Three quick and easy ways to stay centered and calm anxiety

One of the best things we can focus on right now is keeping ourselves centered, staying present and working to curb our anxieties.

These three methods are all incredibly practical, simple and effective ways to calm our bodies and minds. I’ve used all three myself and have found they’re powerful for shifting unhelpful patterns in the body and mind. I’m planning another post that’ll give a broader scope of anxiety supports, so stay tuned for that, but for now I think a lot of us could benefit from something quick and easy! 


1) Tapping, which is also called EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique, is a do-it-yourself technique that combines acupressure with psychology. You tap your fingers on specific energy points along your head and torso, while speaking about your anxiety / challenge / etc. In doing this, you essentially turn off the fear center of your brain (the amygdala). Shutting the fear and stress response down allows you to then move into a healthier space and even rewire unhelpful or stuck patterns in your brain. The research on how effective tapping is for anxiety, depression, PTSD, pain and more is truly incredible.

Fore more information, I like The Tapping Solution, especially their “Tapping 101 page: Scroll down to find the “Introduction to the Tapping Points” video where you’ll learn how to do it on your own in minutes. They also have a free app you can download that guides you through some tapping sequences for specific issues:

Tapping is a great thing to teach kids too because it’s such an effective tool they can use for the rest of their lives. I think more than almost anything, children growing up today need to know how to keep themselves centered. It’s up to us to teach them. Search “tapping books for kids” for some great books to introduce the topic to your children. Tap with them on the things they have on their minds and hearts—you’ll both benefit from hitting the tapping points.


2) Breathwork. Working with your breathing is another powerful way to create positive, calming effects in your mind and body. One simple method is to breathe in to a certain count and then breath out for a longer period. In other words, just make your exhale longer than the inhale. For example, say you breathe in through your nose to a count of four, then you’ll breathe out for a count of 6 or 8.

If it’s comfortable for you, you can also try holding your breath at the top of the inhale, so in this example you’d breathe in through the nose to 4, hold it for 2 to 4 seconds and then breathe out for a count of 6 or 8. Even a couple minutes of this breathing can help you get out of a stress cycle.


3) Alternate nostril breathing. This practice is thousands of years old and is another great go-to for self-calming. Here’s the cycle: 

  • Exhale fully

  • Using your right thumb, close off your right nostril

  • Breathe in fully and slowly through the left nostril only

  • Close your left nostril, using your ring finger, at the top of the breath

  • Now open the right nostril and exhale fully through the right side

  • Inhale fully on the right nostril

  • Now close the right nostril 

  • Exhale fully through the left side

  • Continue inhaling and exhaling through one side only for a couple minutes or more 

  • When you’re ready to finish, wait until you’ve wrapped up the exhale on the left side.  

  • (Extra credit: place your index finger and middle finger between the eyebrows during the practice).

I love that these practices can be done in just a few minutes, in the moment, anytime throughout the day. To stay centered in the midst of chaos, however, it’s really best to make these a routine. Pick one that appeals to you and challenge yourself to spend a few minutes with it before you get out of bed in the morning and before you go to sleep at night.  

Take good care, everyone. 

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