A Psychologist’s Exercise for Managing Anxiety

Michelle Velan, Founder of Wondersource

Anxiety is a natural way our minds try to protect us. Rather than suppressing it or scolding ourselves for having it, when anxiety appears it can be helpful to say to ourself things like “hello anxiety” or “I’m feeling anxious right now” which can be a helpful way to acknowledge our emotions, create some distance from it and bring ourselves back to the present moment.

To help you navigate anxiety, check out the 5-to-1 method recommended by psychologist and Wondersource partner, Yariv Ganor.

What is it: A great, quick exercise to immediately help you reduce your stress or anxiety levels and regain a sense of self-control.

When to use it: The moment you start feeling unease (either anxious, stressed or panicked).
How to apply it:
a. Sit or lie down somewhere you can get some quiet and privacy for a few moments.
b. Say the name of 5 things you see around (ex. table, door, laptop, etc.).
c. Notice 4 different things you currently feel in your body (ex. my back against the chair, my legs pressing down the floor, my hand touching my lap, my heart beating, etc.).
d. Try noticing 3 different things you can smell (ex. my perfume, the chair, my coffee, etc.).
e. What 2 noises can you hear around you (ex. a car passing outside, a phone ringing in another room, people chatting, etc.).
f. Now, say 1 good thing about yourself (ex. I’m so proud of myself, I can take a break when I’m overwhelmed, I’m a good friend, I care about my job, etc.).     
Why should you do it: This exercise will help you make a “cut” and re-focus. It’ll enable you to find your center, feel grounded and gain a sense of control.

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