I recently gave a short talk on Why Anxiety is Hard to Control and How to Manage It. Preparing for it got me thinking about the purpose of anxiety – it’s to keep you safe!
When our ancestors lived in caves, wild animals were the biggest danger so signs of dangerous animals close by would make them anxious and ready to run or fight. Now you have the same response to ‘dangerous’ situations except today you usually have to think your way out of difficult circumstances and anxiety slows down rational thinking… It’s hard to control anxiety because it is an emotion coming from your subconscious emotional brain, not your conscious, rational brain.
The good news is that there are ways to manage anxiety, and even overcome it.
A subtle way that’s easy to use in public is to slow down your breathing, making sure your out breath is longer than your in breath. A long pause between your in and out breaths helps you to breathe deeply and slowly which tells your body it’s safe to relax.
Another one, from Emotional Freedom Techniques, is to squeeze the sides of your finger nails. And if you like, also rub the groove between your little and ring fingers. You can do this on either hand or both hands. It works both ways. This is easy to do in public with your hands on your lap. Most people won’t notice or won’t think much of it if they do.
If your inner voice is feeding you anxious thoughts, my e-book Turn Your Inner Critic into a Supportive Fan tells you how to do just that. Lots of my clients love this easy process!The best news is that there are ways to end constant anxiety – I’m proof of that! However, it does require more than self-management techniques, so give me a call and I’ll tell you how I’ve done it.