Anxiety is a normal human emotion that was gifted to help us prepare for real danger and survive. Over time, we have rose to the top of the food chain, and we no longer need to be as vigilant in preparing for real danger. Part of the problem with the levels of high anxiety that we experience today, is that we have an amazingly evolved brain that tends to overthink potential danger or threats. Anxiety becomes a problem when we physically and emotionally over-react to the perception of danger or threat that, in actuality, is not real. Learning more about what anxiety is would help you understand what is happening to you and how to control it. But before you do your homework, here are some quick and easy strategies that can help you cope better in the moment.
1. You've heard it before but it works!
Breathe, Breathe, Breathe...but in a big way....draw in lots of air and slowly let it out, repeatedly.
2. Relax or move your muscles.
Try going for a brisk walk, doing some deep knee bends at your desk, and if this is not possible, try clenching your hands as hard as you can, then release the tension, repeatedly.
3. Change your focus.
Notice something around you-like a leaf or a bright colorful object. Study the leaf. Notice its texture, the richness of colour, its shape and size...appreciate the beauty in the leaf.
4. Take perspective.
Challenge your brain to consider that, in the present situation, although it may be difficult or complicated, it may not be life threatening or dangerous.
5. Adopt a reassuring mantra.
Repeat to yourself a word, or a phrase, that means something to you and brings positive emotion, acceptance, and a sense of security. Such as "I can do this", or "it will be what it will be", or "I am safe".