I deal with a lot of anxiety. It is most often keeps me up at night with a racing mind, I call it anxiety brain. Occasionally it creeps up during the day and makes me feel pensive and nervous. I started taking Ashwagandha for it about six months ago to aid in my struggle and it has helped tremendously with the somatic symptoms, but I still deal with anxiety brain.
It comes up a lot in therapy.
My therapist gave me a two step process to help me learn to manage my anxiety and once I finally started consciously using it, I’ve found I can stifle anxiety much quicker than in the past.
Not to say anxiety doesn’t still throw me off occasionally – but in general, I have more control and I know with continued practice I will get more and more able to deal with anxious thoughts and emotions.
The advise is short and sweet.
And most importantly – it works.
Step 1 – BREATHE
The calming effects of slow, deep, and steady breathing is almost immediate. It works on a physiological level to automatically slow the heart rate, calm the fight, flight or freeze response, and you can do it anywhere! Just steady yourself, breathe in to the count of 7, breathe out to the count of 7. Repeat as many times as you need until you feel your focus return and your senses calm. *My counselor even recommended I put my hands on my belly to ensure my breathes are deep, and not shallow. Shallow breathing is a tell-tale symptom of anxiety*
Step 2 – REVIEW THE FACTS
Once I have calmed my body and slowed my mind, it is time to review the facts of the situation causing me anxiety in order to put to rest the reality my anxiety is trying to create. This is when I go over the situation and remind myself of whatever I need reminding – which could be: that I am allowed to have and express boundaries, that I am allowed to have and express emotions, that my interactions with people didn’t go the way my mind wants to remember it, that I deserve respect, or that I am good enough. I review the situation and remind myself of reality.
I’ve been practicing these two steps coupled with the Ashwagandha supplement to help manage my anxiety for months now with much success.
I hope this helps you deal with yours a little bit better too.
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