I’ve suffered from anxiety and nervousness ever since I can remember. In recent years I’ve learned to calm my nervous system using different mindfulness tools I’ve picked up along the way. As someone whose anxiety was crippling leading to panic attacks, depression, and syncope (fainting) I can guarantee results almost immediately. I’ve had every type of anxiety from social anxiety to anxiety leading up to an event or even just from being alone. You name it, I’ve most likely experienced it. Please remember you are NOT alone if you’re only just beginning to heal your mind and your body.

If you’re hoping to heal anxiety, and move through these feelings quickly and legitimately change the connections in your brain, keep reading. I’m a transformational mentor who studied Psychology and Neuroscience in college as well as completely transformed my own life and mind over the past seven years. I experienced all different types of abuse growing up. From sexual abuse to emotional abuse and physical, I’ve had to learn to calm my nervous system and my body in order to function like a normal human being. If you want to hear more about my story you can listen here or read some of my other blogs related to healing, spirituality and mindfulness.

Feel Free to Reach Out

I’m an open book so if you have any questions or need more guidance along the way to healing your anxiety PLEASE reach out through Instagram, email, or any of my other platforms. This journey is not one that ends, but these tips and tricks for calming your anxiety and mind will forever be in your back pocket once you get the hang of them. The more often you utilize mindfulness the quicker the connections happen in your brain for the next time you’re triggered. Yay for neuroscience!

So let’s get to it.

My top tips for getting rid of anxiety or nervousness:

Whether you’re anxious about an event coming up, thoughts of the past, or from drinking too much alcohol the night before; these tips can help return your mind and body to a state of ease.


I bet you see the word “breath work” and imagine a lot of work. But breathwork isn’t the 45 minute class that leads to emotional breakdowns and screaming you’ve probably hear about from other yogis. Breathwork is literally just BREATHING!

Here are a few breathing techniques I use to calm my anxiety and bring myself back to the present moment (anxiety is just a fear of the future after all).

Box Breath

This breathwork technique is just counting to four, but you can imagine drawing a box in your mind as well. Breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds, and hold for four. Repeat this breathing pattern over and over until you feel your body and mind settle down.

Breathe out

This one is super simple! Breathe out, but while you do, blow like you’re blowing out a candle on your birthday. This breathing technique releases pent up energy trapped inside (which manifests as anxiety!). I use this on the way to every photo session I have, or other big event I may feel nervous for.

Belly Breaths

Breathe into your belly! Most of us breathe into our chests all day long when really, the air should be filling your stomach. Instead of breathing “up” and feeling our chest go up, we should be breathing down, visualizing the breath going down to our stomach. Practice this one as often as possible and it will bring you towards living a more constant state of peace overall.



Stop your negative thoughts or anxiety in its tracks using daydreaming! This anxiety healing technique is my favorite life hack overall. Anxiety is really just fear of the future, or death, so visualize what you WANT to happen instead of imagining the worst. Envision yourself after the event you’re so worried about, or even just envision yourself the next day. Think about what you’ll do and watch yourself doing it in your mind. Your nervous system will calm down on its own knowing you’ll in fact make it to live another day (duh!).


Ground in the Present Moment

Instead of visualizing the future bringing up a whole lot of worry, just focus in on the present moment. Use the age old panic attack technique where you pay attention to your senses. Name something you smell, hear, see, feel, and even taste. A favorite technique I use is visualizing the air (this sounds absolutely insane I know, but it’s possible!). I first read about this anxiety hack in Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now”. He talks about looking at the space where nothing is, and seeing it in your mind’s eye if that makes sense. Once you get the hang of this one its effects can be felt immediately and you can do it anywhere without anyone noticing.



Easing your anxiety can be as easy as writing about how you’re feeling! More often than not we can’t get a hold of our anxious thoughts because we don’t even consciously realize what’s causing them. For whatever reason, writing things out calms our nervous system and allows thoughts to flow freely so that you can actually get to the root of the issue. If you don’t want to have a journal laying around with your deepest thoughts for anyone to read, you can write them on a Notes app in your phone or on a computer. Then just backspace what you’ve typed out once you’ve figured out the cause of your anxiety.


My Heart-Flipping Technique

I know, you’re thinking what the heck does a heart-flip even mean? But it’s the only way to describe the feeling that’s worked for me for YEARS. I once explained this anxiety technique to my own therapist and she was in awe. But basically, you flip the energy you can feel on your chest. When anxiety makes you cower, hunch your shoulders and feel as if something is on top of your chest pushing it in and back, this technique does the opposite. PUSH your chest out, use power to feel that pressure leaving your chest and push the energy away. Stand tall, exude confidence and push your shoulders back. Breathe in while you do all of this and watch as you feel powerful and less anxious. I use this anxiety and mindfulness technique whenever I do anything I’m nervous for – meeting new people, an event, a photo session, anything.


Find Comfort

This one should be obvious but a lot of the times our anxiety stops us from doing the things we know will make us feel better. So try really hard to take care of yourself. Do something that makes you feel safe, happy, or nostalgic.


