Anxiety - Are you Sure?
What Are You Feeling?
Are you wondering how to manage anxiety? It may be so commonplace that it feels that every day is filled with the same feelings of dread. However, have you ever taken time to truly explore that jittery feeling in the pit of your stomach or the tightness that sits in your chest? A deeper exploration could be useful as anxiety can screen or be confused with other emotions and feelings that are present.
Our feelings and emotions are with us for a reason – they are telling us what is right or wrong at that moment, or a negative mood may be telling us that something longer term is a problem. But sometimes those feelings and moods can trigger a subconscious physical or mental response which may appear to be like anxiety. This can be particularly true if in the past feelings, and the expression of feelings, have been associated with difficult periods that were stressful or anxiety-generating. If you have experienced a long period of stress you might start to automatically associate all feelings, good and bad, with anxiety through the physical and mental responses that you have.
Anxiety As A Messenger From Within
Managing anxiety and trying to control your response to it is only natural. However, this could have the unwanted consequence of stopping you from accessing the feelings, emotions, and moods that have an important message for you. Those messages can be essential as they are often what motivates us to make positive changes to our lives. The feelings themselves might also be difficult to manage and control, which in itself can generate a sense of anxiety.
We can learn how to manage these difficult feelings and perhaps accept them. You can make changes to your life that would reduce the feelings, which can be a powerful way of reducing a sense of chronic anxiety that may feel unmanageable or overwhelming.
The first step is to accept and work with our anxiety by managing, rather than repressing, the uncomfortable physical feelings and a racing mind. This can allow us to access the emotions that lie beneath. Instead of dismissing ourselves as an anxious person, we can transform the negative feelings by changing our mindset, becoming curious about our wonderful emotional complexity, and exploring what lies beneath.
How to Manage Anxiety
So what can we do to manage our anxiety? Slow down. When you feel anxiety stop and listen to your body.
- Where is the anxious feeling located in your body?
- What thoughts are associated with this feeling?
- What else is going on for you right now?
- Are there other emotions that you can identify at this moment?
- When have you felt this way before?
Slowly breathe into the feelings and sensations in your body and be curious about why they are there. Acknowledging and accepting negative emotions helps us to diffuse their power and hold over us.
Panic attacks may need a different approach but if you are feeling anxious, make friends with it, explore it and you never know, it may reveal itself as something else.
Reaching Out For Help
You are not alone. Anxiety is a normal emotion that is there to protect you. If your anxiety is in overdrive, and you need further help to unpack it, seek the help of a professional who will be able to guide you through the process of how to manage anxiety.
For further information on how to manage anxiety, please get in touch below.