An Essentail Guide to Dealing with Anxiety in 8 Steps
Posted Mar 30 2012 10:06pm
Posted in | March 30, 2012 |
By guest author Sandra Weismann
Note: This post is part of the new series on BalanceInMe called Real People, Real Balance. If you would like to share your story of finding life balance while dealing everyday struggles and challenges please contact Anastasiya. Each one of us has a story to share and Your experience will help another member of our community reclaim their balance. BalanceInMe is all about supporting our community on the journey towards balanced and happy living. Let’s embark on this journey together!
Anxiety affects many of us; nearly everybody experiences it at some level. While some people experience it mildly others suffer from it significantly.
High levels of anxiety can be quite an overwhelming and fearful thing to go through. After experiencing both low and high levels of anxiety and developing some practical tools that have helped me manage it I wanted to share these with other sufferers.
I was 35 years old when I realized that my anxiety levels had finally out-run me. The last straw which made me finally see more clearly what was going on in my life was a full blown panic attack. It was then that I finally realized I was going to need to make some changes and find some tools to help me live with and manage my anxiety.
Not everyone who has anxiety experiences panic attacks, but the fears deep within our consciousness that are felt at the height of an attack feel so real and are so engulfing that it would probably be considered the worst thing about anxiety for those that have had them. It feels like your body almost gets a life of its own and the light-headedness, dizziness, heart palpitations and sweating that can come over you in an instant make you feel very lost and out of control initially. In a panic attack you feel as though you are losing consciousness which is a very scary thing to feel (once you understand what a panic attack is you know you are not losing consciousness but that sensation is a measure of the fear and anxiety that is in your system at the time that is demanding to be dealt with).
In my personal experience more frightening than the panic attack was not understanding what was happening to me, not understanding what anxiety is or having any measure on it. It felt like my anxiety was controlling me and I didn’t know when it would come out again. Luckily there is now a lot of help and information available on anxiety management, the internet was my home for many months as I found reassurance in others’ journeys, I could read that I was not alone with this overwhelming situation.
Initially, I found it hard to be proactive about dealing with my anxiety. You don’t really want to face the fear you are experiencing and most of the time you are so relieved when it goes away you don’t want to think about it again. Also, accepting that you have an anxiety problem that may take time and patience and a lot of kindness to yourself to deal with can be another journey in itself. But once you can accept the situation it is so enormously liberating.
However, when I started doing some research on the subject, I was so relieved to discover that many other people had experienced what I was going through; that there is so much accumulated knowledge about anxiety and its management; and that many books have been written and tools developed to help you live your life. This knowledge will put you in a strong position to manage the physical symptoms you experience.
I found the simplest of things have helped. What works for me are things that give me overall room and peace in myself so when faced with a potential anxiety triggering situation I have the space in myself to not react immediately with my anxious response. While my body may still react before my head with a quickening of my pulse or lightheadedness, I am now able to breathe and settle my physical responses down before they get a head of steam.
Ultimately it’s different for everyone and each person with anxiety has a deeply personal and unique journey but this is a list of the most helpful practical tools I have found in helping me recover from debilitating levels of anxiety.
This is a combination of personal experience and what I have learnt so far though many wonderful people that have pioneered managing anxiety.
It is ongoing acceptance and management but with the tools I now have in place in my life I feel I am able to regain my stability and confidence in situations and to ultimately feel free and excited about my life.
It is an ongoing journey but I have discovered it is ultimately a very positive and rewarding one even though sometimes it might not feel like it.
Learning about yourself and learning to listen to your body when it’s telling you something needs to change can be the most rewarding gift of all for living the rest of your life as fully and freely as you can.
Editor’s note:Please support Sandra and welcome her to our balanced community by leaving a comment below.
About the author: Sandra has spent most of her adult life searching for answers to questions that many of us have stopped asking. She’s tried to keep an open mind in her quest and has been occasionally rewarded with pearls of wisdom. Sandra’s recent journey and research into managing anxiety has brought her in contact with a myriad of ideas and theories, however she has found herself spending more and more time digesting the explanation of consciousness that is put forward by the World Transformation Movement
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