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3 Tips for Managing Anxiety and Overwhelm

Well it has been a hot minute since I've written a blog and a lot has happened in the last two months! If you are on my email list, you know that Sprout has recently opened up an office space here in Kalispell (located at 267 1st Ave EN) and now two days a week are for house call appointments and two days a week are in office appointments. It is a very exciting transition but not without its hiccups!

And as with all things in life, it is a change, and for me, change tends to bring feelings of anxiousness and overwhelm. Thankfully, in my line of work I have learned tools along the way to help cope with these types of feelings. Because yes, I am a human being too and have feelings :)

Anxiousness, overwhelm, burn out, running on empty, fight or flight, dissociated, however you handle stress, it is important to know that you do not have to stay stuck in those feelings. I used to feel (well let's be honest I still definitely feel the feels sometimes) like I was stuck feeling stressed out. I've since learned thought that does not have to be the case!

Here are 3 things that have been a gamechanger:

  1. Activating my vagus nerve. Activating the who?? The vagus nerve is a nerve that travels from your brain down your neck into your chest and abdomen, and innervates the majority of the abdominal organs. Ever feel like you have a pit in your stomach or nauseated when you are stressed? Your vagus nerve is at work. You can change the tone of the information traveling along your vagus nerve and help to calm your nervous system down. Here's how: hum, gargle water, wash your hands in cold water or take a cold shower, or lightly press on your closed eyelids.

  2. Breathwork. Different breathing patterns can interrupt the panicky breathing that stress brings. The 4-7-8 breath pattern (inhale for 4, hold for 7, exhale for 8) is one great way to relax your body through breath. Google 4-7-8 breath for more details.

  3. Grounding. Grounding techniques are ways to calm your system through your 5 senses. My favorite is standing barefoot outside in the grass. Alternatively, you can do an exercise where you identify 5 things that you see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.

Let me know if any of these help, or if you have any other ways you like to relax and calm yourself during times of overwhelm!

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