if auditioning, audition fears topple in. Your breathing becomes short, shallow and heavy. Suddenly anxiety has become the worry monster that is panic. You’re overwhelmed. What to do? Too much dread washing over you. Losing control. Fearing the worst. Imagining personal and/or professional ruin. Stop! There are several, easy remedies to gain control, composure, and confidence.
Tip One: While sitting, place your hands on your lap, or let your limbs dangle loosely at your sides.
- Close your eyes.
- Slowly breathe through your nose taking in a deep breath. Hold for three (3) counts. Exhale slowly and evenly through your mouth. Repeat the process again.
- Continue the breathing exercise with your eyes closed. As you do, listen for, and silently identify five (5) sounds that you hear. Identify each, one at a time. Listen for things you may not normally notice.
- Continue inhaling through your nostrils. Hold for three (3) counts. Exhale slowly and evenly through your mouth.
- With your eyes still closed, and doing your breathing exercise let your finger tips explore closely around you without touching anyone who may be nearby. Touch, and identify five (5) separate tactile experiences. Give a little extra time to feel the texture and/or density of each object.
- Continue the breathing excise. Don’t force out the air, let it flow like a rolling fog.
- Breathe in, through your nostrils but now take notice of what you smell. Take five (5) inhales separately. Can you distinguish five scents, aromas, or smells? Give an adjective to each. Is there a woodsy aroma to the audition studio hallway? A floral perfume? A musky scent of history? Fresh linen whiff of recently laundered clothes. Separate each, naming them.
- Breathe deeply now through your nose. Hold for a count of (3) three. Open your eyes slowly as you let your warm breath roll lazily out your mouth.
- Without moving your head much, scan your surroundings. Don’t make eye contact if there are others near you. Eye (5) five individual objects. Name each for what they are. Continue to breathe in through your nose. Hold (3) three counts. Exhale slowly through your mouth and over your lips.
- Close your eyes again. Continue the breathing exercise. And as you do, recall each of the five sounds you heard. Remember the five separate tactile sensations you felt. Think of the scents and aromas that surrounded you. Then imagine with your eyes closed, as you breathe in and out, the five objects you saw. Recall details.
- Take one last, long, slow deep inhale through your nostrils. And immediately release through your mouth. Open your eyes.
- You should be more centered now. You have focused on the moment, and the often overlooked ingredients of your environment that make up the whole of your surroundings.
- Continue the breathing exercise if needed.
- Let your hands rest on your lap.
- You’re in control of what you’re experiencing. Let your eyes and ears discover what others may be missing.
This exercise places your focus on the incidentals that create your living in the moment. No thoughts of future. No worries of the past. Absorb your environment. And always breathe through your nostrils, Hold for a count of three. And let the exhale release on its own through your mouth.
For added relief from anxiety or stress, consider carrying with you a lavender satchel. Or a small bottle of lavender oil. Or a small body and room mister of lavender. Some pharmacies carry these oils and sprays in or near the vitamin supplement aisle. Inhale the lavender which is an aromatic stress reliever. If using a spray, spray lightly on a cloth, handkerchief, or tissue. And inhale form the fabric you just scented. Be mindful not to spray around you when others are nearby.
There is a natural supplement for stress relief sold over the counter at pharmacies. It’s 5-HTP. This can often be found in the vitamin / supplement section. Consult a physcian first for possible contraindications with your current medications and/or medical condition. Try a dosage at home first to gage how your body reacts. Follow the directions on the bottle.
Drinking large amounts of bottled water with alkaline and electrolytes can assist in greatly reducing anxiety. SmartWater has a line of water that contains both alkaline and electrolytes together. Avoid sports drinks that contain sugar. If you’re having moments of anxiety a stimulant like sugar or fructose will acerbate the anxiety. No caffeine, either.
The preceding tips are for the occasional mild rushes of anxiety. If you are prone to chronic anxiety, and/or panic attacks consult your primary care doctor or mental health specialist who can prescribe appropriate medications if deemed clinically warranted. Worry is a waste of energy. Anxiety is often self-induced. You control what you want to feel. Don’t let looping thoughts, and unknowns control you. Own what you can control. Release what is not in your control. And take five minutes do to the meditative exercise when you feel you must pull yourself into the moment and out of the ‘what ifs.’ And when at home and needing relief from anxiety or panic; burn lavender oil (in an oil burner) or lavender incense. For a more restful night’s sleep, lightly spray lavender room and body mist on your pillow(s), and bed linens shortly before crawling into your bed. Breathe. Clear negative thoughts. And indulge in some rich chocolate to boost dopamine when needed.
Suggested Relaxing and Soothing Music: (If you wish to download this, you can via YouTube Music)
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