Move Your Body

Do something to shift your anxious energy! This can be whatever feels good to you. My favorites are weightlifting, walking outside, going for a run, yoga, or even dancing like a fool with my kids.


Catherine Seelie sitting at a boho dining room table with her children at the StayHereOBX Outer Banks air bnb during the Winter season. {Catherine Julia Tips for Healing Anxiety}


Need something a little stronger to heal anxiety?

While I’m not currently on any type of medication, I have used many in the past with a lot of success. BUT I understood that being on medication for anxiety, depression and panic attacks could be temporary if I wanted it to be. So often, people think they have to stay on medicine for the rest of their lives when really, they may just be in a weird stage of life that requires a little extra help! 

I used anxiety medication as a teenager going through a major life change, as a young mom in an unhealthy relationship trying to cope, and again during a pregnancy with a lot of life stressors. Each time, I’ve worked through my stress and made changes in my mind, environment and body so that I could eventually ween off of medication altogether and go on living my life. Who knows if I’ll need medication again in the future during a stressful period. I’m not against it, but I will never rely on a medicine alone to deal with life as a regular old human with ups, downs, and everything in between.

If you’re having extremely difficult periods of anxiety or depression and don’t want to use medication just yet, these next techniques could help!


Essential Oils

I keep essential oils in my purse and in most rooms of my house. Some calming and balancing favorites are lavender, ylang ylang, geranium, and rosemary. My kids also use essential oils each night to fall asleep! If you’re looking for something to trigger your body to calm down, the same essential oil used at bedtime can be used during the day when anxiety strikes.


Ice Packs

I haven’t had to use this anxiety technique in a few years, but when I was at the height of my anxiety and panic attacks I read about using ice packs to calm your vagus nerve online. You can place an ice pack on your chest which stimulates your vagus nerve and calms your mind down. This used to work wonders, and I’d even fall asleep with the ice pack on my chest.

This could also be why cold plunges are all the rage these days. If you’re too lazy to create an ice bath or cold plunge every day like me, take a cold shower! I try to finish my morning showers with at least 30 seconds of ice water. I take VERY hot showers, so for me it’s a huge shift, but one that makes me feel instantly better and more energized. Just turn the shower to cold and count to 30 while facing the water to be sure you hit your vagus nerve on your chest. If you can’t put your whole body in at the beginning, start with just your feet or hands and work up to it!


CBD, Flower Essences or a Good Old Glass of Wine

CBD is one of my favorite things! Along with the Bach’s Rescue Remedy Stress Reliever gummies or tincture. I carry both in my purse and will use them immediately if stronger anxiety is coming on. Then if things continue, I’ll use the other techniques I listed. I don’t take any medication other than vitamins right now so having holistic and homeopathic tools in my back pocket is essential to staying medication-free. When all else fails and it’s appropriate, a glass of wine always does the trick! Just don’t overdo alcohol when you’re feeling anxious or it can make things even worse the next day. And don’t beat yourself up to it if you’re using a glass of wine or alcohol to cope for a while. It’s also a type of medication, just in a different form!


Get Creative and Pay Attention to your Environment

At the end of the day, you know yourself best. You know what makes you feel better and what doesn’t. You also know what your triggers are, and the people that cause you to feel anxious after being around them. Your environment plays a HUGE role in anxiety, depression, and more. So please be sure you’re looking at your outer environment as well as your inner world when trying to heal yourself.

“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” – Alexander Den Heijer

Also, don’t be afraid to feel a little crazy and make up your own healing techniques. Someone made all of these up at one point or another! They only became popular because they worked, and who’s to say your methods won’t work as well. Get outside your comfort zone and push judgment aside so that your body and mind can do what it knows how to do best – heal itself.

Want More Holistic Healing Content?

Hey, I’m Katie, a San Diego reiki practitioner and shaman. Aside from photography, I’m a total metaphysical book nerd (I even take notes in the margins). At home, I can be found practicing yoga or reiki, meditating, sketching or writing. I’m a momma of three and trying my hardest to raise them as confident, amazing humans. As a child, I never felt like I belonged anywhere, and it took years as an adult to train myself to let the real me shine through. This is what I’m always trying to teach my kids. Be weird. Be awkward. But above all, just be YOU.

For more holistic healing mindfulness tips, tricks + hacks, or just more info on breaking the cycle of childhood trauma, head over to my blog. You’ll find SO much education on how to heal yourself, raise amazing humans or do both at the same time! Of course, I don’t claim to know it all. But in order to heal my own anxiety, panic attacks, and stress-induced syncope, I’ve had to educate myself on so many things. So, I’m here to make your healing journey wayyyy shorter than mine!



Disclaimer: You should never disregard medical or other Professional Advice or delay seeking it because of a statement you have read and/or heard on this blog. This content should not be used in lieu of Professional Advice given by qualified medical professionals such as your doctor. Please seek professional help if your anxiety or depression becomes severe or you are having suicidal thoughts.



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