how to cope with anxiety
Finding peace within your life can be difficult when dealing with anxiety. Anxiety can be a very normal emotion to experience when dealing with a stressful life event or situation. It’s the signal in our brain that tells us, “Listen, things are getting a bit intense in here, I think we should get to safety before it’s gets too dangerous”. Anxiety not only affects our thoughts and emotions, but it also affects our physicality. It is often in full display when we are sweating profusely or experiencing an accelerated heart rate, rapid breathing, trembling or insomnia. Anxiety affects millions of people across the globe in many different forms. Many of the common forms of anxiety are panic attacks, social anxiety and specific phobias just to name a few.
Having any or a combination of these disorders doesn’t mean that your life comes to a complete stand still. It simply means that that you have to discover what your peace is to be able to combat those intrusive anxious behaviors or thoughts. Although I do not have anxiety as a personal disorder, I do experience moments of anxiety. Most often these anxious behaviors occur when I have to do any public speaking, complete a test and or exam or engage in a conversation that may result in disagreement or dispute. I have had to challenge myself in not only identifying my triggers but also learning my coping skills. Deep breathing and mindfulness practices have not only been a useful tool for me, but it has also helped the clients I serve.
Deep breathing is a way to control your anxiety when experiencing a panic attack or heart acceleration. It can be done with eyes closed or open. When deep breathing is practiced, the mind has floods of oxygen to generate flowing thoughts instead of “intrusive” ones. It stimulates clarity and balance. It can also be practiced using sounds such as rain, beach waves or rainforest tunes. Mindfulness practices help reduce the anxious experience by turning down the “loud signals of danger” in your brain. Mindfulness can be experienced by engaging in yoga, coloring, going for a walk, or focusing your attention to the sky. Depending on your lifestyle or personality, mindfulness can also be achieved when disconnecting from social media, spending time to journal or cleaning.
No matter what your preference may be in navigating through occasional anxiety or diagnosable anxiety, you must be intentional about identifying and practicing ways to tap into your peace. Take a moment to do an inventory on how you navigate through your anxiousness and anxiety and see what ways you can improve your coping abilities.