HOW TO DEAL WITH THE EMOTION OF ANXIETY
We have all felt the emotion of anxiety, for some it is a feeling tied to an event and goes when that event is over while for others it is a persistent feeling tied to nothing; it is there when they arise by day and when they lay by night. It is said that the difference between feeling nervous and a panic attack is the difference in the intensity of anxiety felt at a given moment.
The emotion of anxiety, whether intense or not is no joke; anxiety can quickly lead to other emotions like paranoia, despair and depression; this is why one should not joke when they experience a persistent emotion of anxiety. The most obvious and important thing to do when you are experiencing feelings of anxiety is to see a doctor or therapist who specialises in this subject matter. But what if you don’t have access or immediate access to a doctor and you are in desperate need of relief from your emotions, there are also a few things you can do to feel more calm and centred.
1. Don’t loose your mind to your emotions
This may sound either obvious or weird to some of you, so let me explain. If you have an issue with anxiety, you already know that nothing needs to happen for you to feel the emotion of anxiety. All you have to do is literally wake up in the morning and you start feeling anxious for no reason at all.
One thing I have learnt is to not be afraid of my anxious emotions because the more scared I am of it, the more intense it gets and this can lead to having a panic attack for no good reason. Accept your feelings, accept that you feel anxious whether for a reason or for no reason… just accept what you feel and let it be. Don’t try to find out why you feel this way, don’t attach your thoughts to it. This is very challenging but it is helpful in the moment. It can save you from experiencing a panic attack before you can access help.
Like I said before, this will be challenging because anxiety is a painful feeling that can literally stop you from breathing; so in order to not make things worse, let your emotions be and take your thoughts somewhere else. When my soul is burdened with anxiety to the point that I can’t lift myself out of bed; I lay there allowing the emotions do its thing while I take my thoughts to my happy place. It’s a discipline I have come to develop over the years. Thinking of my happy place almost always leads me to something that makes me smile, then laugh, then I start feeling some relief. Relief enough to get out of bed and be proactive with my day.
2. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping)
Emotional freedom technique (EFT), which is also referred to as EFT tapping, is an alternative therapy for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and some other conditions.
Developed by Gary Craig, he infers that tapping on different parts of the body helps balance energy and reduce physical and emotional pain. There are a lot of EFT tapping professionals out there but the teachers below have helped me a great deal.
3. Gratitude Prayer
This one can go side by side with not letting your mind go with your emotions. From experience I have found that gratitude has helped me become more present and it has also helped me change my perspective on life. Giving gratitude during an anxiety episode can help you see how truly wonderful your life is and that will help you feel more peaceful within yourself. Like I said before, it will be a challenge but with discipline and determination; you will surely see the results of giving gratitude at such times. Sometimes I dare the anxiety and I give gratitude for it “I am so grateful for this feeling, it is for the best” and sooner or later I start feeling calm.
Look around you and give thanks for whatever you see, and if you are in the dark give thanks for everything in your life that you are genuinely grateful for. Whether it is one or ten… list them over and over again until it is time to stop. Only you will know when to stop.
4. Breath Work
Anxiety affects the way we breathe, the more intense it feels the more difficult it is for us to breathe and breathing properly is extremely important especially at times like this.
Breath work refers to any type of breathing exercise you can do to make you feel more calm and centred. It is often performed to improve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. During breath work you focus on your breathing and intentionally change your breathing pattern. There are many types of breath work techniques, the people below have really helped me a great deal.
I know you may be like “what’s exercise got to do with it?” but something as simple as a long walk can help you feel some relief, talk more of a good time at the gym with proper heart pumping cardio. Exercise helps you breath better which goes against the tension anxiety puts on your respiratory system. Exercise helps to relax your muscles which also goes against the tension that anxiety puts on your muscles as well. You don’t need to go hardcore in the gym for three hours. You can just find something simple and sustainable for you and do it for at least twice a week and you will quickly see the difference.
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The above mentioned should not be a substitute for proper treatment with a professional, these are alternative things to do in addition to your treatment just in case you are suffering a chronic anxiety disorder. Don’t forget to take life one moment at a time. A major anxiety trigger is thinking about the future and comparing our lives with that of others. Life should be easy and enjoyable and only you can make it so for yourself; so love yourself enough to take it one moment at a time. If you can do good for yourself in this very moment, that is wonderful because this moment is all you have; so make the best of it.