It’s the mantra of the modern-day woman: “I’m so busy.” Yup, in an age where we’re switched on all day, erryday (looking at you, work emails) taking time to de-stress is practically a luxury.
That’s why we hit up Georgia Foster and Virginia Alexandra, co-authors of The 3 Minute Anxiety Fix, for their best hacks for fast-tracking the trip to zen-town.
1. The brain reboot
Close your eyes and roll them up toward the top of your head. Place the tip of your tongue just behind your top front teeth and apply pressure. Smile with the lips closed and continue to pressurise the hard palate with your tongue on the roof of the mouth with the eyes focused at the top of the head. Continue this for 2 ½ minutes. When first doing this you may feel pain at the back of your tongue, if this is the case, don't worry, it's just your central nervous system strengthening. If rolling your eyes is too intense, relax your focus at the bridge of your nose. Doing this exercise will reorganise the chemistry in the brain and make you feel way happier.
2. The throwback hack
Keep positive photos or favourite happy songs handy on your phone, so when you are feeling anxious and fearful about life, your mind can scan these moments and trick you into being in a better space. Routinely do this every hour so your mind becomes familiar with being in this positive state.
3. The patience provider
Place your thumb pad over top of the nail of your middle finger and flick the middle finger on both hands (like when you get a hand massage). This sends the signal to both hemispheres of the brain to correspond with each other allowing the opportunity to bring you back into a state of equilibrium. Keep flicking your fingers for three minutes, it may hurt a little but continue anyway. This is particularly beneficial for anxiety reduction and for impatience either with yourself or someone else.
4. The self-doubt sucker
Each time you hear a negative inner comment from yourself such as "I am feeling scared" or "it’s all too hard, I’ll just give up now" imagine a stop sign in your mind and say to yourself, "I am going to park this unhelpful thought." Then, follow this up with something positive such as, "It is safe to feel calm and happy" while looking up at the ceiling. Repeat this 3 times to break the negative state instantly.
5. The belly balancer
Cross your arms and place your hand under each armpit and find the spot that is tender and apply some pressure. Close your eyes and focus on your breath as you continue applying the pressure for 2 ½ minutes. On the inhale the belly comes out and on the exhale the belly comes back in towards the spine. This helps the central, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to strengthen. This exercise will balance and calm you.
You can find the 3 Minute Anxiety Fix here.