How many of us are familiar with the tightness in your chest of anxiety? I know over this past month, I myself have been oh too familiar with that feeling. This summer has brought with it tons of wonderful opportunities and with that tons of unexpected commitments and responsibilities that I’ve gallantly tried to rise to meet.
You can imagine that doing this would be much easier without the nag of anxiety behind each action or thought which leads me to the question, how does one free oneself of the dread of anxiety. Is there a way to live a life such as this?
I firmly believe yes and each day I take a step closer to that life of freedom! I didn’t always believe this, in fact, I didn’t until recently even know that what had such a grip on my life was anxiety. Through much personal work, I came to recognize and acknowledge this culprit and have since learned many techniques to free myself of its grasp. What I’ve found is that it takes determined and dedicated practice, but that the rewards of this practice are well worth the effort!
I want to share with you today a few of the anxiety freeing techniques that have truly helped me in hopes that they can help you as well!
1. Breathing! – As simple as this sounds, breathing is one of my most important anti-anxiety acts. My anxiety tends to take me out of touch with reality because I begin thinking about this and that, which causes the snowball effect of worry and “self-downing”. All of a sudden, I’m in a suppressive world of my own creation where everything is falling apart! Breathing puts me back in touch with true reality by bringing my awareness back to something tangible, my body. Getting in touch with my body helps me to slow down the snowball and melt it down to the real issue that got me going in the first place.
2. Taking a step back – If it’s at all possible, when I’m feeling really anxious, I will immediately stop whatever I am doing and pause for an “I love me” break. Sometimes I have the time to actually get up and take a nice walk and sometimes I only have the time to stretch and take a deep breath. The point is that in the pausing, I’m breaking my attention to the broken anxiety record playing in my mind and at the same time affirming that personal “chill-out” time for me is important and ok too.
3. The Anxiety Action Plan – Often times, having a plan to turn to when your own thinking is impaired by anxiety is extremely helpful. My anxiety plan helps me go into “self-saving” automatic pilot mode when I feel an attack brewing. By the time I’m through all the steps in my plan, my anxiety has subsided and I’m back on track with whatever I was doing. So what is an anxiety action plan? It’s a list of a succession of actions you will take each time you feel the rise of anxiety, in order to free yourself of it. These are actions that you’ve tried and know are successful. The anxiety action plan acts as your reminder then of what you are going to do. For instance, mine includes drinking tea or water since that always tends to mellow me out. Yours can include actions that you know automatically calm you down. When you write these all out and put it up someplace noticeable in your home or workplace, you’ll have a place to turn too that you know will give you instant relief!
So I do hope these techniques prove helpful to you! Stop by the forum sometime and let me know! If you have your own anti-anxiety techniques, please do share these in the forum as well!