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Anxiety: What's the 411

Stop getting hijacked by your anxiety and become your own pilot



Hello there. I have anxiety. I think we all have a little bit of anxiety. The truth is, it is a totally normal feeling and we have all probably experienced some sort of anxiety at some point. Anxiety and fear are completely normal human emotions. Like I mentioned in my previous blog, it is our body's response to a perceived threat or danger. According to the Anxiety & Depression association of America (adaa.org), anxiety affects 40 million adults in the United States or 18% of the U.S population 18 years and older. People with anxiety are also 3 to 5 times more likely to visit a hospital. A lot of times people experiencing an anxiety attacks feel like they're having a heart attack because some of the symptoms may feel similar. So a lot of people become even more anxious because they feel like something is wrong and they end up visiting the hospital. Often only to find out that there is nothing medically wrong with them. I had a lot of clients end up sitting in the chair across me after this. (Its always important to rule out any medical issues so don't skip that step)So why is it so hard for us to accept it sometimes?

Anxiety and fear are completely normal human emotions.

If you're like most, you were probably taught to suppress your bad or not good feelings. We see things like fear, sadness, and anxiety as being bad. We immediately want to get rid of these feelings. Like when your friend or someone you know tells you that they're feeling sad or anxious, we become problem solvers and just want to offer solutions so these feelings go away. There's only so much "solving" you can do before exploding. Im sure you've heard this before: you can only hold on to things for so long before everything starts exploding out (anxiety attack). Im all about positivity but its unrealistic to be happy and positive all the time.


Being in your feelings #emo


Ive done a lot of reading and in my self-healing journey have come to learn that we have feelings for a reason. We feel. We're human. We're not robots. Sadness, anxiety, etc should not feel like a negative emotion that we must avoid or push away. We can learn to deal with them. So next time you're feeling sad or anxious, allow yourself to feel these things without feeling bad about. There's no rule to how long you should be feeling this way. Feel all the feelings. Whether it be crying it out, just sitting by yourself for a few minutes, screaming into a pillow (yes, I've had clients who did this).


When sitting with these feelings, think about what your body and these feelings are telling you. What is making you feel this way and why? What are some of the thoughts that are coming to your mind as you are sitting with these feelings? How is your body feeling? Where can you feel the anxiety, sadness, or whatever feeling. Next, start examining these thoughts that are coming to your mind. Is this thought useful? Is there any evidence to this thought? At this point, if possible we can start to reframe these thoughts. Change the thoughts about the situation. Be kind to yourself and talk to yourself. There is always going to be ups and downs in life but whatever is happening right now is not my forever. I am safe, I can't control anyone else actions but my own. I am strong. What can I do to help me cope?


Coping with anxiety



In the moments when were having anxiety, there's a lot of different things you can try. You have to practice and find what works best for you. There is no one size fits all. Keyword: PRACTICE. I always tell clients to try to practice these coping techniques daily. Its like emergency preparation. You don't wait for something to happen to finally get your emergency kit together. These coping techniques are like your anxiety kit.



I wrote earlier about how anxiety can feel like a heart attack and how we can feel sadness or pretty much any emotion in our bodies. So one good technique to practice is breathing. Yes we breathe everyday but how many times do we actually pay attention to just our breathing? Breathing is free and requires no materials. To help the body relax during those tense moments, find a comfortable place to sit or even stand to just take a few deep breathes in through your nose and out your mouth. Takes these breaths slowly and just pay attention to the air entering and leaving your body.


Meditate. Yes meditate. We've all heard the word but not sure if we practice it enough. Remove yourself and place yourself in your happy place. Or maybe even just picture something that makes you feel calm. I love the rain so for me this would be listening to some raindrop sounds on YouTube and picturing myself walking in the rain.


Coloring. We all have an inner child that needs to be satisfied. It doesn't have to be expensive. Dollar tree is a good place to find a coloring book and some colored pencils if need be. Or you can even download a free coloring app on your phone. I colored some mandalas the other day and it completely too my mind off of things. I was just focused on coloring inside the lines and creating pretty color patterns.


Writing. Write about it. Journal. Let it all out. Like I said earlier, letting out these things is good. If you aren't able to talk to a friend you can write about it. I haven't always been the best at opening up to others besides maybe one good friend. Journaling has helped a lot because it helps me vent and let it all out on paper.


There's literally so many different things we can do to calm our anxiety. Taking a bath, listening to music, stretching, drawing, talk to a friend, go for a walk, etc. Try to explore and see what works best for you. Some of the things that work for me are isolating and taking a few minutes to myself, going for a walk, exercise, or music.


Conclusion


This was a lot of information. This is easier said than done for sure and its not a one size fits all. It takes lots of practice and we're always going to the learning. But at least we can begin to raise our awareness. Were all in this life journey together. Don't forget to celebrate every step of the way. Even if you simply become more self aware of "I understand that I felt anxious because of X but it passed". Overtime, you will find that it will be less stressful to deal with these situations and you will begin to notice patterns to what makes you react this way and patterns to your thoughts. Remember if you feel like your anxiety is taking over your life and affecting you in your functioning, you can reach out to a professional for help. You don't have to do this alone. You can work with a professional and together go through these steps. Let me know your thoughts and what has worked for you.

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Welcome to my blog!

This is where we get real about how we can reframe our thinking and negative beliefs about ourselves. A casual self-empowerment blog all about self awareness and self-care. 

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