Welcome to the topic of anxiety! This is a topic I’m passionate about and don’t take lightly, despite my somewhat light tone throughout this post. In this post I am sharing my tips on how to cope with anxiety and how you can overcome persistent or situational anxiety without medication based on my personal experience. If you want the tips on how to manage anxiety ongoing now, skip straight to the end of this post. In this post I am sharing a few sub-points on the topic of anxiety because I feel they’re relevant, related and beneficial. Sub-points being:
- Why anxiety is disruptive to your life
- What you have to look forward to
- Differentiators between managing persistent anxiety, situational anxiety and managing an anxiety attack
- What your life will look like once you become a pro at #allthethings anxiety
Allow me to reiterate as outlined in my T&C, I am in no way shape or form a licensed mental health practitioner nor qualified to diagnose anyone’s anxiety or explain it in a medical sense from a place of technicality. Am I however qualified to share what’s worked for me based on my personal experience of which I have much. I’m a master at managing my own PTSD and prior to my PTSD experiences (more than one) I lived with anxiety for a large part of my life without realizing it. I’m ecstatic to say that today I rarely experience anxiety, in fact – I’ve rid the word from my vocabulary which helps big time. I just don’t allow anxiety as part of my existence. Should something trigger me, I’m hella quick to sort through the steps 1-3 of “why” the sensation is happening, and quickly shift out of it – because in the end whatever the anxiety-vibe is that’s being dished, the contrast gets to be acknowledged and expanded upon into something material and positive. It’s possible. Get ready to change your life and become anxiety-free, if you want to! You’re in the right place.
You really only become aware that you have anxiety when something triggers a highly emotional response in your system, and your body and mind respond to that experience. The trick on how to cope with and manage anxiety is identifying and understanding it. Your body will tell you. I’ll get more into that below.
Let’s shed light on a few anxiety-related facts for a minute
- Anxiety takes away your focus and detracts from your productivity; it derails you. A lack of productivity equals a distraction in completion of work and contribution. You suffer material and financial loss.
- Anxiety takes you out of feeling calm & peaceful, and takes you into a place that spikes your adrenals & cortisol. This doesn’t feel good. Your physical and mental health suffer.
- Anxiety causes a ripple effect of low vibration feelings because once you’re in a state of anxiety, it’s often not simple to remember in that moment how to get out of that state of being – and you end up spending more time in that state of being (anxiety) than you need to. You turn crazy because you aren’t thinking using your right mind, you’re in fight or flight. You do things you wouldn’t normally do and possibly cause harm to self or relationships you’d not otherwise compromise.
If you’ve ever experienced the above you know how disruptive and debilitating anxiety can be in your life until you get ahead of it and get a hold on managing it. Shall we?
The Good News? You have a ton to look forward to!
Learning how to overcome anxiety comes with a world of rewards greater than you could ever imagine. These rewards come in the form of physiological, mental, emotional and spiritual rewards. Achieving freedom from anxiety will give you a great deal of power in countless areas of your life: health, relationships and money, to name a few. At minimum, you will experience relief from feeling nerve-shot and out of control when you learn how to cope and manage your anxiety with ease (and without medication) using the tools I am about to share with you. By using these tools you will create a doorway into experiencing a world of uninterrupted fucking peace!
How To Overcome Anxiety
Types of Anxiety as categorized by me:
- Generalized/Situational: Brought on by specific situations. Non-persistent. Low to mid-grade anxiety. Irritating. Short-lasting in experience (may last minutes or hours; less than a week).
- Persistent: Living in a consistent or fairly continuous state of forlornness without reprise in sight. Persistent ongoing (persists beyond a week, more like months and possibly years). Low-grade anxiety.
- Attack: Immediate experience brought on by am impulse trigger. Non-persistent. High-grade anxiety. Short-lasting in experience (lasts minutes or hours).
- Loop: This is generalized and situational anxiety that is not persistent, though is re-experienced in loop form (alike habit) because there’s a lack of personal responsibility present in the cause that has yet to be resolved.
Understanding Your Anxiety in Steps:
- Identify when you are experiencing anxiety. Your heart rate may increase, you may experience shortness of breath, your blood pressure may rise. I imagine this is different for everyone.
- Identify what or who is contributing to this particular anxiety that you are causing for yourself. Think: what role does this person play in your life or what scenario is inducing this anxious experience.
- Identify and seek to understand the root cause. There’s usually more than meets the eye to your anxious experience. What’s below the surface when you start peeling back the layers of how you arrived in that moment? It manifested over time.
- Take responsibility for your contribution to the experience. The point of shifting out of anxiety is gaining back your personal power over the anxious feeling you are experiencing. By taking responsibility for your contribution to this experience, you can loop back to point 3 and rearrange the pieces.
- Learn how to mitigate, master, manage and eliminate anxiety from your world
**A great reminder throughout all of this is to ask yourself: “am I taking (whatever it is) personally?” Sometimes that which we become anxious about is not a personal matter nor in our control. That which is out of our control gets to stay there. If that which you’re experiencing anxiety over is something you can’t change or control, you get to make the decision to move on.
Tips on How to Manage Generalized & Situational Anxiety:
- Go through steps 1-3 and identify as best you can.
- Next, change your state and get obsessed with something or someone other than yourself. Now’s the time to redirect your focus to something you can fully immerse yourself in that will take your mind off of whatever is giving you anxiety. This might include:
- A project you can complete from start to finish. Think: clean your closets, clean your make-up, make lists, clean up the photos in your phone, clean the house. You get the picture. Get obsessed with a task you can complete. Throwing yourself into the task and completing the task will both divert your focus from whatever is giving you anxiety and also give you the satisfaction of completing something (if you’re like me and enjoy the satisfaction of completing a task).
