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Palm Clenching to Navigate Anxious Oceans | DIY Anxiety Management

You might want to read my post about using hand grippers to handle oncoming anxiety first to get an idea about this piece of writing. Essentially, after seeing all those stress balls lying around, even shown on TV and the movies, I decided to try this technique of keeping your hands busy to calm yourself. Yes, it works! Now, I am trying to find ways of using this more as a part of my daily life. Clenching your palms is easy. Yes, you can clench a lot of things but not every type of clenching is about releasing the pressure that builds up over a period. From my observations, being anxious and clenching the muscles around your gut can worsen issues like mental health-linked IBS. Now, read ahead to understand this very common but rarely talked about anxiety management tip:

Clenching Tips | How to Clench for Anxiety Relief | What not to Clench?

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You can do it when seated behind the steering wheel. You can do it when waiting in the meeting room for the clients to walk in with their queries. You can do it when you are really getting it and don’t have room to escape, but have space under the table to clench it. There are many levels at which the simple exercise of clenching your fingers, inside your palm and then pressing it slightly works:

  • Creates a moment of distraction – when you are stressed, you need some distraction stimulus for your mind and body. A simple clench, hold and go regimen can help. Just try it when stuck in a traffic jam
  • Creates a moment of vasoconstriction – you need to read about how ice-packs work in alleviating anxiety by combining vasoconstriction and vasodilation. Essentially, blood supply is held-up and then let go and returned to normal within a few seconds, creating a feeling of wellness 
  • Works better than stress balls – this type of pinching is more pronounced since your fingers and nails actually press harder into the skin. You feel it more, making it more effective than some fuzz ball
  • Lets you know there is immediate help – many people diagnosed with chronic anxiety can get anxious about having forgotten their tablet for the day in the lead-up to a big meeting. Now, you can relax. Help is available, literally within your grasp!
  • Find clenching possibilities that are unseen - you might be in a situation where you need to clench to let go of the anxiety but there are too many eyeballs staring at you. Here, you can clench in a way that is not easily visible. This includes your big toe or holding your hands together in a casual manner and squeezing one of the fingers. The squeeze should be hard and even if it hurts for a second, don't hesitate...this will not kill! 
    Not all clenching is good!
    Many people with constant anxiety symptoms tend to clench-in and hold their butt-cheeks. This is not the type of clenching I am recommending. This is something you don't want to do as it can cause acidity and reflux too.

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