Anxiety Reduction Exercises: Over Energy Correction and Butterfly Hug

By Kaylen Hagadorn, LCSW

Often, when we feel overwhelmed by anxiety, we are unable to focus or calm ourselves down in the moment. Two easy techniques that can be done quickly are "Over Energy Correction" and the "Butterfly Hug." See instructions below for both:

Over Energy Correction:

  1. Find a comfortable chair to sit in

  2. Cross your left ankle over your right ankle

  3. Extend your arms in front of your body, thumbs down, palms out

  4. Cross your right hand over your left hand and interlace your fingers

  5. Roll your hands up to your chest and tuck them under your chin

  6. Place your tongue against the roof of your mouth, just behind the center ridge

  7. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for two minutes

Follow this link for video instruction:

Butterfly Hug:

Cross your arms over your chest, so that the tip of the middle finger from each hand is placed below the clavicle or the collarbone, and the other fingers and hands cover the area that is located under the connection between the collarbone and the shoulder and the collarbone and sternum or breastbone. Hands and fingers must be as vertical as possible so that the fingers point toward the neck and not toward the arms.

Now interlock your thumbs to form the butterfly’s body and the extension of your other fingers outward will form the Butterfly’s wings.

Your eyes can be closed, or partially closed, looking toward the tip of your nose. Next, you alternate the movement of your hands, like the flapping wings of a butterfly. Let your hands move freely. You can breathe slowly and deeply (abdominal breathing), while you observe what is going through your mind and body such as thoughts, images, sounds, odors, feelings, and physical sensation without changing, pushing your thoughts away, or judging. You can pretend as though what you are observing are like clouds passing by

Follow this link for video instruction:

Kaylen Hagadorn is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support in prioritizing and taking care of your mental health, contact Cobb Psychotherapy and see how therapy can help.