Ideas to deal with anxiety
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
I did my best to keep myself from the general anguish, but it happened anyway. That's normal.
What now? Here are a few practices that I use to deal with anxiety, see what works for you, and share yours. :)
A few ideas:
- Recognize anxiety: It can seem stupid, but I can very seriously think about all the worst-case scenarios so I am "prepared,” except, I am never prepared enough to stop thinking. Thinking endlessly about a problem, we can't do anything about (right now or ever) is anxiety. For me, recognizing it, makes it less intense almost immediately. A resource that can help to recognize the hypothetical worries (the ones we can't do anything about) is the worry tree (check out Google).
- Breathe: When we are anxious, the breath becomes shallow. Lots of breathing techniques exist. I know the square breathing one: breathe in for 4, hold for 4, breathe out for 4, hold for 4, and again.
- Talk: When I am anxious, I generally want to stay in my head trying to find solutions with no distractions. We give ourselves the illusion we can control things on our own. But this is a moment when talking is most beneficial. Whether we talk about worries or something else, it helps get out of the vicious cycle. A phone call, a video call, we have lots of tools to create connection. We are not alone.
- Sing loudly: I guess everyone has their passion, but for me singing helps a lot. It goes with the next item as well. To scring (a new word that means screaming and singing at the same time), implies the whole body. Do something you like, the slower the better, even if it's hard, helps (play guitar, cook, draw, garden, etc.). If your hands are involved more than your head, it's better.
- Move: To follow up on the idea to come back to our body dancing or yoga are two things that work pretty well for me. One lets the energy out and the other makes me slow down especially if it's a routine I don't know. Practicing sports, go for a walk or a run if possible, everything that gets us moving is valuable.
- Help: Focus on what we can do or create to help means getting our attention on our resources and connections rather than our uncertainty. Washing your hands is a good way to help, I've seen neighbors offering to go shopping for those who couldn't, I thought it was great. What do you have to offer? It helps the world as much as you.
Take care of yourself and others, stay informed (watching the news 27/7 is not always staying informed) and breathe, everything changes anxiety won't stay forever.
What are your techniques to deal with anxiety?