When you notice anxiety, stop what you are doing and spend some time trying to calm the reaction you are having. First, let yourself feel it. Give it some attention. Trying to ignore those feelings will only cause them to intensify.
1. Put your hand on your heart and say to yourself “May I be kind to myself in this moment”. Breathe slowly for 7 breaths.
2. An anxiety attack or upsurge of anxiety feels like an emergency, but it is NOT. Say to yourself “This feels like an emergency but it’s not an emergency” “you will be ok”.
3. Movement helps. Walk around. Do some stretching. Run in place. Jiggle your legs. Dance.
4. Making eye contact helps. Try this: Sit with your chair facing your partner and close enough to hold both hands. Make eye contact and breath. Talk if you want to. Laughing is allow! It can feel vulnerable or embarrassing, but it can also reset your nervous system to a more calm state.
5. Touch someone. If you have a safe person around, let them help you in a way that feels safe. Hold hands. Hug. Or just sit side by side.
6. Take 5 or more deep breaths. Yes, everybody says that. Because it often works. Deep breaths calm the vagus nerve. This is the part of your nervous system that counteracts the emergency signal. Your body has a program for calming down. You can learn to use it.
7. Turn on your self compassion. Imagine yourself as a child. Send love to those hurting parts. Say “I will take care of you” and “I won’t abandon you”.
8. Bring to your mind an image of a safe place or a safe person. This will help calm the uncomfortable feelings in your body. Practice this to see which images help shift your body in a positive direction.
If you’re ready to get some help, call me today. Or send an email. You don’t have to handle this alone. Your life can be so much more.