Anxiety is a Liar That Predicts Doom
When we are experiencing anxiety, it’s most often about something that is in the future and hasn’t happened yet. When you are experiencing anxiety, take a look around the room you are in now. Where are your feet? Are you okay right now in this moment? Most likely the answer is yes. Take comfort in your surroundings. You are safe, you are fed, you are loved. Interact with the moment you are in. If you are going to think about future moments, think positively. Imagine what you want for the future, and try and feel it happening through all of your senses. More about the power of positive thinking next week. Heard about it too much? That’s because when you engage it with for real…it actually works.
The Real Threat
You may not realize it, but the real enemy is anxiety. The body has adapted over years to protect itself from harm or danger. That is why you get the fight or flight response. This thing is more of an instinct. You can’t explain it but you just have a feeling that something is not right somewhere. If there was a real danger, anxiety would be a good thing. You would have more capacity to protect yourself. But since there is no danger at all, the side effects of the fight or flight preparation take a toll on you. Anxiety leads to a cascade of events which take up the resources of the body. You end up feeling dizzy, lightheaded, shakiness, and other symptoms such as chest pain can manifest in the anxious individual. The stress levels simply rise in the person and make matters worse.
You don’t need the Anxiety
More often than not, the false alarm goes off. You panic and fear for your life. As this happens, your survival techniques get charged and ready for action. Instead of wasting precious resources, you need to focus on how to manage the real danger. Reserve your adrenaline rush for lean times when you actually need it. Remember that the activated survival response can make you think that you are actually ill. Why else would you be sweating or hearing your heart beating? You may think that this is the heart attack that you have feared all your life. This can be a tricky situation for people who have a reason to fear. For instance, it is hard to convince someone who has witnessed a close relative succumb to a heart disease that they are simply over-anxious.
Being the Boss
Did you know that your body can control you and make you a slave? That could be the reason why you obey every false alarm raised by the body. Why don’t you be the boss and decide to actually take charge of your anxiety? It is in your power to change your method of approaching anxiety. Take it like a false car alarm. The alarm is in place to warn you that someone is breaking into your car, right? But how many times have you been disappointed when your car alarm was triggered by a falling twig in the dead of the night? Use the same approach and reassure yourself that all is well. You probably locked the main gate and have someone watching over your house. The car alarm may be caused by anything but a real threat.
Trickery Seems Real
Always understand that trickery is meant to mimic a real scenario. Anxiety feels like a true alarm that something is going to be wrong. Think about it critically; you are cooking and the smoke detector smells something. Here, there is real smoke. But is that the smoke that it was meant to warn you from? The same thing happens with anxiety. You have to develop a way of filtering the false alarms and leaving space only for true alarm. It takes unlearning and learning to achieve this crucial step in managing anxiety effectively.
Building your Tolerance
When you take some medications, the receptors get used to them over time. Their effects will be diminished and you will need to get more doses to achieve similar results as you would in the past. That is what you need to learn in dealing with anxiety. You don’t have to reduce the alarms. You simply need to tolerate them. When uncertainty is the order of the day, you should be in a position to tolerate it without allowing it to take over. An increased tolerance leads to lower anxiety or absence of it absolutely. To get worked up, it must be a serious and a real threat.
Anxiety can be released through relaxation practices. Simple things like breathing in and out and engaging your senses work so effectively to calm the anxiety that they should be your first line remedy. Doing this will slow down the heart rate, reduce the blood pressure to normal levels, and turn on the negative feedback loops. Meditate or simply distract yourself and refocus to calm your nerves. You can also do yoga or tai chi and get your freedom from anxiety.