Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. When it is low or mild it can increase blood pressure. When it is severe it can cause panic attacks and lead to depression. Let’s not forget that anxiety is our body’s normal response to stress, increasing our alertness in the face of certain events and it can help you overcome challenging situations.
I am not a psychologist or therapist; however I have suffered episodes of high anxiety during some stages of my life.
Below is what I found out it worked for me although everyone is different and each person should find out what works for them.
We all are going to experience anxiety in our lives. The key is learning how to manage it and how we react to events or situations that we cannot control.
The feeling of anxiety will want to trick you. You may start to sweat and feeling overwhelmed. It will suffocate you until the point where you cannot breathe in the worse of cases. Literally. It will make you believe that you’re in such danger that there’s nothing at all you can do but kneel down, stay on the floor and pass out. It will make you believe there’s nothing you can do, that you’re useless and hopeless. But that’s far from the truth.
When anxiety kicks, first of all, we have to embrace it as a friend. It is just like before a race, you can feel the adrenaline rushing through your veins, excitement is great, enjoy the unexpected! If you have never experience racing, be curious about the situation you’re facing rather than fearful.
Then we have to control our emotions and start using the rational side of the brain. We can do it!
We also have to ask ourselves what’s causing that feeling. Is it real danger, someone chasing us wanted to hurt us, an accident? Or is it a job interview, a test? It is important to acknowledge where we are.
Risk is a matter of people’s perception. Therefore what it can be dangerous situation for me, it could be a walk in the park for someone else. This means that different people will feel different level of anxiety facing the same event.
To manage it, try to stay calm, try breathing as normal as possible and trusting in your ability to find a solution to the situation you are facing can help. Take a decision, be accountable for it and then let go of everything else. If you aren’t able to accept responsibility for your decision making and move on, anxiety will only grow bigger and will crush you.
Talking to people and analysing the event after it has happened can help too. Practice building scenarios that can cause anxiety and find solutions to deal with it. Your mind will become more and more resilient and it will be more prepared when facing a real situation.
Stay fit and healthy both physically and mentally so we are able to undertake any task no matter what. The stronger we are, the better chances of maintaining anxiety episodes well under control.
Practice positive self talk as well. Tell yourself everything is going to be ok. Trust in your capabilities to find solutions and accept failure as a learning process, not a defeat!
Believe in yourself! You’re stronger than you think you are.