If you know me personally, you know I am as type A as it gets. I have always been a perfectionist and that's probably the reason I've also always struggled with anxiety. Since I was a little girl I've been on and off medication for ulcers or anxiety.
I have lived through more than one panic attack- and if you have too, you know that it's a terrifying place to be.
Which is why I think it's SO important to talk about. The more we normalize the mental health struggles we all deal with, the easier it becomes to ask for help.
So, I want to give you the tools that I've developed over a lifetime of dealing with crippling anxiety.
Often times, my anxiety starts with a seed of doubt. Maybe I have a new program coming out, or I need to think of content for my podcast, and then the pressure starts to build. I can feel the pressure getting stronger as I fall down the rabbit hole of to-do lists and my to-do lists for my to-do lists until I feel like I can't breathe.
This is the first step for me. Recognizing I'm there. I'm in that place that everything feels unmanageable. And I have to literally take a moment to close my eyes and acknowledge I'm there.
Next, I pinpoint WHERE it's coming from. For me, it normally sparks from one thing and it snowballs from there, so I have to find the root of it. Recently, it was because I was launching a new program and the way we had mapped it out didn't align with what I wanted it to look like.
Then I dig deeper. I isolate the root problem and then I have to find where in that particular thing I am finding resistance. For me, it's normally centered around a fear that something doesn't align with my higher self, or what my intention was.
I commit to being present. A friend once told me that anxiety is the fear of the future. So I have to stay in the present, which is easier said than done. I have to use physical action to stay present. I start by holding my stomach and taking DEEP breaths. I hold my anxiety in my stomach so this is where I focus, but this may look different for everyone. Maybe you hold it in your jaw or in your shoulders. Take time to really connect with yourself. Bring yourself back to center.
When I'm feeling really anxious, I HAVE to work to release the physical energy, so I look for Yoga, or interval training or something to move my body. If nothing else, a DANCE party. Don't laugh, i'm serious, I did one this morning. Movement releases negativity, and honestly, it's hard to be upset when you're dancing and moving your body.
And then, I have a think tank moment. Sometimes this takes the form of journaling, sometimes it's mapping out the situation in my head while I'm driving. I just have to really think back to the first step and understand WHAT started this and HOW I can work towards a resolution. And sometimes that means accepting there is no resolution.
I go deeper into my process and the final step, the Emotional Freedom Technique, or the EFT, that has changed the game for me in my podcast. Seriously, it's not just good for anxiety but physical pain as well, so check it out!
I'd love to hear your coping mechanisms for anxiety. I know everyone is different and we all process in our own ways, so please feel free to share!
LET'S BE FRIENDS!
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