2020 is going well isn’t it!!! This is probably an understatement. What is doing well though is anxiety, it’s loving all this uncertainty in the world. Let’s look at some things that may help you through.
If we think about anxiety as being an annoying little person interrupting our day we can look at ways to make him/her go away. One of the best changes we can make is to face the anxiety rather than let it take control of us. Let’s say you are feeling worried about making a phone call about something important, it’s worrying you and you are starting to feel hot, sick, dizzy and just don’t want to do it. If you don’t make the call the anxiety has won and won’t get any better next time you try. Plus, you still need to make the call and the stress may get worse if you keep putting it off.
If you grab the bull by the horns and make the call, you are challenging yourself and the anxiety. The most important thing is you have the control. It’s not going to be easy but it’s better than letting that annoying little voice inside from winning.
So why do we get anxious about things? Sometimes it is because we have a situation which could be frightening or unsafe. The Amygdala, within the brain, controls emotion and behaviours and is important when processing fear. When we are exposed to a fearful situation, information about that situation is immediately sent to the amygdala, which can then send signals to trigger a fight or flight response. This is important, this is what stops us crossing the road when a lorry is coming.
But what about when the anxiety strikes at a really inconvenient time and for an unknown reason? It can be really debilitating to have this happen. I remember having an anxiety attack at a wedding. At the time I thought I was going mad and I didn’t understand what was happening, but years later I realised it was a few months before my own wedding so maybe I was worrying about my “perfect day”.
So how can we help anxiety? Here are some tips I have found useful over the years, let me know if you have any others as I want us all to support each other:
- Talk to supportive people, get your feelings off your chest
- Plan to do the things that cause you stress to get them out of the way
- Have something in your pocket or bag which will distract you if you are really suffering, a book, a game, a stress ball
- Have a bottle of water with you, sipping water will help the dry mouth and sickness feelings and will keep you from becoming dehydrated
- Go for a walk, look at what’s around you, get fresh air into your lungs
- Don’t make mountains out of mole hills, sometimes a problem looks and feels much bigger than it actually is
- Ask for help, don’t be afraid to confide in people and share the load
I hope that this helps a little bit. I will be writing more on anxiety soon.