What I want you to know is that your fear or anxiety is caused by a previous experience or an unpleasant memory. When your mind receives a “perceived threat” your body starts looking for ways to fight it. This often results in tight shoulders, headache, dizziness, sweat, and lots, lots, lots of stress. Nobody needs that!
Here are 5 effective steps you can follow when anxiety kicks in:
1. Create positive actions with your words:
Use the right language when recognizing your anxiety. When you say “I get anxiety when I am in loud places” your body automatically goes into “fear and anxiety mode” when you are in a loud place. Learn to replace those words with an action statement such as “If I start feeling anxious about the noise level, I will find a quiet corner where I can take a break”. Having a “pre-planned” action to counteract triggers will reduce your level of anxiety as you no longer have to worry about “what would I do if…”.
2. Practice awareness:
Recognizing your body’s reactions to anxiety such as sweaty palms, itchiness, hunger, or neck pain is very important. Remember, you can’t do anything about a problem if you don’t know what the problem is or how it is presented.
I recommend using what is known in the yoga world as Ujjayi Breath, which is an ancient breathing technique used to calm the mind and the body. To begin Ujjayi Breath, breathe through your nose slightly deeper than normal. With your mouth closed, exhale the breath through your nostrils while constricting your throat muscles. If you are doing this correctly, you should sound like Darth Vader (from Starwars of course…).
4. Find warmth:
Heat helps the body regain a sense of calmness. Taking a warm shower, drinking warm caffeine-free tea, or sitting under the sun are all good choices to reduce anxiety.
5. Throw in some “quickies”:
– Quickly tighten and release your muscles. Tighten your body after you breath in, hold, slowly “let go” of the muscle tension as you breath out.
– Quick 3 minute break: Stop what you are doing and take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed. This is truly effective when you focus on it!
– Quick stretch: Your choice between raising your arms up to the ceiling or reaching down to your toes. What’s important is to give your body an opportunity to move and release tension.
– Quick reassurance words: Remind yourself that “everything will be ok” because it will.
Yours in Health,