Tip 5- Reducing/Managing Christmas Anxiety
Don’t fight it
Have you ever heard the saying, ‘What you resist persists?’
Well no other saying rings truer when we’re talking about anxiety/panic.
At the height of anxiety/panic the body very quickly jumps to fight or flight mode. As such adrenaline will begin to surge through your body, your heart rate will increase and the thoughts of impending doom start to consume your mind. You may also feel faint and dizzy at the same time. Remembering that your body is on high alert to danger and this is your body’s natural way of preparing itself to survive.
So when we feel these symptoms, often the anxiety and panic starts to rise even further. It’s at this point that we attempt to suppress or run away from what’s going on, believing that you can’t handle whatever situation you’re in, which in turn increase our anxiety and panic.
So I want to share with you a very effective strategy I used many many times to overcome my own acute anxiety and panic.
Bear in mind, it’s not easy to begin with, but I assure you if you commit to doing this every single time you experience another anxiety/panic attack, overtime you will begin to see and feel the benefits.
It’s also important to note, that when you begin to understand the mechanics behind anxiety/panic, it will better prepare you, when it arises in the future. This is why I recommend reading about anxiety and panic. The more we understand it’s origins and what it’s about, how we can deal with it and why it occurs the more we can learn to manage it.
For added safety and support, get someone to support you through this. Particularly initially I would recommend having someone you trust to support you through this.
1. Face your symptoms-
With the knowledge that your body is simply preparing for ‘battle’ allow your body to go through the reactions and say out aloud ‘ I’m ok, here it is again. I can allow my body to go through this and I can handle it. I’ve been through it before.
2. Accept what your body is doing without resisting it.
When you fight your anxiety or panic, you actually tense up more, which only makes the panic/anxiety worse. When you consciously allow the reactions to pass through your body, you’ll move through the panic much quicker.
Instead of scaring yourself about what your body’s doing, move with and through it, and making reassuring statements such as
This too shall pass
I’ll let my body do it’s thing and move through this
I’ve handled it before and I can handle it now.
This is just anxiety – I’ll let it pass
3. Allow the time to pass.
If you can allow it and float with the body’s reactions caused by the surge, the adrenaline will metabolise and be re-absorbed within 3-5 minutes.
In most cases panic attacks peak and then subside within only a few minutes. It will most likely pass quickly if you can try not to fight it.
With continued commitment, you should begin to experience lesser degrees of panic/anxiety and learn to catch the symptoms very early on before they become unmanageable and at a point where you feel out of control.
Again, further reading on the flight and fight response will help you to identify and understand your own body’s warning signs and symptoms of panic.
Support is also available 24/7 for Australian residents at Lifeline, 13 1114