Would you like freedom from your own mind?
Anxiety is the thief of joy. It is very difficult to feel joy and be content with life if you are constantly anxious.
Do you worry too much? Do you think too much? Do you constantly have racing thoughts?
Many of my clients say to me ‘whenever anything good is happening in my life something always goes wrong.’ What if you weren’t saying ‘what if?’, ‘I should’ or ‘I can’t.’ If there is nothing that is immediately dangerous and threatening your survival in a situation, then it is all in your head. Human beings are very intelligent and our brains are hardwired to problem solve, analyse, critique, retain information etc. Which means we can think too much, we can worry about the past or the future to the point where it is unhelpful and can cause anxiety. Anxiety becomes a problem when it starts to affect our everyday activities. It might affect your ability to look forward to something, or affect your relationships with your peers or your romantic partners.
Some common symptoms:
- Headaches, migraines
- Stomach aches
- Digestive upset
- Nausea, vomiting
- Body aches and pains
- Heart palpitations
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulties falling or staying asleep
- Griding teeth or clenching jaw
- Social withdrawal
- Moments of panic
People may not be aware of these symptoms sometimes. It is important to check in with yourself if you have any of these symptoms at any time. If there is no underlying medical reason, ask yourself if you are anxious about anything.
Be in the moment
Be in the moment as much as you can. Don’t think about the future or the past. Focus on now. The only thing that exists right now is NOW.
We need to make peace with Anxiety. Accept that the anxiety is happening, don’t try and get rid of it but make an effort to make yourself feel good in the moment. Trust that you will be okay and that in the moment you are okay.
10 simple tips to deal with anxiety in the moment:
- Focus on your breath, my clients often roll their eyes when I say breathing is one of the best things (if not the best thing) you can do when you are anxious. It’s free and everyone can do it. Make sure the out breath is a few counts longer than the in breath. Longer exhales cause the vagus nerve (the longest cranial nerve in the body) to send a signal to your brain, activating a relaxation response in the body.
- Go for a walk, spend time in nature
- Go for a shower
- Listen to music
- Have a fidget/sensory object on hand
- Positive mantras and positive self-talk. ‘I am in control’ ‘I am at peace’ ‘I can do this.’ Even if you don’t believe it, fake it till you make it.
- Ha cup of herbal tea, camomile, peppermint and ginger may help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
- Utilise essential oils, lavender, valerian and ylang ylang are some oils that may support anxiety.
- Visualisation meditation, go to your ‘happy place’ in your mind’s eye.
- Phone a support person
Tips to cope with anticipatory anxiety.
- Plan ahead. Allow enough time to get to a place so that you are not rushed.
- Think about the positives, you might get to catch up with friends, have a nice meal, learn something new.
- Go with a friend or a support person.
- Question your thoughts, separate judgement from facts.
- Be your own cheerleader
Habits that are unhelpful
- Having a negative attitude. Saying statements such as, ‘my anxiety can’t be managed’ ‘coping strategies are useless’ ‘I am always going to feel like this.’ This is unhelpful for you, anxiety feeds off negativity and it will block you from achieving your goals.
- Remember it doesn’t happen overnight and it takes practice and commitment. Negative attitude will happen, it is part of being human, but don’t give it air time, Focus on your coping strategies and having a positive attitude.
- Staying in your comfort zone and avoiding anxiety driven situations. Stepping outside of your comfort zone helps you to build self-confidence. When you are exposed to anxiety driven situations without negative consequences, you learn that they are achievable… practice, practice, practice.
If you think anxiety might be getting in the way of you achieving your goals and you would like to change this. Book an appointment today and we can work on this together.
Author: Jess Allam
- Graham, K.G. (2020). Mind What You Think. Australia Light Ideas Press.
- Harris, R. (2022). The Happiness Trap (How to Stop Struggling and Start living (2nd ed). Shambhala.