If the anxiety is in your body, use your body as a way to calm it. Nutrition and water helps teach your body it is safe and secure 🤍 #learnontiktok♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) - Danilo Stankovic
Anyone with anxiety can tell you that this condition doesn't just exist in your brain. Sure, there are mental and emotional symptoms, but anxiety can also affect your body physically by causing muscle tension, high heart rate, headaches, digestive issues, dizziness . . . the list goes on. Therapist Courtney Tracy, LCSW, PsyD, experiences severe anxiety herself (in her own words, "really f*cking severe" anxiety), and as she recently shared on TikTok, she's still working on addressing the physical aspect of it. "My body is the last part of myself I'm trying to teach that it doesn't need to be so anxious," she explained in a comment.
For Dr. Tracy, that means implementing four key strategies, which she explained in a concise, helpful TikTok in February.
- Take a five to 15 minute break. First thing's first: set aside the time to reset yourself physically, even if it's just a few minutes.
- Drink some water. "Often, I can work my entire day and not eat or drink anything," Dr. Tracy said. During her 15-minute break, her goal is to drink an entire water bottle.
- Eat a nutritious meal or snack that sits well in your stomach. For Dr. Tracy, this means a smoothie and some eggs. She especially likes eggs, she said, because they're easy for her stomach to digest. "It doesn't cause me to get too full or too bloated," she explained, which she said would only add to her anxiety.
- Breathe. Take a few deep breaths to ground yourself and relax.
As much as anxiety can feel like a mental health condition, it's physically taxing, too. Acknowledging and addressing all the ways anxiety can affect you, one by one, can help you feel more centreed and in tune with yourself. Take Dr. Tracy's advice: a short break and some food and water is a good place to start.