Activities engage the mind's problem solving skills. They galvanize the I-Can-Do-It Karate Master in you: she or he who fears not the pen, page or keyboard. Set aside ten minutes to do something about your anxiety. Action stirs us out of helpless feelings. Thoughtful (not impulsive) activity reduces anxiety and opens the way toward creative solutions.
Try the activities from Anxiety Soothers below.
Activity: Observe and Accept
Observe. Get some internal distance by looking at what you are feeling, and then speak it to yourself: Oh, this is fear! (Pain, anger, jealousy, stress, etc.) Objectively naming a feeling helps you not be engulfed by it, bumps you back, and gives you a micro break from it. Then, accept it. "I accept that I am having fear." Otherwise you will expend energy fighting with reality - and that is truly an exhausting and futile activity. Accepting is an active process: choose to accept, rather than resist. Accepting is NOT the same as surrendering, agreeing or approving. Accept, because then what is happening can flow through you and not get stuck. Observe what happens in your body when you sincerely say, "I accept this fear." Is there a little shift? What happens to your shoulders, your breath?
Creative: Yes, You!
Forget about any negative critique you may have received, creativity is in your DNA! Creativity is simply making things, and it is a vital asset in the “prevention and maintenance” category for those who suffer with anxiety. When I am being creative, say cutting up magazines for collage, I get lost in a place that is far removed from anxiety. (Of course, The Judge, or Critical Voice, is not allowed to enter my creative space—and must not be allowed in yours!) Even if I am simply writing, I have entertaining images and dialogues bouncing around in my head.
Creative space is sensory and, thus, grounding. It involves color, texture, form and sound—even if only restful humming and happy snorts. Think about when you sew, carve wood, cook, paint, play a musical instrument, garden, scrapbook, slither clay through your hands—or bread dough—let alone when you sing or dance. There is no space for anxiety when we fully give ourselves over to in-the-moment creative endeavors. Enlarge the space that is not anxiety: nourish your creativity.