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Anxiety and Grounding Ourselves by Aamina Akmal (Issue #2)

In the bustling rhythm of our everyday lives and the seemingly never ending chaos and to do lists, we sometimes tend to lose our sense of calm and composure. This of course is absolutely acceptable and nothing short of a basic psychological function. Often referred to as anxiety, it is one of the most commonly felt and perfectly normal emotions. The certain sensation of restlessness can be as extreme as manifesting itself as a feeling of impending doom, be it as a result of a big upcoming exam or simply starting off your day. Besides solutions such as seeking therapy, there are a few things that we can do in everyday lives that might help in their own small way in bringing a sense of peace and order into our lives and help alleviate our anxiety to whatever extent that might be. Of course I am in no way claiming to be a professional whatsoever, but I will simply be sharing a few things that I do in my everyday life that have helped me deal with and reduce my own symptoms of anxiety,

One thing that I think everyone should have and create for themselves, if conditions allow it, is a safe space. This safespace, be it your room, somewhere in the fresh air or simply a little nook in your home will serve as a place of solitude, something along the lines of your own personal bat cave, if you will. Fill this space with things that make you happy and bring you tranquility such as plants, soft pillows and sheets, a diffuser or maybe even a record player. I have personally found that lighting within your safe space is an important aspect to consider, as it can be manipulated to improve your mood. For example, some people might open up windows to let the sunlight stream in in order to feel warm and bright, while others might prefer a cooler, more dimly lit room to calm their nerves.

Another rather interesting tip that I learned that helped me in perhaps some of the most anxious times, was simply to pop something in your mouth, such as mint or even some hard candy. Picture this: you’re about to enter the exam room. There is a general sense of nervousness floating through the air paired with the erratic pacing of your classmates and you begin to feel the familiar sensation of anxiousness creeping up on you. In this situation, eating something fresh and cooling will almost always help bring about some sense of relief. This is because it is impossible for our body to consume something and stay anxious at the same time. Anxiety is a primitive instinct used by humans to prepare us for dangerous situations. When we eat something, our body immediately realises that there is no need for this extreme anxiousness, as we would not tend to eat when faced with imminent danger and it begins to relax and cool down.

Last but not least, one of the most frequent things that we’re told to do when anxious is to breathe. Slowing down and taking deep breaths helps in bringing you back to reality and grounding yourself. Sometimes your mind needs a little extra push to remind you that you’re alright and bring you down to reality. Breathing deeply and slowly all the while, list:

  • Five things you see around you
  • Four things you can reach out and touch
  • Three things you can hear
  • Two things you can smell
  • And finally going back to our previous tip, one thing you can taste
  • Using this simple technique during times of anxiousness helps engage all five of your senses and aids in bringing our anxious minds to rest and back to reality.

Grounding ourselves and taking good care of ourselves is especially important in the 21st century world that we live in today, our lives seemingly flying past in a blink. These tips are just a small fraction of the enormous amount of helpful information that can be found in regards to coping with the extremely common emotion of anxiety.

Although, I do hope this article helped in its own little way :) Remember to breathe deeply and have fun!

Produced by students from GEMS World Academy Singapore. Contact the team: