Anxiety is on the rise among both adults and children alike. In a post pandemic time, with more stressors than many of us have ever seen, it is now more important than ever to reign in anxiety. So, what is anxiety in the first place? Anxiety can more easily be understood as your body’s flight or fight response in an attempt to keep you safe. While occasionally having anxiety is not abnormal, anxiety that hinders us from performing daily duties and functioning well can be problematic. Tackling anxious symptoms can at times feel like an impossible task. However, I’m happy to share that one very effective way to reduce anxiety symptoms is getting fresh air.
Airing Out Anxiety is a concept that I love due to its simplicity and effectiveness. To “air out anxiety”, you simply take a step outside. That’s it! It’s that simple! Changing your environment to a place outdoors or an area that allows for fresh air and sunshine increases your ability to refocus and ground yourself. Grounding yourself refers to being able to bring yourself to the present moment and being more mindful of the here and now. Speaking of mindfulness, when taking a step outside, being mindful of your surroundings allows for more effectively reducing anxiety symptoms. For parents with anxious children, practicing this concept not only encourages them to implement this strategy when they are alone but also subconsciously reinforces your support for your child. And how great is that… fresh air, reduced anxiety symptoms, and passive bonding! Next time you find yourself or your child struggling to function at an optimal level due to anxiety, try to “air it out” with 15 minutes of stepping outside. Below are a few additional activities you can implement when stepping outside to air out the anxiety.
*Count the different color leaves on the trees
*Take off your socks and shoes and stand in the grass
*Play “I Spy” while sitting in the grass or on your porch Should you choose to give any of these suggestions a try, feel free to tag us. We’d love to see and are rooting for you!
By Alyxandra Paige MS, APC