Do you tend to often feel anxious? Maybe you find yourself with the familiar feeling of anxiety but don’t know how to get past it. Here are three quick tips to help you manage your anxiety more effectively.
Check The Present Moment
Anxiety is a future oriented state. Typically we are worried something bad will happen, or someone will have a negative evaluation of us, or we’ll fail. Therefore, we’re on high alert for threat. From an evolutionary standpoint, anxiety has been extraordinarily useful to us humans. Anxiety allows us to be vigilant for possible danger it and it helps us to plan ahead for what might happen next. Yet, left unchecked, high anxiety feels uncomfortable, can actually paralyze us from taking action, and has a negative impact on mental and physical health.
So next time you feel the familiar physical agitation and heart-racing feeling of anxiety take a moment to check your environment. Stay in present-moment awareness and observe if anything threatening is actually happen. Probably not, right? If you allow your mind to observe that there is no danger, your body and brain will likely follow suit and call off the anxiety alert.
Remember The Feeling Is Temporary
Research shows that emotions last, on average, for 90 seconds in our bodies and brains. If we feel an emotion longer it’s the result of thoughts that perpetuate the feeling, the meaning we attach to emotions, or behaviors that maintain persistent emotional experiences. Research has identified the “90-second rule,” which means that “biochemically the initial surge of any emotion lasts only 90 seconds.” To move through the wave of your anxiety, and onto the next emotional experience, try accepting your anxiety. It may sound counterintuitive, but by accepting your anxiety, and even saying “I’m feeling anxious right now,” while noticing your physical reactions, can help you get over your anxiety faster.
Change Your Behavior
Do certain situations tend to cause anxiety? Perhaps it’s traffic, or worrying what a relative will say to you. The fastest way to change your emotional experience is to change your behavior. If some situations cause stress and anxiety it makes sense to limit them, or change your response. Please note that changing behavior should not be confused with emotional avoidance. It’s important to feel ALL emotions, to experience the full range of human affect. However, if your environment causes anxiety it may be time to take action and choose a different behavior or situation.
Katrina Taylor, LMFT-Associate. 512-270-9002
Disclaimer: The content provided here is intended for informational purposes only. Reading articles and content on this website does not constitute a therapeutic relationship.