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  • Writer's pictureKate Warren

Time to chillax...

Welcome back to the Stay U Blog, and my apologies for the delay. I hope you are all well.

As promised, this blog is all about Relaxation Techniques - in particular, ones that can help you with anxiety and panic attacks. Let's all take a deep breath and begin...

1. Guided Imagery

Also known as visualisation or guided meditation, guided imagery involves focusing your mind on positive images and feelings. When starting out, this process takes quite a bit of practice and is best done with recorded scripts, like those found on meditation apps (I will recommend a few of my favourites at the end). I will only be able to explain the basics below, as a true guided meditation can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

Guided imagery works best in a quiet, darker location, but if this is not possible, somewhere you will not be disturbed is a very good start (I've been known to do it in a bathroom stall). Begin by closing your eyes and thinking of a place that is peaceful and calm - a deserted beach, an open field, or somewhere else in nature.

We then move through our senses, starting with sight. Look around this place - see its colours and textures. Is it sunny or shady? Are you alone, or are there people or animals nearby?

Shift your focus to what you can hear - are there birds chirping, or trees rustling? You can then move on to what you can smell - perhaps you can smell flowers, or sea breeze?

Now imagine that you can feel the environment around you - the sun on your skin, sand beneath you, or breeze blowing your hair. Maybe you are sitting on a soft, warm picnic rug, or grass.

The sense of taste is often not used for this activity, but perhaps you are in a place you have been before, and there is a food connection to it - a pina colada on the beach, or drinking cool, fresh water from a stream.

Take yourself to this peaceful and relaxing place and stay for as long as you need. Absorb it and allow it to calm your mind and your body.

2. Art works

Creating a piece of art can be very helpful with anxiety.

Going to Art therapy classes (which I will have from September) is one way to channel your anxiety into a creative and positive pursuit, however, just taking a piece of paper and doodling patterns can help shift your focus and vent some of your negative energy.

Colours have connections to feelings and emotions. Blue can indicate sadness for some, but calmness for others. Red can mean anger but can also indicate passion. Let your emotions guide you when it comes to colouring and creating art. There are no rules or special instructions to follow - just go for it!

3. Go crazy

The last technique is almost the opposite to the other techniques I have mentioned here - and most that you will find when you search for "relaxation techniques".

For some people, anxiety is like an overload of energy - so much so that they cannot just sit and relax. They don't want someone to say, "just breathe", or "calm down" - they want to explode! So, do it!

Find a safe and private place (like your bedroom) and let everything out - run around in circles, flail your arms around, scream and yell and pretty much throw a tantrum. Jump on the bed, throw your pillows around and roll around on the floor laughing hysterically - as long as you are safe, don't break things (or yourself), and don't cause your parents or neighbours to call the police. Don't stop until you've released as much energy, frustration and anxiety as you need to feel drained of the negativity. You would be amazed at how satisfying it feels after as little as 5 minutes.

This technique is not for everyone, but if you feel like you just need to get that anxiety out of your body, then this might be worth a try.

Before we end this blog, here are a few apps that you may like to take a look at, especially for guided meditation:

  • Aura

  • Smiling Mind

  • Insight Timer

  • Buddhify

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found this blog useful. Stay tuned for my next blog, which will be talking about the importance of Self care. Take care, and remember: a problem shared is a problem halved.

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