Anxiety has a way of peeking it’s ugly little head into our lives when we least expect it. Whether you’re in a staff meeting or riding the bus home, you shouldn’t be left unprepared when anxiety arrives. So here are 3 things you can easily tuck into your purse to manage anxiety.
1. Chewing Gum
Gum isn’t just for little kids or funky breath. In addition to its flavor, chewing gum lowers cortisol (your body’s stress hormone) and reduces negative mood; making chewing gum an easy and inexpensive way to regulate your body’s nervous system. For more regulation, center your thoughts on the different levels of flavor as you chew the gum or try to count each time that you chew. By focusing your thoughts, you’re able to slow your body and gain more control.
We're not talking about bubbles for bath time. Instead, we're talking about that fun soapy mess you made when you were a child.
When dealing with anxiety, your breathing can become dysregulated and lead to hyperventilation and an increased heart rate. Before you reach for a brown bag, try blowing bubbles. A steady stream of bubbles, requires you to center and slow your breathing. Once you do this, you’ll notice that your heart rate will slow down over time.
Obviously, you won't be able to blow bubbles during a stressful meeting with your supervisor but they're always a great way to decompress on a 15 minute break. Give it a try and see what you notice!
You may want to put the bubbles in a plastic bag to prevent any spills.
3. Play doh
By now, you may have noticed a school yard theme. Before you roll your eyes, consider keeping a small container of play-doh in your purse. For many people, shaky hands are our body's signal that our anxiety is increasing. By rolling and shaping the playdoh, our hands have a safe way to release the energy that we held in our hands.
Not only is it a great way to transfer nervous energy through your hands, but you can also create play-doh at home and infuse it with essential oils. By incorporating essential oils into homemade play-doh, you’ll engage multiple senses of the body, touch and smell.
So take a moment and add these goodies to your purse. You can easily purchase each of these suggestions at Dollar Tree for $1 each. The worst that could happen is that they're not as helpful as you'd like and you lose $3. The best option is that you’re able to manage your anxiety and avoid a panic attack or at least manage the symptoms before it reaches a level 10.
o give it a try and see what works for you. If you have a trick that works for you, share it in the comments below.