Manage anxiety effectively with self-compassion

Waking up every morning with a feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach, rising into your chest, before you are even fully awake – Does this sound familiar? Beating yourself up for not feeling stronger, more confident, courageous? Does that really help or make things worse?

Research shows that by applying some simple mindful self-compassion strategies you can reduce anxiety and related symptoms.

There is a large and growing body of research (including my own) supporting the health and wellness benefits of self-compassion. It is strongly associated with fewer negative states like depression, anxiety, stress, shame, and negative body image, and it is strongly linked to more positive states like happiness, life satisfaction, and optimism.

I am an integrative psychotherapist by profession and have completed training courses in Compassion Focused therapy under Professor Paul Gilbert. I also have the privilege of being a ‘trained Mindful self-compassion teacher’.

Mindful Self- Compassion has changed my life for the better in so many ways, both personally and professionally, and I live in daily gratitude for all that I have been taught by those who have walked before me and led the way.

When I was much younger than I am now I had my first panic attack at the age of 21. I had suffered from anxiety but was unaware of its impact or that it was not simply physical state.

A personal journey

A couple of practices to Promote Calm

There are many techniques and strategies shared on the MSC programme and through mindfulness practice. A couple of quick and easy ways to settle anxiety are shared here:

Soles of the feet

This is a very effective way to anchor your awareness in body sensation, especially when you’re upset and can’t calm yourself down.

  • Stand up and feel the soles of your feet on the floor. Rock forward and back a little, and side to side. Make little circles with your knees, feeling the changes of sensation in the soles of your feet.
  • When you notice your mind has wandered, just feeling the soles of your feet again.
  • If you wish, you can begin to walk slowly, noticing the changing sensations in the soles of your feet. Noticing the sensation of lifting a foot, stepping forward, and placing the foot on the floor. Doing the same with both feet as you walk.
  • As you walk, perhaps also noticing for a moment how small the surface area of your feet are, and how hard your feet work to keep your body off the ground. See if you can notice that with appreciation or gratitude.
  • When you are ready, returning to standing.

I am thrilled to be able to share the link today for the Anxiety podcast I recently recorded for ‘The Hustle’ for young professionals -with Mara Polansky

The Hustle Hour sponsored by JCI Manchester

Here are some links!

HustleHour – The Science of Anxiety

HustleHour – Spotify

HustleHour – iTunes

Anxiety podcast on the Hustle