So, as I say, I think I've been practising this routine for years. I once had a partner with a nasty gambling habit and I recall spending hours walking the streets at night looking for him, completely oblivious to the fact that I was never going to find him, but certain in my anxious state that he must be out here and that what I was doing was entirely sensible. It was ridiculous but I couldn't stop myself. But now, dear friends, now I know why. And in knowing why, I now have the power to do something about it - I can now, at the ripe age of 32 (ish), I can now tame this beast. And I can do it before it forces any more crazy acts or bacon cheeseburgers down my gullet. (and no, that's not me abdicating responsibility - the beast is still me, and I know that. I just need to figure out how to deal with this part of me. I know it's not "other". I get it! I was being poetic. Sheesh tough crowd)
I've found some great websites with wonderful tips (see links at the bottom of the page) and I've selected my favourite strategies from these sites that I think will work for me and chucked them up here. You might have to dig around for your own tools (come now, let's not be lazy).
- Learn about Anxiety - read through a few sites and you may quickly recognise yourself within the pages. Learn more about what anxiety can do to the body and mind - this will lay the foundation for you understanding and putting into practice the strategies.
- Breathe - every site will tell you to do this. Slow, long breaths are a physical intervention that will help you get your mind back on track. It's like coming up for air when you're drowning - you need to breath when you're emotionally struggling too. Deliberately stop what you're doing (read: worrying about) and spend 2 minutes with your eyes closed breathing. It. Will. Bloody. Help.
- Challenge your negative thoughts - basically, you've got to find a way to say "stop" to the negativity before it goes OTT. You may chose to actually say the word "stop", spend 2 minutes breathing and then begin some real talk with yourself. There are some great example thought challenge questions that will help you get back to realistic thinking on AnxietyBC.
- Laugh - it helps you keep at bay and/or recover from anxiety and it helps you look younger and appear witty and approachable in groups. I'll just leave this here to get you started: