How to Get Rid of Anxiety
When worry and anxiety hijack our minds, it feels awful. Symptoms of anxiety include tightening in the chest, racing heart, muscle tension, sweating, breathing problems, worry and obsessing about what is “wrong”. Taken to the extreme, we may experience panic. I would do anything to avoid a panic attack, and I’m sure you would too! That is one monster I can live without.
So let’s do that. Let’s live with minimal anxiety and certainly without panic. Really? Sure, why not? Let’s start today. Right this minute, even! Take a slow deep breath, and release. Put your arms over your head and take another slow deep inhale. Now exhale so that you can hear it. Like a slow sigh. Now stretch your body — neck rolls, shoulder rolls, arms up and out, then down, then back, belly, and legs and ankles and toes. Move your feet and hands around in circles. Still breathing slow deep breaths. See if you can relax your muscles into the gravity, paying particular attention to facial muscles, head neck and shoulders. Take a slow deep breath, and exhale on the count of eight. Close your eyes for a moment and think of the word GRATITUDE. What are you grateful for?
Fundamentally, realize all that is going well. We have this amazing brain that can create solutions to problems, that can think proactively about what is needed to address challenges and create the life we want. Challenges help us grow and mature, even heal old hurts. Life requires us to grow up, and oddly enough, maturity restores joy! I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned that have helped me do this and I’ll bet you are, too. I am grateful I can watch this sun rise and see the moon over my head. I am grateful for so much that is going well. I am grateful for my breath, for my senses, for my ability to walk and ability to notice birds and squirrels, dogs and babies in strollers. I am grateful for the all important concept of CHOICE, the ability to choose to see these as connections in life rather than painful reminders of what I don’t have. Without exercising our ability to choose thoughts, we may default into negativity, which is addictive and anxiety producing. So by choosing to focus on the CONNECTION THAT IS LIFE, we live into the 80+ percent that is going very well.
Still breathing slowly, think of all that is going well right now. And problems? Well, life hands us problems so we can learn and mature. Problems are challenges that help us overcome negativity, discover new abilities, new parts of our self and be more creative in seeking solutions lovingly. Our most effective problem solving strategy will come out of this positive and rational thinking rather than fear. Fear-based thinking comes from the “reptile brain”, and solutions come from our cerebral cortex. I’d much rather have the life run according to my human brain than my reptile fight/flight brain.
We have within us much wisdom and problem solving ability when we slow down and listen. Listen to the rhythm of nature. Listen as we notice our senses and what they take in. Listen as we create new solutions using positive, creative thoughts and behaviors. Lose the fear and negativity. Live into all that is going well. Frame worries as challenges that have solutions and seek those lovingly. Address problems positively.
Still breathing slowly, decide what you DO want for your life. Spend your valuable time and thinking ability seeking what is possible and desirable rather than worrying. Practice this each and every day and notice how much improves, including and especially health! Many physical and mental disorders are COMPLETELY avoided when we manage stress positively. And life’s challenges get addressed so much more effectively.
Long term, make this a lifestyle that includes enjoyable exercise, laughter, fun, and seek relationships and experiences that call these forth and improve the quality of life. I believe life is meant to be lived in joy.
Now stretch your body again, take a deep cleansing breath, and release.
Hope that helps.