Day 5: Tips For Overcoming Anxiety & Fear
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Anxiety had been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. But 8 years ago marked my first full-blown panic attack.
As is so common with first-time panic attacks, I had no idea what was happening to me, if I was going to live or die (I had not long had my second child so i'm sure postpartum depression had a lot to do with where my head went with that one) landing myself on the floor struggling for breath many times.
Anxiety can cause you to go to extremes in your physical body and your emotional self, you can literally think and feel like you are dying. A rapid heartbeat, shaking, often confusion is prominent, shortness or lack of breath, a feeling of impending doom, and a sense of complete unreality are just a few of the symptoms of intense fear that seem to take over. After doing some intense research on myself I realized it wasn't just me, there was a name for this and I was determined to find the core issue behind it at all costs - no one should ever have to feel this way.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” - Dr. Wayne Dyer
So what’s all this Anxiety about?
Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Feeling anxious, just like feeling sad, is a part of life but physical problems as I well knew are all based from an emotional issue that has not been resolved from your past or a situation that is happening in the moment. So where to next?
One of the biggest reasons that i saw in myself and in a lot of my clients over the years is increased anxiety seems to go hand in hand with episodes of stress. Stress from work, relationships, finances, big life changes, even an exciting event like a wedding can trigger anxious feelings (like I said both good, bad, happy or sad can trigger anxiety). Sometimes, these feelings can get very intense and affect how we feel about ourselves internally and can even affect our physical health if it is ongoing. Here's the most common example I see in my clients - relationship stress. You’ve been arguing with your partner for months now and you’re unsure if there will be a future to this relationship. You find yourself feeling down, depressed, scattered throughout the day because of the heaviness and sadness in your heart of this whole situation and the endless worry of how this will all turn out (notice how when in this phase you are focusing on the future rather than living in the moment). You may even find you have a hard time focusing because you are worried about what’s to come of you, of your partner, all the what ifs start piling up.
Or, another one of the top stresses is work. You’ve heard the company you work for is downsizing and you don’t feel as secure in your position as you used to feel. You start to get anxious about what you’ll do if you get laid off (again future tripping). You may even worry about how you will pay your bills, how you'll support your family, keep your house or even find a new job. Feeling uncertain or unsure of what will happen in these types of situations naturally causes us to feel anxious.
I’m Anxious…Now What am I supposed to do?
One of the Biggest causes I saw in myself and in my clients was the fact that every time they were building them self up to a point of heightened anxiety is when they began to step out of the moment and start looking to the future where there are no solutions only the build up of fear over the what if's. The more you future trip and think about it, the more the fear rises within you and the quicker you get to a point of anxiety. You are not trusting the flow and process of life therefore you manifest a state of anxiety and fear in yourself.
The fantastic news is that there are many things you can do to offset the normal feelings of worry, apprehension, anxiousness, etc. The most important thing you can do is to accept how you feel. Arguing with yourself or denying your feelings is one of the most unloving things you do to yourself. And oddly enough, sometimes the moment you accept how you feel in that moment, the intensity of the feeling lessens and you are able to let it go. With acceptance, a space is actually created between your deeper self and the temporal feeling so you can see your feelings and thoughts objectively creating awareness of self and bringing you back into the moment. You become the observer of the feeling instead of the sufferer of the feeling. So, the next time you feel anxious or worried, accept it, become aware and see what happens to that feeling when you do. With practice and awareness you may even be able to stop the onset well before it progresses to out of control. Remember, feelings come from your thoughts about a situation that may be happening or a person/relationship. It’s what you do with the feeling that makes all the difference.
During these times of uncertainty and stress, it’s extremely important to take care of yourself, self care all the way and being gentle on you. One important point to remember as often as you can - Our thoughts trigger our emotions and our emotions trigger a signal to us that something has to be addressed within ( As in STOP, become aware and listen to what your physical body is telling you about how you are feeling emotionally about a situation or person in that moment). If you are experiencing anxiety around your current job, relationship, or with an upcoming event, take the time to ask questions and invite the answers to come. Anxiety, like fear, can be a wonderful catalyst in opening doors to something greater, to growth and ultimately to more balance and living in the moment so the anxiety lessens. Once you’ve accepted your feelings about a situation or person, try one of these steps to help ease the effects of anxiety on your mind, body and spirit:
Anxiety is not easy to deal with, but we can take some of the power into our own hands by becoming aware and shifting our thoughts from fear to love and understanding of what it is our bodies are trying to tell us.
In Good Health and Happiness
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The information contained in this part of the course is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease and is provided for educational and informative purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, supplement, exercise or other health program.