During the holidays, it can always be helpful to have different coping skills in your toolkit for dealing with stress and anxiety. We may already have some strategies we’ve developed (for more ideas, check out last year’s blog post on coping skills). But trying something outside of our usual routine can help to interrupt stress responses and help us to get grounded and find some ease amidst fast-paced activities and external pressures around the holidays.
Using pressure points involves holding pressure on a specific point on the body for about 2-3 minutes. In this instructional video, Dr. Jamie Marich shares seven different pressure points, and how to engage them for anxiety relief.
You don’t have to have any experience with energy work to try pressure points. You might even feel doubtful about it making a difference for your anxiety. Dr. Marich emphasizes that you don’t need to “believe in” energy work to get benefits from using pressure points. They can help to create a point of contact for grounding in our sensations, allow for a moment of mindful presence in our bodies, and help to create a routine that brings us ease.
These pressure points can be especially helpful for reducing the physical symptoms of anxiety, like racing heart rate and nausea (one that bothers me a lot).
Using pressure points is something we can do at anytime, with no equipment required besides our bodies. But, Dr. Marich does also include variations of these exercises using household objects like tennis balls and socks to make them more comfortable and accessible.