How can I simply explain anxiety to you??It?s the negative predictions of the future created in one?s mind in replace of the truth and more often than not, the unknown. It?s the uncertainty surrounding a situation or circumstance that breeds anxiety.
When you are feeling anxious, honestly, the best thing that you can do is look up and breathe.
Seems simple enough but there are patterns you run when anxiety kicks in. You stop breathing normally. Your breath is held or becomes quicker. You?re most likely looking down & you turn into yourself to keep these negative thoughts alive.
When your body is in this state it is easy to keep running the negative thoughts. Why? Because the thinking and feeling part of your brain is accessed when you?re looking down and your posture is low.
When you become aware that you?re starting to run this pattern of anxiety, take a big deep breathe, stand tall and look up. It allows oxygen to start flowing around your body and interrupts the pattern the anxiety was running on.
You?ll need to take more than one breath! Allow yourself a minute or more for a few big breaths while standing and looking up high. If the anxiety happens often, consider placing a hanging object that depicts a happy place (maybe a dream catcher/quote/star) up high to focus on.
The more you do this, the easier it will become and the quicker you can move away from the anxious state.
The bigger fix?
So how can you replace the uncertainty with certainty to minimise the anxiety in life?
It?s only a small part, but one way to start, is by figuring out what you can?t control and what you can control. Letting go of the things you can?t control and taking charge of the things you can.
First, a little story;
I used to have anxiety around getting hit by a car. Constantly. To the point where I could cry just thinking about it. Every time I sat in the car I would panic. I would imagine a car on the other side of the road crossing a lane and hitting me. That I was at stop lights and the person behind me wouldn?t stop and would hit me. I thought of it in so many ways and so often I believed it was going to happen. Then I learnt these things that I?m about to teach you and I haven?t had the thought since. Such an awesome feeling and why I?m sharing it with you. Define Yourself by Josephine Macri email@example.com www.defineyourself.co
Remember that the negative predictions you have of the future are just that. Predictions! They are stories you tell yourself with so much detail, right down to where it is, who?s there, what they?re wearing, what you?ll say and do, that they seem real.
You can predict that you?re not going to get you desired job and that in turn you won?t be able to pay your bills.
You could also predict that you ACE the interview, beat everyone in the country for the position and make a ridiculously amazing wage.
You?re laughing now, yes? Because story number two sounds ridiculously crazy! Right?? Or just as crazy as the fact that you believe you won?t get it and have no way to pay your bills.
Because it?s possible that neither ever happen? Just like my car accident story.
Tell yourself, ?IF the negative prediction were to happen, I?ll deal with it then?. No point dealing with the possibility every day for the next year. As Humans we?re much better at dealing with issues than we think. It?s the idea of it that is more overwhelming.
Decide how much time and energy you are going to spend thinking about something that MIGHT happen, but probably never will? A day, a week, a month. You could be doing much better things with that time? like studying!
List all of the things you can?t control;
1. Interview questions
2. Weather on the day
3. How many people are in the interview
Acknowledge that there is nothing you can do about the questions etc and accept it. Because honestly, not matter how much you think about them, they are not going to change and there is nothing you can do about it, am I right? Save your thoughts and energy for the things you CAN do something about.
Work out what part of this situation you can control. Things like;
1. How much importance you place around it
2. How much time you can seriously dedicate to preparing
3. Who can possibly help you get the best outcome / give you the upper hand
Define Yourself by Josephine Macri firstname.lastname@example.org www.defineyourself.co
4. Finding a mentor – having a mentor is always a great thing. Someone who has done exactly what you?re doing and can give you sound advice on the steps you need to take. Invaluable if you can find one.
Make a list of all the things that you can control for your specific situation. Because at the end of the day, if you take control and own all those things that are in your power, you will walk into any situation in life knowing you have done everything possible to get the best outcome and you?re going to feel a lot more confident about it. That?s a fact!
Imagine you?re at the end of the interview, or whatever situation you are feeling anxious about, and you?re happy. Sounds silly, but it works.
It?s a great technique to use when you?re approaching a situation you don?t feel comfortable with. Visualise the successful end. Like the driving. I would visualise myself at the shop or at my friend?s house before I sat in the car. That way the thought in my mind was, ?the driving part is over and I?m where I need to be.?
It?s a very powerful visualisation that you can use in all areas of your life. An interview, a sporting event. Whenever the thought of the event starts up, simply imagine yourself at the successful end. You stand up slowly and confidently, knowing you did everything you could to prepare for that moment and you walk away with a smile on your face.
Powerful stuff. Use it. Use all of these tools and you?ll start to see the anxiety you have become less.
Article provided by?Josephine Macri, Define Yourself.
Josehine is available for coaching sessions to help you through these steps and beyond.