Three Witchy Ways I Reduce High Anxiety

I’m a Capricorn, which, for my non-astrology-savvy girls out there, means I’m success-driven and a perfectionist, and it is terrible for my high anxiety. Even after a day of glowing work reviews and countless praises from clients, my anxiety takes over and in my mind, and I have myself fired by Friday.

It’s maddening.

We’ve all felt anxiety one time or another — the familiar “Sunday scaries” provoked by the loaded workweek ahead or simply fear of the unknown. It can be downright debilitating at times, which is why I often turn to my "witchy" ways to reduce anxiety and chill out.

I’m sure a few stereotypes are coming to mind. While burning “magic candles” and oracle cards are a part of my daily routine, the only spell-casting I’m doing is setting goals for myself.

No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, I’ve discovered finding peace from crippling anxiety is about re-centering and holding loving space for yourself, something my spiritual practices have taught me how to do. So without further ado, here are three effective and witchy ways I reduce high anxiety.

Rituals

No, we’re not making any blood sacrifices here, so stick with me.

A lot of times, anxiety begins when we feel like things are out of our control — and often, they are. But setting intentions and focusing on what we can control is a great step for easing those fears — even if it’s simply acknowledging the anxious feeling and being gentle with ourselves.

Rituals help you take back that control, and they come in many forms: a daily morning meditation, an evening journaling session, a run around the block, creating art, prayer — all those feel-good things. By definition, rituals are actions or behaviors regularly followed by someone. They are a way to bring you to the present moment while actively placing an intention behind the action. They are also a way to give time to yourself.

I have a new moon ritual and a full-moon ritual, which involves meditation and journaling. When it’s a new moon, I write down my intentions for the coming weeks: what I want to accomplish that month or what new goal I’d like to achieve, and some steps to accomplishing that. When the full moon hits (and I want to avoid the crazies out), I stay home and journal about what I’d like to release. It allows me to take action against anxiety by setting small, achievable goals. Plus, it’s always wonderful to look back and see how far you’ve come and how your anxieties have or have not changed over time.

Forest Bathing

Sorry, folks — forest bathing does not mean running around the woods and dancing around an open fire naked with a tribe of women, but hey, if that’s your vibe, I’m here for it.

Rather, forest bathing, or Shirin Yoku, is actually a form of nature therapy scientifically proven to reduce anxiety, increase your energy, and clear the mind. It works, because it stimulates all five senses and requires you to be fully present in the moment, rather than in your worries. So next time you need to find serenity or emotional healing, try this:

Pick a spot in nature. Sit and begin to breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you do, focus on your breath and mama earth’s sounds around you. Feel the ground beneath you, and look at the leaves, trees, grassy hills, etc. that surround you. I promise, even if just for a moment, calm will wash over you.

Yaaas, Gaia.

Crystals     

Tell me you don’t feel your heart flutter every time you see a gorgeous amethyst crystal twinkling at you.

While the concept of using crystals for anxiety might seem like new-age woo woo, our ancestors have actually valued crystals for centuries, associating all kinds of healing and energetic properties to them. Many are described to hold a specific kind of energy, increase an intention, or help bring a manifestation to fruition, but today, I’m once again using them to bring you into the present moment.

A boss once gave me great work and, coincidentally, life advice: “You must slow down to speed up.”

Translation? You cannot accomplish any one thing when you’re trying to do it all at the same time. You cannot ease your anxiety when you’re living in it and solely participating in the actions that are triggering it. You need to slow down, and take a moment for yourself to be the best version of you. Much like stress balls, crystals can be a means for finding a moment to release pent up anxiety. Go ahead and even give 'em a squeeze!

When I’m anxious, particularly around work, I like to hold my palm-size crystals to ground me. The act of physically holding something and focusing on the feeling I want it to bring turns my attention away from the anxious thoughts and into the intention — even if just for a few moments. It’s about getting out of your mind and into the feeling, so that you can face it, acknowledge it, and allow yourself to move past it. When it comes to anxiety, most times all you’re dealing with is a thought, and a thought can be changed.

Crystals that ease anxiety. Jasper, turquoise, howlite — and any that call to you at the time (yes, really).


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