A few years ago, I was really struggling to heal an old trauma. I was throwing every spiritual practice imaginable at it—yoga, bodywork, different types of therapy, you name it.
At the time, I was speaking at one of Deepak Chopra’s events and had the chance to talk to him about it. “Is it okay that I’m doing all of these practices at once?” I asked him with tears in my eyes. “Is it just making my anxiety worse?”
In his beautiful way, he replied, “Do whatever it takes to get closer to consciousness.”
I’ll never forget that moment, because Deepak’s words really validated what I was doing.
That journey of adding one spiritual practice and therapeutic tactic after the next ultimately helped me discover the anxiety relief techniques that led me to deep healing. And in this episode of Dear Gabby, I teach you how to do three of them.
I think of these techniques as my first responders when I’m struggling or suffering. My hope is that they will also help you release anxiety and move gracefully through tough times.
I worked really hard to unravel and heal the trauma from my past. I consider it my greatest accomplishment. In my book Happy Days, I take you along on my journey. I did whatever it was going to take to get me to a place where I felt freedom from my past trauma. And today I want to share three transformative practices I learned along the way.
Before we start, take a moment to close your eyes and simply notice what you notice in your body. On a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the most anxious, where are you? With each breath, become more and more curious. Where does anxiety live in your body? Does it strangle you? Is it in your stomach? What do you know about it? How long has it been around?
If it’s possible, extend a little bit of love and light to that anxious part of you. It’s not who you are, it’s a part of who you are. And just let that part of you know that right now you want to become a little bit more curious about it, while still honoring and respecting it.
As you become more curious, offer a lot of calm energy to the anxiety. On an inhalation, breathe in the willingness to offer that calm energy to your anxiety. And when you’re ready, just take another deep breath and open your eyes with a little bit more connection to your anxiety.
These anxiety relief techniques will help you release anxiety and find inner peace. They will help you move through what you’re struggling with and get closer to consciousness. They will help you stay open to the possibility of what true healing can look like for you.
anxiety relief technique no. 1: the voo chant
I love this practice because when we chant, we actually create vibrational resonance in our body. It allows the vagus nerve to relax the entire nervous system. You’ll want to do this practice in private so you don’t limit your ability to fully embody the voo chant.
- Sit comfortably.
- Inhale slowly.
- Pause momentarily.
- On the out breath, make an extended voooooo sound, sustaining the sound throughout the entire exhalation. Vibrate the sound as if it were coming from your belly, and focus on the vibrations. Give yourself permission to make this sound as a full belly expression.
- At the end of the breath, pause briefly and allow the next breath to slowly fill your belly and chest again.
- When the in breath feels complete, pause and then make the voooooo sound again on the exhale until it feels complete.
- It’s important to let the sound and breath expire fully before pausing. Let the next inhale come naturally. Don’t force it. Repeat several times, then rest.
Focus your attention on your body, primarily on your belly, waiting and allowing your body to naturally adjust to the shift in your nervous system.
anxiety relief technique no. 2: the heart hold
Place one hand on your heart and the other hand on your belly. This may seem like a small movement, but it is miraculous. It enables you to send a message of relaxation, safety and connection to your entire body.
When your hands are in place, you might close your eyes. Then, notice where your anxiety lives in your body and extend even more love to it, just letting it know you’re here and that you have so much compassion for this anxiety and want to connect to it.
anxiety relief technique no. 3: the “peace begins with me” practice
This is a practice I love doing throughout the day, and I even taught it to my son. It’s very simple and powerful.
Tap your thumb to your pointer finger, then tap your thumb to your middle finger, then tap your thumb to your ring finger, and finally tap your thumb to your pinkie finger. That is your mudra. And as you do this, repeat the mantra Peace begins with me.
So, as you tap your thumb to your pointer finger, you’ll say “peace.” As you tap your thumb to your middle finger, say “begins.” As you tap your thumb to your ring finger, say “with.” And as you tap your thumb to your pinkie finger, say “me.”
Peace begins with me.
Peace begins with me.
listen to this episode to learn:
- Why it took me three decades to remember my trauma—and what I did when it came back to me
- The specific techniques I turn to when I feel anxiety and fear creeping to the forefront of my mind and body
- A simple mudra and mantra that I practice with my son to help both of us calm down
- My personal (practical!) tip for moving from a place of fear to a place of love
Trust that these practices will help you move from a place of anxiety, fear and struggle to a place of deep and lasting healing. Trust that your body will be your guide along the way, revealing to you what needs to be resolved. And know that freeing yourself from whatever it is that needs to be healed will be the catalyst for emotional and physical relief.
Enjoy today’s episode and trust that you’ve got this. I’ll be here for you every step of the way.
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- If you feel you need additional support, please consult this list of safety, recovery and mental health resources. I’m proud of you for your commitment to self-care.
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This podcast is intended to educate, inspire, and support you on your personal journey towards inner peace. I am not a psychologist or a medical doctor and do not offer any professional health or medical advice. If you are suffering from any psychological or medical conditions, please seek help from a qualified health professional.