HEALTHArresting Anxiety

Arresting Anxiety

Getting control anxiety before it controls you

By Intuitive Relationship Empowerment Coach Geralyn St Joseph

Anxiety is a natural stress response. The problem arises when anxiety becomes an everyday, or overwhelming occurrence. Anxiety is a part of our emotional toolkit that allows us to prepare for a potentially high-stress situation. However, there are times when it goes into overdrive. Having perpetual and/or overwhelming anxiety can greatly affect our quality of life. In time, our nervous systems acclimate to this exaggerated sense of threat. It becomes our normal, so much so that we will have trouble relaxing, as it feels unnatural. 

What can we do when this happens?

The truth is, we need to train our body and mind to be relaxed. 

Become Aware of your Body – Where do you hold your stress? Shoulders, neck, jaw? 

Practice Relaxation – You may want to begin by practicing relaxation just before sleep. Once you can relax your body for bed, practice during the day. 

Breathe Deeply – Do this often. Whenever you think of it, simply breathe deeply and release slowly. This lets your body know that you are safe. It oxygenates your cells allowing them to release toxins and waste. Relax

Take Note of what causes you to tense – Knowing what your triggers are helps you to unplug them.

Be Aware of your self-talk. How do you speak to yourself? Talk to yourself like you are someone you care about. Be nice. Be considerate. Be kind. When you find that your self-talk is critical, argue. Refute your negativity with a logical, positive response. 

What do we do in the moment of overwhelm? Breathe deeply. 

Refocus your attention to something innocuous – a song, math, counting things in the environment, call or speak with a friend if feasible. 

Whenever possible, remove yourself from the trigger. This may allow you to become more objective about your situation/thoughts. Close your eyes, calm your breath, and hug yourself – you can do this in a variety of ways including simply rubbing your hands. The idea is to focus on touch. 

You may not be aware of your trigger; it may be your subscript – the thoughts and emotions running in the background/subconscious. This type of trigger needs to be sought out in calmer times, hopefully with the help of a professional. 

Get a hug from someone you trust. Physical contact is far more important than we realize. For hugging to be healing it must last a minimum of 20 seconds, releasing oxytocin. Or, you can hug yourself. Touch a calming object. Choose or create a touchstone; an object that helps you to center and feel grounded. You can do this by practicing relaxation while holding or stroking the item. 

Anxiety projects into the future. Remember, you are in the NOW. 

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