Woman meditating at home in front of her laptop.

Is someone testing you at work? Do you think about your chores and bills all the time? Are you overcome with worry over things you can’t control? Anxious thoughts are overwhelming, but they come and go like waves in the sea. Learn to protect your peace with these mindfulness practices, which you can do each time your intrusive thoughts get the better of you.

Connect with Your Surroundings

When your thoughts are jumping around from one what-if to another, it’s easy to overlook the simple joys of the present. When your fight-or-flight response is making you feel as if the world is turning against you, the best thing to do is reassure yourself that you are safe and sound.

Start by taking a deep breath through the nose as slowly as possible. Hold it for two seconds and exhale through your mouth. Repeat until you feel more at ease. According to research,  is an easy way to decelerate your heartbeat and alleviate anxiety symptoms. If you want to dial down the mental noise from overthinking, pair the breathing technique with a 5-4-3-2-1 grounding trick. Here’s how:

  • Look around and name five things you see. It could be a blue sky, a lamp, or your phone.
  • List four things you can touch, such as the chair you’re sitting on, the fabric of your clothes, and the cover of your notebook.
  • Find three things you can hear. Notice the sound of the air conditioner or the distant car honking from the street.
  • Take note of two things you can smell, from the perfume you’re wearing to the coffee in your cup.
  • Identify one thing you can taste in your mouth, like a hint of sweetness from the water you just drank.

Keep a Journal

One way to protect your peace is by processing your deepest thoughts and feelings. As tempting as it is to bury them, they will always surface unless you face them head-on. Research finds helps with regulating emotions and seeing silver linings during challenging times. Journaling can also help bridge communication between your heart and body. What emotions are you feeling right now? Why do you think you feel that way?

Take five to ten minutes to write them down without any judgment. And don’t worry too much about grammar or typos. When time is up, read what you have written. You may feel uncomfortable, but kindly remind yourself that is never a sign of weakness. Do this regularly, and it’ll become easier to control your reactions.

Know Your Triggers

When someone is being “overly sensitive,” they might be exhibiting a knee-jerk response triggered by past traumas. Your body keeps records of embarrassing and painful memories. It recognizes similar situations and, when triggered, elicits reactions like a thumping heart or rapid breathing. Try to trace the root of your anxiety. You can use your journal to keep track of it. Once you identify your triggers, you can be more prepared to handle them.

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Permit Yourself to Step Back

Any effort to protect your peace will only be effective with proper boundaries, which shield you from anxiety, exhaustion, and burnout. Being clear about what ticks you off doesn't make you selfish, as long as you communicate it with the people closest to you.

If someone crosses your boundaries once, give them the benefit of the doubt and let them know directly. You may feel compelled to say sorry but remember that you don’t have to apologize when asking for what you need. However, be firm when a person keeps testing your limits. In this case, enforce your boundaries again and remove yourself from the situation. You can only control your actions, not others.

Harness Your Adrenaline

When you get antsy, the body gets a jolt of energy, which prompts your body to get ready for action. This can make you shake your legs or bite your nails. Rather than doing compulsive activities to distract you from your mood, go outside and move your body. A walk around the park puts your adrenaline to good use and calms your nerves. Besides, reveals regular exercise can lower the risk of anxiety attacks by 60%.

Treat Yourself

Acts of self-love are not limited to or dining out every weekend. These gestures are nice and totally acceptable if you have the means, but everything must start with prioritizing .

Focus on working on yourself and feeling your best. Draw a bath in the evening to relax and establish a , which includes taking care of your skin and getting a body massage. Log out of your work account on weekends to take a break. Once you start focusing on yourself, you will see the wonderful woman that you are.

While there is no one-size-fits-all hack to managing anxiety, these tips can help protect your peace and get you out of the funk. You are in charge of your life, so happiness is yours to make.