Here Are Some Daily Rituals To Calm Your Anxiety

Practicing small daily rituals that bring comfort, inspiration, beauty, tranquility, or encouragement into our life anchors us, and can help reduce any feelings of anxiety.

Sitting down to a morning cup of coffee or tea and checking email, an afternoon walk, and doing 15 minutes worth of Tai chi or yoga are examples of rituals that build us up and soothe frayed nerves.

Reading poetry every day, even one poem can be a ritual and an anxiety management tool you might choose to experiment with. Poems entrain our mind, intuition, emotions, feelings, and physiology with the magic of vowels, consonants, rhythm, rhyme, imagery, alliteration, and metaphor.

Sometimes a poem will say something that we have been aching to put into words or remind us of something we did not know we knew. Poems can stir dormant feelings of sadness, love, and courage. They can let us know we are not alone.

A psychotherapist's experience with poetry as a therapy tool:

I’ve used poetry when working with people who have schizophrenia. Many with this disorder have a difficult time expressing themselves clearly since their mind processes information in a confusing way (confusing to those of us who do not think as they do).

An amazing thing happens when they read and discuss poetry. Some share profound insights, feelings, and ideas related to the poems that are so amazing, everyone listening to them sits with their chin on the floor. The poems connect something inside an individual with schizophrenia that is usually disconnected. At least, that’s how it seems to me.

This therapist’s experience illustrates that poetically inspired brain functions differently than when it is processing something logical. Usually, without our awareness, poetry alters the way thoughts and feelings move through and affect our mind and body.

Read the following poem to yourself, and then read it aloud, just as an experiment:

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Photo: Pixabay

Anxiety Support Groups

More Articles

Sometimes the best antidote to anxiety is the humor of Woody Allen. He has a genius for turning thoughts that make us quake with fear into ideas...

Effexor is an antidepressant that has been on the market since 1993. It is a member of the SNRI class of antidepressants (serotonin-norepinephrine...

Anxiety sufferers in the 21st century have a relatively new avenue of help and support: the Internet. As more and more people turn to Google first...

Depression and anxiety are currently considered as separate disorders. Some people clearly have one or the other, but many people experience an...

Dysthymia is a chronic depression that is less severe than major depression, but which can last for years at a time. While people with dysthymia...

More Articles

Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic, excessive worry. People with GAD feel exaggerated anxiety...

Hoarding behavior is typically associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but there is some debate as to whether hoarding is a symptom...

By now, everyone knows that exercise improves health on many levels--including mental health as well as physical health. There have been a number...

Postpartum depression can strike any new mother, no matter what her situation may be. Having a baby is one of the happiest moments in one's life....

Like all benzodiazepines, Ativan (generic: lorazepam) can cause both physical and psychological dependence. Stopping it suddenly often results in...

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, more commonly known as SSRIs, are a class of prescription drugs first developed to treat depression....

Hoarding is the behavior of acquiring an excessive number of items that have little or no value. While many people consider themselves to be "pack...

Nortriptyline, marketed in the United States under the trade names Pamelor and Aventyl, is a tricyclic antidepressant approved by the FDA to treat...

Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, are intense feelings of fear or stress that appear for no apparent reason and often begin without...

Part of going to school is taking tests, and you may be one of many students that experience intense test anxiety. This performance anxiety comes...

The revised psychiatric diagnostic manual, the DSM-5, has an interesting addition: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

So ladies, if...

Everyone who lives with bothersome anxiety symptoms should have a pouch or pocket in their bag or backpack that is an emergency calm-kit.

...

Vivactil (generic protriptyline hydrochloride) is a tricyclic antidepressant approved by the FDA to treat depression in adults (age 18 and over)....

We know it is necessary to breathe but do not always appreciate how important it is to breathe well.

In all types of meditation, energy...

Sometimes it seems that life would be easier without emotions. It’s true, we would not have to feel bad if they disappeared, but neither would we...