My heartbeat races. My temperature rises. My stomach is in knots. I shake…..
The panic starts to rise…
My thoughts start spiraling to the worst could that happen, and suddenly I feel overwhelmed….so unprepared….like everything’s going to fall apart.
Well hello anxiety. My old familiar friend.
Navigating anxiety is a common struggle for many people. We can feel so powerless when it takes over, but that’s not actually true. It’s the opposite: We have all the control…all the power.
It’s in reminding ourselves and taking consistent action, that we take control…take away control from anxiety…and get back to living.
Here are 10 strategies to help navigate your anxiety:
1. Be compassionate with yourself.
We judge ourselves so critically for feeling a certain way or not being as strong as we think we should be.
But this self-criticism serves to not only heighten our feelings of anxiety, but it can also delay the anxiety subsiding. Our thoughts are incredibly powerful, and it’s important to direct your thoughts in the direction of what you want to achieve. If peace is the objective, judgment is counter-productive.
We are so incredibly hard on ourselves. Have compassion for your struggle. Give yourself a break…don’t be so hard on yourself. Breathe…begin again.
2. Each time, you will get stronger.
There is incredible strength on the other side of anxiety. Each time we move through and cope with anxiety, we develop new neural pathways in understanding ourselves and our ability to cope.
The more often we encounter anxiety and effectively self-soothe and use our coping mechanisms, we take control of our minds. Therein lies your strength.
3. You are safe.
Often the issue surrounding anxiety is creating a scenario in our minds that does not yet exist.
It’s the fear of what MIGHT happen…as opposed to what is actually happening…
For many of my clients, simply repeating “I’m okay. I can do this.” creates a distraction, refocusing attention on the positive instead of the negative of what they are experiencing.
4. Remember it’s the present.
It’s not the past…the reminders of things already gone wrong. And it’s not the future…worrying about what might happen..what might take place…is futile.
It’s right now,
Think about the present and stay focused on the now.
5. This is temporary.
Our thoughts are fleeting…and so is our worry. It is completely within our control to change our thoughts and where we focus.
6. You’re stronger than you think.
Your strength comes from within. You can change what you’re thinking about and how you’re thinking about it.
The more you practice changing your thoughts, the more of a habit it will become.
Practice reminding yourself how strong you are.
7. Calm your breath.
Focussing on your breath, and deep regular breathing provides a calming effect.
There are a ton of strategies for deep breathing so find the one that works for you.
8. You just need to take one step.
You don’t need to have everything figured out right now. Just take one step in the direction of where you want to go, and let things work out as they always do.
Write things down, get it off your chest, relax, create a plan. Expressing how you’re feeling is the best way of purging those emotions.
Do something proactive instead of worrying.
10. You are not alone.
Know you’re not alone. This is possibly one of the most common issues that people struggle with, in our time. There are support groups and coaching can help you organize your thoughts around how you’re feeling.
Seek out medical advice if these strategies aren’t helping.
For myself and in my practice, the best strategy for navigating anxiety is to remember that we, as individuals, are in control. We have power over our own lives, thoughts and where we choose to place our focus.
PS: You can book an appointment and get support with your anxiety by clicking here.