Silencing Your Anxiety
Control what you can control, they say.
In principle, I love the idea of control what you can control. But, in real life, I am terrible at putting it into practice. In the face of uncertainty, my anxiety goes haywire. While I would love to be cool and collected, I find myself with a racing heart, tight stomach, flushed face, and a mind that I can't still. When there is a specific outcome that I want but can't control, my anxiety takes over and leaves me fretting about every detail and possible scenario.
Uncertainty is a real prevalent pain in the ass in the world we live in. Whether it is relationships, your career, or anything else, there is little guarantee and always a possibility of an unwanted outcome. If you too have faced that rush of anxiety when you aren't certain of what is next, you know that it can really limit your ability to enjoy life and live in the moment. And no matter how much you want to relax and breathe, you just can't seem to.
So what are you supposed to do when learning to breathe doesn't feel like an option? Understand what keeps you calm and bring yourself back to that.
When your mind is facing uncertainty (and subsequent anxiety), it craves a sense of surety; a calming reminder that everything will be okay. To help reduce the stress and its full body takeover, one of the most effective strategies is connecting back to a constant in your life. This is what I call a ritual, but in other words, focus in on a routine, habit, or anchor.
Everyone will have a different ritual that is able to effectively ground them and let the anxiety leave the body. Below are a few of our suggestions for you to try on:
meditation (try this!)
The key here is to find something that can calm you and continually practice it - don't just bust out the ritual when the anxiety spikes. By building a consistent practice (i.e. practice without the anxiety present), you create an anchor by reminding your brain of how it feels when it performs the same activity without the stress/anxiety. When you find what works for you, work on listening to your body. It will tell you when it needs its anchor - give yourself permission to listen and respond lovingly.
Please Note: if you notice that your anxiety continues daily for an extended period of time and you are concerned about how it is impacting your life, please reach out to a professional. CMHA has great resources to provide you with more information and support. Visit them here: http://www.cmha.ca/mental-health/your-mental-health/