Living With Anxiety
At times, we all live with anxiety. In normal circumstances we learn to manage it in whatever way we can. For me, I use yoga, meditation, and try to practice positive thought habits…..However; sometimes, when we least expect it, something “triggers” super anxiety causing us go into a tailspin.
Triggers kick normal anxiety into high gear…And we usually don’t see it coming. It can be something as minor as as a traffic stop or as major as an illness. Triggers are sneaky little culprits…
And when they happen, rational thinking feels impossible; you’ve been there right? Suddenly you imagine the worst possible outcome of absolutely every situation… There’s no focus, going through the day is like walking through a cloud. Sleep is nearly impossible. Life becomes a ruminating vortex for irrational fears….ugh.
What I’ve Learned
I’ve learned from my executive clients (trust me, they have enough pressure to cause anyone anxiety)…is that when anxiety takes over the brain, it’s critical to stick with your routines.
When you feel the least like working out, take a walk or, try a five minute meditation practice. If you don’t care for yourself, you could end up in a downward spiral; and that’s never fun.
Over the years, my executive clients have shared their tips for handling extreme stress. I’m sharing them here today with you.
One: Get exercise every day no matter what, no excuses. Even if you can only manage to do three brisk 10 minute walks throughout a day – do it; because it matters. And it helps.
Two: When your thoughts start to create unrealistic outcomes, ask yourself realistically what the worst possible REAL outcome could be. It keeps your mind off imaginary outcomes, which is so helpful! Plus, focusing on the real possibilities, helps you realize you can handle them.
Easy so far right?
Three: Surround yourself with positive things. Turn off the news (good advice even when you’re not anxious). Turn off the rock, and the country too. Music lyrics can easily take your brain to an imaginary place. Even an innocent country song about a father and son can make an anxious mind start conjuring negative thoughts. Instead, try the spa channel; now that’s, relaxing!
Four: Talk to someone. Not someone who will feed your anxiety (well meaning friends can do this). Instead, find someone who will recognize the anxiety for what it is, and help you through it.
Five: In an extreme anxiety emergency (you’ve completely lost all ability for rational thinking), call your doctor. You may need just a little help, and it’s okay…we all reach those times. Just get some help back to a point where you can do the things you know you need to do. Like, steps one through four.
Stay on track
Just remember in this busy world, it’s easy to forget to slow down. For me, the next few months for me will be pretty high stress; but thanks to yoga, meditation, and a great coach of my own, I know I have the tools to handle it. And, I’m sure that if you are dealing with your own anxiety, you will be able to handle it too. Just focus on NOW, it’s all you have anyway.