Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.Unknown
The world as we’ve known it continues to change and evolve in ways that are scary to me, and chances are: they’re scary to you too.
If you’re someone who is prone to anxiety, these times can feel especially scary and out of control. So how do we keep it together?
- Keep an eye on your breathing throughout the day. Most of us are used to breathing quickly, and very shallow. That type of breathing paves the way for physical symptoms of anxiety to creep in. Focusing on our breathing periodically allows our body to relax, and maintain homeostasis: a state of stability and equilibrium. When you find yourself starting to feel anxious (perhaps after watching the news), relax your shoulders and take some deep, slow breaths.
- Make sure you stay grounded. What does that even mean??? Being grounded means that you are here in the present. You aren’t caught up in the future of your thoughts, or spiraling into feelings of fear or anxiety. Grounding yourself can take some work when you’re feeling anxious, but here are some ways you can do it: find things in your environment that you can see, hear, smell and touch. Take turns going through that list (find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, etc.). Verbally point these things out if you need to, and you’ll notice that the world starts spinning a lot slower.
- If these grounding techniques don’t work, trying shocking your system. Splash your face or hands with cold water, find something strong to smell, wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it a few times. This will shock your system into focusing on these extremes, and will take the attention away from what you’re feeling anxious about.
- Know your triggers. I like to stay up on the news, but right now – I can’t handle it. I know that current events trigger panic attacks, so I have to make sure I step away when I feel anxiety or anger rising. Take the time to learn your own triggers, and use that knowledge to take care of yourself. Being responsible around these triggers will help immensely.
- Talk about it. You may think you’re the only one in your circles who feels this way, but I can almost guarantee that you’re not. Millions of Americans are suffering from anxiety (with the numbers continuing to rise), so you are not alone. Talk about it to those you are close to and can trust. Find peace in a community of people who love you and care about how you feel. If you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to in person, find a group online or seek out a therapist who can sit with you while you walk through these feelings. Better Help is an online network of counselors, as is Faithful Counseling. There are so many resources made available to us now, we just have to do a little work to find the right one for us.
It feels like there is SO much to worry about right now. I get that. I’m right there with you. But I hope these tips help you feel a little bit more in control of your body and your anxiety.
As always, I’m just a click away.