Something that isn’t talked about much, but a lot of us experience at some point in our lives.
It’s normal to feel anxious. It’s our body’s way of telling us to pay attention and to keep ourselves safe from danger.
However, it can be easy to think that we are going crazy, and having others telling us to ‘pull ourself together’ can be the opposite of what we need in that moment.
The body is perceiving danger, so enters what we call fight or flight.
We have evolved to protect ourselves when living in the wild, with our tribes. When a tiger approached, we would have has two choices
fight the tiger
run and take flight.
In the world we live in today, there aren’t many real tigers to deal with (apart from maybe the boss). But there are many other perceived situations of threat, that still cause a fight/flight response.
When we enter fight/flight our body releases adrenaline into the body, which allows us to experience:
increased heart rate (to get oxygen to major muscles faster)
sweating (cooling the body & preventing it from overheating)
shorter panting breath (provides the tissues with oxygen required to prepare for action)
dilated pupils (to find the tiger)
blood sent to major organs to protect us and away from non-major organs, e.g. skin. which can make us feel cold
decreased activity in digestive system (allows more energy to go to systems that need it. This can result in try mouth, nausea, constipation, decreased appetite)
But it can seem scary when our body reacts in this way when we don’t know what we are scared of, or often we know what we are scared of and don’t understand the fear.
Becoming friends with anxiety was the best path for healing.
Acknowledge and accept its there. Say hello to it.
Thank the anxiety for telling you something and protecting you from potential danger. Your body is amazing.
If you can, journal down what is going on. Ask what just happened? Was there a trigger? What feelings are you feeling now?
Be OK with the feelings.
Treat yourself the same way you would a small child. A hug, a belly rub, a warm drink and deep understanding of how you feel.
Tell yourself everything is going to be ok. Sit with the feelings without telling them to ‘go-away’
Take care of yourself. Call a friend. Go into nature. Sit in the sun. Any small gesture of self care.
Yoga and Meditation can both be incredible tools to help reduce anxiety symptoms. However, if things become hard to cope with, please reach out and seek professional help. There are incredible people out there that can offer further support.
What ways do you make friends with anxiety?