Practicing Self-Care to Ease Your Anxious Mind

July 16, 2019
When you're anxious, the present seems meaningless and the future scares you. One way to reduce your anxiety is through self-care. Read all about this here!

An anxious mind is a chaotic and disordered mind. It shuts down your potential and takes you to a place of weakness and misery. If you want to take control of your mind, look for the strategy that best fits your personality. However, there’s one strategy that always works: practicing self-care. Listen to yourself and make sure you have what you need.

Constantly feeling worried and anxious is exhausting. The ironic thing is that the more exhausted you are and the more energy your brain has used, the harder it’ll be to rest. That’s because exhaustion doesn’t always lead to sleep. You sleep when you feel calm and your mind is quiet.

It isn’t easy to live with anxiety. Nevertheless, many people suffer from it. In fact, data suggests that even though it’s a treatable condition, only 35% of people with anxiety actually seek help.

Some people are chronically anxious. They have a terrible quality of life, don’t fulfill their potential, and are worried about the future. Chronic anxiety even puts their physical health at risk. Given the serious implications of living with an anxious mind, let’s take a look at how self-care can address this potentially serious problem.

“When you’re present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it.”

-Eckhart Tolle-

A mind breaking into pieces.

Practicing Self-Care isn’t Self-Indulgent

Self-care is essential in the demanding and uncertain world we live in. The concept emerged in the 80s when health care professionals first started talking about the importance of having healthy habits to reduce the impact of stress and anxiety.

It wasn’t long before the marketing world appropriated the term, which has led to some confusion about what it actually means. The beauty industry launched a whole slew of products labeled “self-care”, which is why people usually associated the idea with bath salts, lotions, shampoos, and even food that was supposed to make you feel good. Consequently, it’s important for the field of psychology to clarify the foundations of good self-care.

What’s Self-Care?

  • Self-care is more than pampering yourself or spoiling yourself. Practicing self-care means doing specific things that help you reduce anxiety, fear, and stress.
  • Self-care is peace. It means achieving an inner balance that allows you to recharge your batteries and stay energized.
  • Self-care is an everyday practice. If you really want to calm your anxious mind, you have to have a daily self-care plan. Although it doesn’t have to be elaborate, it requires a certain amount of dedication. Practicing self-care for a few days and then forgetting about it won’t do you any good. Well-being requires commitment.

A study conducted at Queen’s University at Kingston in Canada explained that self-care is a set of activities that an individual does in a day. Practicing self-care causes positive changes in your life and actually helps reduce the risk of a significant number of diseases.

A woman practicing self-care.

Five Self-Care Strategies to Calm Your Anxious Mind

Pessimism, excessive worry, feeling out of control, psychological exhaustion… The anatomy of an anxious mind is unique to each individual, but these are some of the things most anxious people deal with.

Before you turn to pharmaceuticals for help and before you say “This is just how I am, there’s nothing I can do”, you should try some of these strategies.

A Safe Space to Calm Your Anxious Mind

A safe space is a corner, bench, or a chair in front of a window that makes you feel calm. It’s your comfort zone where you can spend at least 15-20 minutes a day. During that time, you’ll connect with yourself to check-in and see how you’re doing.

This safe space allows you to enjoy a moment of solitude. When you’re alone, you can focus on having a positive internal dialogue. You can practice being kind to yourself. Address your worries and convince yourself that everything will be fine. It’s a moment to relieve your anxiety and, most importantly, rationalize your fears.

Schedule Happy Moments

Happiness is well-being and contentment. It means being satisfied with yourself just as you are, no more, no less. Practicing self-care means scheduling some kind of activity every day that makes you feel those things. You need an hour or two every day to rest, have fun, and positively motivate your brain.

Again, it doesn’t have to be something elaborate. Anything that jives with your passion and personality will do the trick. You can go for a walk, take a class, listen to music, or go out with friends. The possibilities are endless!

Something to Help You Unwind

You have to have a way to let off steam and release all your pent up energy and tension. Yoga, meditation, sports, the creative arts… Any of those are great ways to rest and restore your mind and body.

A woman outdoors stretching.

Invest in Your Health

Self-care also means taking care of your physical health. Don’t forget that this requires a firm commitment. Things as basic as your diet and daily habits have an important impact on your well-being. You have to make a plan and stick to it. Indulgences are fine every once in a while and are also part of good self-care. But on a day-to-day basis, committing to habits such as eating well and exercising will make you feel great.

Taking care of your health means focusing on prevention. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of illness is to pay attention and listen to your body and your mind. Don’t brush off the pain, don’t wait to go to the doctor. If you push things to the back burner, they could get much worse. Lastly, remember that living with an anxious mind isn’t really living, it’s surviving. Practicing self-care can help you break free of your limitations and live your best life.

  • Godfrey CM 1 , Harrison MB , Lysaght R , Lamb M , Graham ID , Oakley P  (2011) The experience of self-care: a systematic review., 76 (2), 1–16.  DOI https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27819888