Anxiety is one of many emotions we all experience. A certain level is normal but when it becomes crippling or feels as though it is in charge of you, then it’s time to tackle your anxiety.
Stand your ground!
If you’re quaking in your boots or trembling like a leaf, guide your awareness straight down to your feet.
Whether you’re sitting or standing, place both feet firmly down on the floor hip-width apart.
Notice if previously your feet were squashed up on chair legs or tucked out of the way beneath a table. Feel your feet inside their shoes. Give your toes a wriggle.
Get a sense of connecting through the soles of your shoes onto the ground (whether it’s wooden, shiny tiles or carpet).
Just as plants draw on the energy from the soil, imagine you are drawing up energy from the earth through the soles of your feet. You can combine this with step 2: some deep slow breaths.
As soon as you bring your awareness to your breathing you have the choice to deepen it.
With anxious thoughts you may notice your breathing is shaky or shallow.
Breathe deeply in and out. You will immediately be filling your lungs to their greater capacity and rewarding your brain with more oxygen.
Take a few deep, mindful breaths.
Coupled with your grounding, visualize that you are breathing deeply from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.
Being a softie is a strength!
When you’re anxious the body stiffens with tension. Notice where it’s more prominent for you. Everyone is different.
You might become aware that your shoulders are hunched up. Soften them. Let some of the tension drop away.
Be interested to notice where else in your body there is tension. It could be your knees, thighs, jaw, brow. Sometimes other people can see your face rigid with fear. Part your lips to let go of some of that tension across your lips, teeth and jaw.
What’s on your mind?
What are you thinking? Say to yourself: ‘I notice I’m having the thought that … I am scared of this person … that I am not good enough … that I can’t do this …’
Then ask yourself if that thought is helping you to be the person you want to be right now. It’s usually not helpful!
Remind yourself why you are here in the situation or what it is that is important to you. Remember your reasons – for example you want to help people with the work you do but you are anxious about public speaking.
Your unique skills and passion you bring to your work is what has already got you here. So remember that’s a success!
It can also help to remember that many other people experience anxiety and it shows up in different ways to you. You are not alone. It’s certainly one of the most common aspects students share on my Mindfulness Courses here at Place of Serenity.
Try one or more of these 4 tips to tackle your anxiety. Do share below if you like any of these tips or if you have one that works for you.
From the Calm Clinic website: Tips for Friends and Family of Those With Anxiety
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation Coach