One day I was driving down the highway, enjoying the scenery and the sound of the road humming beneath my tires, when I suddenly had to pull over. I was experiencing a panic attack, and I had no idea where it had come from. As I fought to catch my breath, thoughts filled my head of someone coming at me through the oncoming traffic, that an accident could happen at any moment. The feeling of anxiety was so strong that it took over my whole being. But it is possible to get past a life ruled by anxiety. And I’d love to show you how.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety, or the anticipation of what could be, is a condition that affects around 275 million people across the planet. It’s considered the most significant mental health issue of our entire population. That’s worth remembering when you’re in the middle of an anxiety attack. You’re most definitely not alone in your feelings. Anxiety is more common in females and affects people of all ages and backgrounds. The most common symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling like you can’t breathe
- The sensation that your heart is racing
- Numbness or tingling in your skin and extremities
- Struggling to sleep
- Sweating or feeling cold
- Feeling restless or irritable
- Withdrawing from those around you
But anxiety isn’t to be confused with feeling worried or upset. That’s a common feeling we all experience from time to time, and it’s a totally normal part of life, right? But when anxiety takes hold and you can’t calm down, it helps to have some strategies to help get you through.
How You Can Manage Your Anxiety
#1: Call It Out
Recognize those symptoms you’re experiencing are all because of anxiety. Recognizing and pointing out those physical symptoms and putting a clear name on what you’re experiencing can help you start to overcome the feelings.
#2: Define The Feelings
Take a moment to locate exactly where you’re feeling the anxiety manifest in your body and find the words to describe how it feels. For example, I might feel a tightness or constriction in my chest and stomach. Sometimes my face feels tight, or there’s a staticky sensation in my head. I sometimes feel like my feet aren’t firmly placed on the ground and feel like I’m floating above it somehow.
#3: Sit With Those Feelings
Now, allow those feelings and sensations to move through you. Feel them, experience them, and let them wash through your body. Then, take a deep breath.
#4: Explore Triggers
Be curious about the thoughts and feelings you were having right before the anxiety symptoms started. What triggered you? Now, take another deep breath.
#5: Ask Yourself What You Need Right Now
Finally, as the feelings and sensations reduce, place your hand on your heart and ask yourself, ‘What do I need right now?’ The trick here is to listen to your body and mind for the response to that question. Sometimes it will immediately make itself known to you; other times, you might need to wait and explore until it reveals itself. Take one more deep breath.
Living Life Without Anxiety
Just recently, I was driving along the highway once again when I started to have thoughts about how unpredictable life is and, at any time, I could be in an accident. But this time was different. Instead of slamming the brakes and stopping on the side of the road while fighting to catch my breath in the depths of another anxiety attack, I carried on driving. I had a sense of feeling so connected to life. I looked around and found myself appreciating the mountain landscape around me, and I thought about all the people in my life and how grateful I was for them. Instead of anxiety, I realized I had found joy in my life, and I could carry on my way without incident.
And this is something that you can experience and achieve, too, by developing the tools and techniques that help you deal with those anxious moments you experience.
If you’d like to find out more about living a truly joyful life, you can learn about my Joyful Living program right here.
If you feel like you might like to speak with me and see how I can help you, I’d love to talk with you. Reach out and book a call. I can’t wait to hear from you.