Since Halloween is around the corner, and we are talking all things spooky, let’s look at the one of the scariest “monsters” around – anxiety.
Anxiety can be so scary because it is associated with fear – fear of the unknown, fear of dying, fear of losing control and a fear that something really bad is going to happen (an impending sense of doom).
So far, a great script for a horror movie.
Every horror movie needs a hero, and it is time for you to step up and take that role because your choice is always going to be:
Is anxiety going to fight you or are you going to fight anxiety?
Tips for becoming an anxiety monster fighter:
- You are not going to die! Repeat after me: you are not going to die! How do you know that you are not going to die? Well, you didn’t die the last time you had an anxiety attack so the chances are fairly good that you are not going to die this time either.
- Recognise an anxiety attack for what it is. If you become familiar with the symptoms (racing heart, chest pains, difficultly breathing, dizziness, feeling out of control and ‘floaty’, nausea), you can talk yourself through an attack “hello anxiety – I see you, I know you and I know that I am going to be OK”
- Breathe! Breathe out as hard as you can and then take a deep breath in. Concentrate on regulating your breathing
- Run cold water over your wrists
- Suck a peppermint or a small ice cube
- Stand in a breeze or in front of a fan
- This may sound crazy but try this: pinch the tips of your fingers with a clothes peg – it stimulates a trigger point that can calm you down – so can pressing down into your web space (the gap between your thumb and your finger)
- Rub a drop of lavender oil on your forehead
- You are not going to faint! Trust me on this one, there is very little chance of fainting when you have anxiety (unless you panic so much that you stop breathing properly – so back to point 3)
- Use every time that you survive an anxiety attack as a positive affirmation of how brilliant you are to have overcome it and know that if it happens again, you will deal with it again! Remember that if your body is reacting to anxiety, it probably means that your body works really well.