by Counseling and Wellness Center of PittsburghApril 30, 2021 anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, anxiety therapy pittsburgh0 comments
Anxiety management in a healthy sustainable way!
Here is the ultimate listicle of healthy ways to reduce and manage anxiety symptoms beyond meditation and exercise because while both of those do work, they might not be in everyone’s tool bag. Here are 10 simple and effective therapist verified ways to help.
- Blow bubbles! This works two ways, one who can be anxious when they are looking at a shiny bright bubble? But seriously, bubbles require us to blow our air out, when we are blowing out we activate our parasympathetic nervous system. It is also speculated that anxiety and panic can be induced by a CO2 sensitivity, this is helped anytime we blow out slowly. So go ahead, let your inner child emerge and blow some bubbles!
- Try a hot bath! Hydrotherapy works, this is all about vasodilation, when we take a warm bath our blood pressure increases but what goes up must come down so we float into a state of deeper relaxation after, if you can take your bath with candlelight and a good book, even better!
- Count down from 100 backwards. Many anxiety management techniques help us to focus on something other than the anxiety, counting backwards works well!
- Scanning techniques, focus on what you see around you, you can even use the alphabet, start by looking around for something that starts with the letter A, then B. Some people respond best to this by writing out their answers too.
- Listen to soothing music, sound can be very therapeutic because our heart rates do respond to auditory stimulation. If you listen to something below 60 BPM (Beats per minute) you will naturally bring down your heart rate too.
- Progressive muscle relaxation is a system of focusing on each muscle group and squeezing them, holding the tension for 10-20 seconds, then relaxing. You start at your toes and slowly move up to the crown of your head. After working through each muscle group you squeeze every muscle and then relax. This is effective because we are best at relaxing after being active!
- While most of us want to harness our calm without any pharmacological intervention, that is not always possible. Some mental health and medical diagnosis respond only to medical treatment. With that in mind, some forms of stress can be aided by using herbal remedies, herbs such as hops, valerian, and lemon balm are especially calming. Consult your local herbalist for more tips on herbs!
- Do some gardening, soil and contact with the earth works on multiple levels to help us relax, it doubles as physical activity and we also know that nature therapy via time spent outdoors has excellent stress reducing benefits. Go ahead, plant a flower or tree, not only with you enjoy its beauty but you will get a relaxing dose of wellness while you are at it.
- Lower your heart, literally. I know we aren’t including exercise but a low impact yoga stretch called child’s pose can be achieved by getting onto your knees, then bending forward from your waist to lay your head and shoulders on the ground. Your heart gets a welcome rest when you are inverted this way and your heart rate automatically goes down!
- Phone a friend, this is especially helpful for women who are experiencing anxiety, women get a stress reducing benefit from talking to supports about their stresses. Feeling overwhelmed, talk it out!
Stephanie Wijkstrom, MS, LPC, NCC Stephanie Wijkstrom, MS, LPC, NCC
by Stephanie McCrackenOctober 1, 2013 counseling, meditation, mindfulness, reiki, reiki, therapist, therapy, Uncategorized, wellness0 comments
Reiki is an ancient energy and healing technique. Imagine the setting as your Reiki master, attunes to you, tuning in on the subtly flowing outpour of your qui, slowly places her hands above key chakra points on your physical body. The result is the clearing of energy blockages, using a philosophy similarly to that which allows acupuncturists to heal the physical body. The Reiki master works on the Qui, ki, or chi, the life force that exudes from each human and object; once the blockages are healed health is restored. Reiki is valued for its ability to enhance peacefulness, raise and expand ones vibrations as well as soothe emotional turmoil, helps to reduce anxiety, stress or depression. There are many people who state that Reiki has helped to soothe their addiction or behavioral problems as well as to heal biological ailments, and for some, even transcend the physical realm and enter the spiritual. Reiki is a spiritual experience and space where you work on expanding and enhancing the spiritual body. Many local hospitals are now working with Reiki practitioners, having them perform this healing on their sick patients to relax and reduce healing time.
The knowledge of this energetic presence has a fascinating derivation. It is said that all Reiki Practitioners receive their abilities through the essence of the great Reiki master, Usui, who long ago sat atop a mountain in Japan. Usui’s ascension occurred in the midst of a 21 day meditation; it was during the last day that cosmic and ancient wisdom was revealed to him. Usui, with his new found ability became a great healer; it was only later in his life that he began to share this power with a select few, who then shared it with still a few more. The process towards becoming a Reiki master is time honored and much coveted, only one who has reached the highest master level is able to transfer the full vibratory force from one person to the next.
Some people may be confused as to how Reiki is different from a massage. At The Counseling and Wellness Center, individual Reiki sessions begin with the receiver laying atop a traditional massage table and in some cases a chair. Reiki makes use of very light touch and often no touching at all. The Reiki practitioner serves as a channel for the divine energy which flows through each person, this energy outpours from the practitioner’s hands into the points on the recipient’s body, mind, or spirit, which are calling the practitioners sacred knowingness towards healing. The Reiki master is also able to work from a distance by calling upon the power of ancient symbology, through distance Reiki, the master need not be in any close proximity to send the necessary vitality to the recipient.
Reiki is effective in many forms, we offer Reiki for groups, Reiki certification training for practitioners, as well as Reiki for pets.
Group reiki differs from individual, group reiki is done by invoking a meditative setting, the participants will enter a space that may contain soft music, incense and candles. The Reiki master will ask that each person takes a seat as they are guided through a brief guided imagery meditation. Through the progress of the meditation the master will have you contact the divine energy or a sacred seat of wisdom within your self. By giving the participant the opportunity to focus on the mechanics of breathing, you will find yourself in the depths of relaxation. The Reiki master will encourage your conversation with your internal dialogue and he or she, in communion with her own divine self, may even be in receipt of a message for you. You can expect to hear unintelligible chanting that speaks to your unconscious parts, drumming, tuning forks, and bells. Sometimes the participant can expect to be physically touched in one of the Reiki points which are the houses of your chakra energy sources. The Reiki master will work to unblock traumas or point of angst in an effort for your energy to flow in a more harmonious and attuned manner which is the natural flow of your true self. The Reiki master will likely encourage you to drink extra water after your session and for the days to come. Just as the ancient and first Reiki Master Usui meditated for 21 days, Reiki continues to do its work on your physical, emotional, and spiritual self for 21 days to come.
Many people find it helpful to incorporate the bi-weekly or monthly practice of Reiki into their wellness program. The opportunity to focus on breathing and relaxation instills other areas of life with greater bliss and creativity, there are some that even taut some rather astonishing spiritual benefits that have come from their Reiki practice. We will depart from this petite explication while leaving you the reader with the encouragement to continue growing and discovering all of the many parts to yourself and the universe which may compel and enchant you!
In Health and Wellness,
The Counseling and Wellness Center of Pittsburgh
Offering Psychotherapy and Marriage Counseling
830 Western Avenue Pittsburgh Pa 15233Learn More