Now its time for the third article in my series on Anxiety and how to handle it.
This time, we look at why we might be feeling anxious…
Of course, in these uncertain times there are plenty of reasons to feel anxious but some of us may be more vulnerable to this than others.
In any case, let’s take a closer look…
So now we know the facts about anxiety, what it is and how it works, we are armed with information.
We have also learned some quick fixes to deal with anxiety reactions when they occur. The next thing we did was to look at how we can better prepare ourselves so that anxiety doesn’t affect us as often or as severely.
So, at this point, we’re all set to understand and manage the symptoms. But what about the cause? Why do we feel anxious?
The good news is that the fight, flight or freeze reaction has been developed over years of evolution to help us survive. The way we feel when we are having an anxiety reaction, as awful as it is, is actually a survival instinct.
I’m going to talk you through some steps which will help you to identify and make friends with your anxiety reaction so that you can harness it’s power to super charge your own super human powers!
I want to take you back to when we thought about where we felt our anxiety reaction for a moment. For the next couple of minutes, if you feel comfortable, I’d like you to relax and make sure you are safely seated or even lying down.
Now, I want you to think about a time when you felt anxious. Your natural instinct may be to shy away from this memory but stay with it and feel whatever you are feeling in this moment.
Try and identify where this feeling is in your body.
Do you feel it in your body or is it more like a presence outside of your body?
Try and identify it as if you had been asked to draw it. It could be a feeling, a colour, a shape, a person, an animal
As it comes to life in your mind’s eye, look at it and acknowledge it.
Whatever you see or feel, remember this is your friend. It is there to help and protect you. The more you try and ignore it and push it away, the more it tries to gain your attention.
Make a decision to work together. Thank it for it’s help so far in keeping you safe.
Try and solidify the feeling, presence or colour whatever you have in your mind’s eye.
This part is important because you can recognise your friend when it is there in the future.
Now, think about how you can call on your friend when you need to and also how you can tell it when it can take a rest. Will there be a word? A colour? Decide with your new friend how you can work together.
Now you have made friends, I want you to really think about how you are feeling. Does it feel different? If not, that’s ok, just acknowledge what is going on for you.
Ok, now it is time to say goodbye to your friend for now, you will see them or feel them again but they can leave for now.
As you wave them off in your mind’s eye, start to gently wiggle your toes and your fingers.
Turn the corners of your mouth upwards into a smile and gently open your eyes.
You’re amazing oh, and you have a new friend too!
Ok, so now you have really completed the circle. With practice, you will find that your new knowledge will continue to solidify, and you will begin to see that what was once a negative feeling can now become your best superpower!
Sarah Terry is a School Counsellor and Author who works in Central England. Her interests include Counselling and Psychology, Personality Types, Jogging and Yoga and Meditation. Find out more here
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