- Focusing out. Call a friend or family member and ask them how they are and how you can support them – like right now in this moment. Someone not answering the phone? Dial through every number you’ve got until you reach someone who can use your advice, support, whatever have you. I guarantee there will be more than enough takers for your ear and generous offer to be there for them in whatever way they need in that moment. Point: shift focus from you to them.
- Music + grounding. Pop on some therapeutic music and lay flat on your back on the floor or the ground outside (preferably the ground outside). Laying flat on your back will ground you. The music will instantly shift your vibration. This is one of my favorite instant soothe-all’s.
- Mantra out. Create a positive affirmation and focus on repeating that affirmation as you ground yourself and your heart rate slows down. Lay on your back and surrender to your experience (this is not the same as becoming it).
- Head to YouTube and going down a rabbit hole on one of your favorite topics. You’ll learn something, shift your vibe into one of a state of relaxation, and the anxiety will in time, subside.
- **A Note: I’m not suggesting you don’t call someone and have them walk you back from anxiety and into a place of calm. A point to be mindful of: talking more about the experience that caused said anxiety and magnifying the focus on that topic will keep that sensation burning instead of extinguishing. The quickest way into a sensation of feeling better is to identify, understand, take responsibility, shift focus and move on quicker to feeling good and out of that anxious place you were once in.
- Should your anxiety truly persist and going through steps 1-3 in identifying your anxiety and shifting your focus not support you as needed, shift below to the tips on how to manage an anxiety attack.
Tips on How to Immediately Manage An Actual Anxiety Attack:
- Change your physiological state. Take a shower and make the water temperature either extra hot or ice cold. The point of this is to literally shock your nervous system. If you have a pool, jump in it. Ocean outside your front door, jump in it.
- Call someone who is experienced at talking you through your anxiety who is able to bring you back to a state where your heart is not racing. This doesn’t have to be a counsellor or therapist, this could even be a friend who’s dealt with their own anxiety before and is experienced at coaching you back to your norm. **I say call someone in this state not to fuel the fire but to help you identify and understand the cause of the experience. When you’re in a state of panic/attack, this isn’t the same as regular anxiety where you can thinking clearer for yourself and you will benefit from having someone experienced (knows what you’re going through) support you.
- If you’re confined to the walls of an office or someplace you can’t change your state or hop on the phone (you might even be on a plane), focus on one task and become obsessed with focusing on whatever that task is. You’ll shift your focus from your anxiety to whatever the task is. If you’re on a plane shut your eyes and literally just repeat to yourself the phrase, “I am healthy, safe, protected and calm”. The point: to create the emotion of becoming calm by telling yourself these things which are likely the truth on some level.
Medication or No Medication As A Solution
I’m not for or against medication with regards to who is truly a candidate for medication – on whatever the need is as prescribed and diagnosed by a licensed medical practitioner. What I will say, is that the mind is highly intelligent and incredibly strong in near all forms of healing capacities. If you want to read the most killer book on mind-body, you must read this book. I saw Dr Mario speak at abc Carpet and Home in New York 5 years ago this Spring and he was incredible. I also remember something my grandmother said that landed and stuck with me. At age 21 I was devastated with a serious relationship break-up I was experiencing. I’d lost my best friend. I felt depressed because my life changed, friend’s circle, routine, lots of things and at that time I didn’t know how to manage what I was experiencing. My grandmother said, “your mind is stronger than medication. Don’t do it.” And I never did. Glad I didn’t. From then on I really focused on tuning my brain and haven’t stopped.
On How to Feel Good Every Day
- This is a blog post I wrote in 2016: A Morning Ritual Worth it’s Weight in Gold. It gets to be updated, as there are a couple points I’ve shifted my point of view on. The bulk of it is still pretty handy and relevant though.
- This blog post I wrote in 2018 on how I detox on the daily and my post vacay detox ritual.
- This blog post on forgiveness and boundaries, and how powerful they are.
- This blog post on a prayer in meditation to speed up yours wants.
- This blog post on how to create a winning habit loop and drop the one that isn’t serving you.
- I’ll be sharing a post this weekend on “what’s working and what’s not” re: this Covid self-isolation routine we’re all experiencing at present. Creating the list for myself and taking basic inventory in that sense has done wonders for me.
If You Want to Get Deep, Let Me Paint You A Picture Of What Anxiety Literally Is And Looks Like
When you experience anxiety you are experiencing a lack of alignment between your physical and your mental (emotional & spiritual) self. Everything that doesn’t feel good in your body literally separates your mental/emotional/spiritual body from your physical body. Your body functions at its highest and best when your mental/emotional/spiritual and physical body are as closely aligned as possible, as one fully operational unit. Picture yourself laying on your back and your soul floating overtop of your body – like you’re witnessing an out of body experience similar to Patrick Swayze in the movie Ghost.
The opposite of experiencing anxiety is experiencing harmony of personal power. The goal is thus to always have your soul in your body (to be connected). Connection exists when you have your emotional/mental/spiritual body inside of your physical body, and these bodies then are aligned as one. When your mental/emotional/spiritual body and physical body are all connected (aligned) you feel your best and you are truly existing in your most powerful state. You are more than anxiety-free. When these layers separate or become disconnected you start in a less harmonious frequency causing you ‘anxiety’. You are disconnected, out of alignment and your personal power decreases.
For a more in-depth look at how to truly overcome anxiety in a significantly more tangible and lasting way grab your copy of my recently updated book and workbook, “Detox Your Life: achieve clarity and become the most peaceful, joy and love-filled person you know!” courses.sloanlauinger.com