“I will breathe. I will think of solutions. I will not let my worry control me. I will not let my stress level break me. I will simply breathe. And it will be okay. Because I don’t quit.” –Shayne McClendon
And you don’t quit. You know how I know? Because you are here reading this post. I know you might find yourself thinking things like: yuck anxiety, yuck stress, yuck feeling like your heart is going to jump out of your chest and you feel like you’re going to lose it on the next thing or person that dares to say the wrong thing.
Getting stuck in the vicious cycle of anxiety, can lead you down a very chaotic rabbit hole. And when you are down there, you can find it very difficult to bury yourself out of it.
When we get trapped in anxiety, our body will go into fight or flight mode. This is our body’s way of protecting us from a perceived threat. Did you know it can take 20-60 minutes for your body to relax after entering this high anxiety state?
So here are some quick tips on how to interrupt the cycle of anxiety:
Cue into your triggers. What particular situation sets you off? What time of day are you more prone to anxiety? What changes in your body? In your mind? What would your best friend say they notice different? Are you more irritable? Did you know that irritability is a sign of anxiety?!
Find your calm. So, we definitely need to find our calm before, during and after anxiety. What calms your body down? Your mind down? Your heart rate, muscle tension, and that icky on edge feeling? Maybe it is an empowering song, maybe you go for a run, maybe you take a pen and write down all your thoughts.
Practice. Locate what works for you and do that at least 1-3x’s a day. You are so deserving of self-care and self-compassion. You can’t expect to recover if you are not engaging in daily activities that help you become less hypervigilant and fearful.
Let me say, anxiety and stress get a bad rep, but it is only because we might not be managing these two well. If you think about it, you will always be the person with 10 million back up plans and never have to worry that you haven’t already thought of how to “fix it.”
Let’s try to focus on the solutions, the bigger picture, and remember to breathe.
Live mindfully, hopeful and persevere.
Until next time!
Claudia Stanley, LCSW