Anxiety Toolbox


In anxiety the fear of fear itself becomes the biggest fear. The fear of a panic or anxiety attack, the fear of the physical sensations, the racing mind ... And what we resist, persists. So fighting it is not the solution.

The way out is to reprogram yourself to not fear fear anymore.

How to do that?

Acceptance. Simple, but not easy.

Accept it as part of you, not something you need to fight or be ashamed of. After all it's only our survival mechanism that wants to protect you. Accept the sensations you feel and the thoughts you have. Practice staying present. I found it helpful to learn what happens on a physiological level, and thus to understand why my heart was racing, my palms got sweaty and my stomach turned into a knot. I kept reminding myself that the sensations I felt are 'only' anxiety and that it will eventually pass when the body regulates itself (which it surely will).

COPING Many people are dealing with anxiety to some degree. Here are some tips to manage anxiety in an acute situation: * breathing: slow and even into your belly, elongate exhale e.g. inhale count 4 exhale count 6 * moving: walking, dancing or in any other way to literally move your energy * talk to someone: it's not neccessary to talk about what you are experiencing, but just engaging in a conversation can help * acceptance: consciously accept feeling anxious, feel it in your body, while reminding yourself that it’ll pass * questioning your thoughts: don't take your thoughts seriously, being anxious makes our mind very creative to come up with lots of possible scenarios that will most likely never happen * focus on the present moment: anxiety is future oriented, draw your attention on everything that is NOW * any kind of simple task that needs your attention: it helps to do something where you use your hands * journaling: either pure stream of thought or something more targeted * focus on what you are grateful for * music

HEALING / PREVENTION Learining how to cope in acute situations is only the first step - it's only extinguishing the fire. Anxiety and other stress is very taxing on the human body. When the symapthetic nervous system is constantly on overdrive, we age quicker, our immune system is weakened and our digestion and other restorative functions of the body are compromised. Here are some tips for prevention and healing. Please note that change will not happen over night. It takes time to reprogram deep patterns of our body and mind. * take regular time for stillness * meditation * yoga * regular physical activity * practice breathing * journaling * nutrition (avoid too much caffeine, sugar, gluten) * facing your fears is the only way to overcome them



If you experience anxiety, it is worth examining underlying causes. These could be physiological conditions or lifestyle choices. Here are some common ones: *thyroid disorder *nutrient deficiency (e.g. Iron or B vitamins) *food intolerances (e.g. gluten intolerance) *stress *thought patterns *eating habits and nutrition *to much caffeine or alcohol *lack of movement/ physical activity *imbalanced lifestyle *side effects of medication

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