Taking control of your anxiety

July 10, 2022
Asifa Rapaiee

About the author: Michelle loves working with young people and those on a path of self development, to connect the mind, emotions and body energies. She treats everyone as unique and enjoys how she works in a therapeutic way to help people.

Being anxious comes from your thoughts spiralling out of control and the thoughts putting potential outcomes into your head. An example is when you walk into a crowded room, like entering school in the morning and awaiting you is a group of people. They notice you and look at you, and that is perfectly normal as they are curious who has just walked in. But in your head your mind is saying such things as ‘why are they all staring at me? Are they judging me? Are they talking about me? Are they going to say horrible nasty things about me? Your own mental energy works overtime which can be overwhelming.

Physically you may get hot sweaty hands, your body feels hot, you may think you are going red in the face, you notice your breathing gets faster and faster and your heart beat speeds up.  Your body may also be trembling.

Emotionally you may feel uncomfortable, and feel like you want to run away and not be there. Fear arises.

You are putting this energy and your focus out there, rather than containing this within yourself. What I mean by this is by imagining what you think is going on with this group of people in front of you, your focus is with them and the situation of you walking in the crowded room, which increased your anxiety. By pulling in your focus into your self and your body, this will keep you grounded and in the very present. Being grounded means feeling your feet and feel each step you take so being mindful of yourself walking. By focusing on your breathing, and trying to make an effort to take deep breaths in and out, this helps with feeling more calm. Not looking directly at the group of people but perhaps beyond them or something on the wall or ground, will be more helpful than looking at the group. So it is about changing your focus.

Then walk in calmly and slowly and know that most of the things you were imagining in your head is not true.  

Anxiety means your thoughts are ahead of yourself and in the future, like ‘everyone is going to look at me and judge me’. Being present is a nicer and calmer place to be and keeps you more centred.  

Certain amounts of worry or fear such as exam stress is normal.  

What happens within you when you are anxious is that your sympathetic nervous system kicks in and you go into fight or flight mode. By grounding yourself, breathing deep and slowly and being mindful and in the present moment you will then go more into your parasympathetic nervous system which is the calmer and more centred place to be so your mind, your body response and your feelings sends off signals within your body and the body then responds back.




Useful resources:

Anxiety

Myths about anxiety

How to help someone with anxiety

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