EASE ANX­I­ETY right now

Just 15 min­utes is all it takes to ban­ish worry and anx­i­ety

New Idea - - New Stress-free -

FIND TIME TO MED­I­TATE ‘Fif­teen min­utes is a good amount of time to med­i­tate and will give sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fit if you can make it a daily habit,’ says med­i­ta­tion teacher Rory Kin­sella.

‘By clos­ing our eyes and di­rect­ing aware­ness away from our thoughts and our senses, we stop tak­ing in in­for­ma­tion.’

Rory ad­vises set­ting up a reg­u­lar time to med­i­tate, so it be­comes a habit.

‘If the only spare time you have is sit­ting in the car for 15 min­utes be­fore pick­ing the kids up from school, then that’s as good a time as any,’ he says.

WRITE IT DOWN Ac­cord­ing to ex­ec­u­tive coach Danielle Marchant, who has just au­thored the book Pause: How To Press Pause Be­fore Life Does It To You (Ha­chette, $19.99), you should get a piece of blank pa­per

and at the top, write: ‘I’m scared of...’

‘Now write out your wor­ries, your fears, your con­cerns. Write freely, no matter how silly or petty or crazy those fears may be,’ she writes. ‘Ac­knowl­edg­ing your fear, look­ing it in the eye, is the first step to­ward han­dling it.’

FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANY­WAY Scared of mak­ing that speech, or per­haps stepping onto a crowded train? Re­search from the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia found that when peo­ple with anx­i­ety ex­pose them­selves to what­ever is trig­ger­ing it, it ac­tu­ally helps them cope bet­ter. By show­ing your­self the worst didn’t hap­pen, it’s em­pow­er­ing and will re­duce the fear you ex­pe­ri­ence.

TURN UP THE FEEL­GOOD PLAYLIST Make your­self a 15-minute feel­good playlist. Re­search shows that lis­ten­ing to mu­sic can lower blood pres­sure, heart rate and anx­i­ety. Even bet­ter if you can sing along or dance – it will take your mind off what­ever wor­ries you might have.

DOWN­LOAD AN APP Fill up your smart­phone with these apps for in­stant calm. ‘For those want­ing to dip their toe into med­i­ta­tion, there are some good apps. 1 Gi­ant Mind, In­sight Timer and Headspace all offer guided med­i­ta­tions for be­gin­ners,’ says Rory. An­other great app is Self­help for Anx­i­ety Man­age­ment, where you can build a per­sonal tool­kit in the app to help your anx­i­ety lev­els and trig­gers.

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