An Easy Tool to Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry, and fear that throws off your nervous system.


Your nervous system is constantly going back in forth all day long in a way that creates balance; for example, action to pausing and resting. Your nervous system will be thrown off balance if you continue to experience a heavy load of stress and anxiety. For example, if you had a trauma in your early years, you may find it hard to put on the brakes, which leaves you always “on” and your nervous system revved up – imagine driving a car and only able to press the gas pedal. If you are always on the gas pedal, then the brain will create a story to make sense of why you are feeling this way (this takes you away from working on the root cause). The first step is learning how to calm your body. Try the butterfly hug to reduce anxiety:

Cross your hands across your chest, with your middle fingers resting on your collarbones. Raise your elbows to create your butterfly wings. Slowly tap hands on your chest, alternating left and right. While tapping, breathe in through your nose and exhale through your nose until you start to feel some relief.

While you perform the butterfly hug come up with a phrase that suits you (e.g. “I’m alright.”). Start to be aware of what triggers you, and what gives you space to help your nervous system find a baseline.