What is it about the feeling of anxiety that makes you so frantic and ready to escape it? The feelings that come along with anxiety – like doom, dread or worry – are feelings that you wish would just go away forever.
The top symptoms and signs that you’re suffering from anxiety as cited by WebMD are:
• Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
• Problems sleeping
• Shortness of breath
• Heart palpitations
• An inability to be still and calm
• Dry mouth
• Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
In the midst of an attack, it may feel like you won’t be able to endure your anxiety. Trust that you will get through it.
Here are three practical ways to manage your anxiety when it arises.
1. Face your fear/worry and repeat it to yourself – until it no longer has an effect. For example, if you are afraid of small spaces, you would stop that fear if you went into small spaces 100 times over. At first, you’d feel anxious and worrisome, but eventually, the small space would have no effect on you. To do this for yourself, take the thought that is bothering you and repeat it slowly, to yourself, for 20-30 minutes. It will desensitize yourself to the fear.
2. Set aside “worry” time for yourself – What if you don’t respond to the worrisome thought the minute it happens? If you feel your heart start to race, you can write down the reason that you’re feeling anxious and make a note to think through it and process it later in the day, at a set time. By the time that your “worry time” rolls around, the original worry likely won’t even matter anymore.
3. Utilize a soothing, reassuring visualization – Picture yourself at a favorite spot, like the beach – imagine the sight of the waves going in and out, and the smell of the saltwater. This will help you calm down when you’re anxious in the moment. Take deep breaths to help calm your nerves.
Know that anxiety is temporary and every feeling of panic, worry and fear will eventually evaporate and come to an end. This too shall pass.