You know the signs…
Rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, and racing thoughts… are all signs of anxiety.
When anxious feelings arise, it’s time to reconnect.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health symptoms, and, for those who suffer, you are truly not alone in your feelings. Some of the most typical treatments for anxiety involve ways to be present in your environment by engaging with your surroundings. This includes using your five senses, deep breathing, and grounding techniques.
So, what does that really look like here in the City of Oaks? Use these local resources and businesses to calm your anxiety.
NC Museum of Art: Whether you are a lover of art or not, this museum truly has something for everyone. On a humid, Raleigh day, you can mosey around the portraits, statues, and expressive artwork at your leisure. Spend time focusing on the colors, textures, and design of each piece. Reflect on your emotional state when looking at the artwork. What is the artist portraying and how do you feel looking at it? If it’s a cooler Raleigh day, spend time strolling in the outdoor art park. Check out the massive Gyre rings and the spacious amphitheater. On your walk, stop and listen. What do you hear? Be mindful of nature all around you. This outdoor park is connected to the Capital Area Greenway System which has trails all over the Triangle so chances are, there is one near you.
JC Raulston Arboretum: This local arboretum has 10 beautiful acres to explore of botanical gardens. Take some deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth and chances are, you will smell something floral near you. As you walk, focus on the weight of your foot pressing down on the ground beneath you and feel connected, centered with the earth. What can you touch around you? A soft petal, a prickly pinecone, or the weight and feel of your camera in your hand capturing the scenery. It can feel refreshing to wander through the gardens but if you’d like more direction, check out the tours and workshops provided there to socialize with others or learn something new.
Cameron Village Regional Library: Although there are many wonderful local libraries around the Triangle, this one located in the Cameron Village Shopping Center, stands out. Explore the shelves of different genres, peruse the artwork, and say hello to the massive knight sculpture greeting you on the 2nd floor. As you meander through this open, two-story space, feel the sun’s rays shining through the large windows and see if you smell a new book calling your name. Pick up a book, feel the texture of the pages, and be reminded of the way it feels to get lost in a good story. This library as well as others in the area offer a wealth of knowledge in not only books but artistic programs for adults as well as storytimes for the youngsters.
Cinemark Raleigh Grande: Sometimes it can be beneficial to take a break from everyday life and immerse yourself in someone’s else’s story. What better way than the movies? Choose where you want to sit online before you come for optimal space and comfort. Stretch out in a cushy recliner with your feet up and enjoy the ultimate surround sound experience. Grab some yummy food to really engage your senses and take time to savor each bite, each flavor. Try to really slow it down and be present with your meal as well as with the show in front of you. Sometimes simply gaining a new perspective can shift your own.
Give one of these ideas a try the next time you’re struggling with anxious thoughts or feelings, and see if engaging your 5 senses at some great Raleigh attractions helps you to feel grounded and calm.
You may also find that anxiety therapy is helpful in reducing your anxious thoughts. We’re here to help, and we want you to move from surviving to thriving in all areas of your life.