Last week was mental health awareness week and the focus was on anxiety. Whilst a weeks attention is vital so we can normalise our relationship with our mental health. It’s my opinion that daily attention to it can allow us to lead more satisfying lives.
Anxiety is one of the big concerns in my client work and something that we all face at times during our lives to a lesser or greater extent.
It can be extremely debilitating and stop some people from leading functional lives but often, it is something that we live with, put up with or struggle on with. It can be oppressive and make life seem not worth living.
Lots of us live with a high level of anxiety but keep it hidden from others.
This gets us through the day but life can feel like a trudge.
Living with anxiety can be a daily battle and not something that can be dealt with in a week.
I’m really oversimplifying here, but at it’s essence, anxiety is a fear response and we need to learn how to regulate ourselves when it shows. This can be daily or moment by moment.
I thought I’d list a few basics that I find help when anxiety rears it’s head. None of these are cures but they may help lessen the impact and encourage us to connect with something other than the anxiety.
Get moving - moving the body helps us process the fear response.
Be around others - surrounding ourselves with someone or people in our life who make us feel safe our key.
Get out in nature and pay attention to it - Even a 5 minute walk outside, taking in some other living beings can help us connect with something greater than ourselves and our anxiety.
Slow your breathing down - Part of the fear response is that our breathing increases, by intentionally slowing this down, this helps our body naturally soothe and slow.
And if that leaves you feeling a little more settled, try to take one small step to address any fears that you have rather than ignoring them. Avoidance tends to increase the fear in the long run.
None of this can feel easy, but even one of these simple beahvaiours can help soothe us and open up space to detach from those anxious feelings.
From small steps, big journeys begin.
Have a great start to the week,