4 steps to overcome anxiety
Remember anxiety is uncomfortable, but it is not dangerous - don’t be scared, instead try to be curious and take it as an opportunity to know yourself better.
These steps helped me to overcome anxiety. They work really well with generalised and mild anxiety.
Note that panic attacks, social anxiety and phobias have a different approach.
4 steps to overcome anxiety
Here are some steps that may help you overcome anxiety.
When you’re feeling anxiety, take a moment to recognise the physical sensations and mental process - it will prevent you from engaging with the anxiety symptoms. Identify the two perspectives of anxiety; the symptoms can vary in each person however these are some of the common ones:
- catastrophising, worrying, and negative looping thoughts
- thinking that something bad is going to happen and I wouldn’t be able to cope
- overthinking and regret about the past
- fear about having an illness or a heart attack
- thinking I’m having anxiety and it’s horrible
- sensations that you can’t breathe or breathe fast
- feeling restless or unable to sit still
- tachycardia or irregular heartbeat
- feeling light-headed or dizzy
- a churning feeling in your stomach
- sweating or hot flushes
- pins and needles
- feeling sick
- headache, tension in the neck and muscles
- despair in the chest
Anxiety symptoms can be extremely distressing and make you feel that you don’t have control over them, in some cases giving feelings of hopelessness and despair. Although it seems contradictory, the more you try to avoid them, the more intense they become.
Accept the experience as something temporary, instead of getting tangled in negative thoughts or indulging in unhealthy behaviours, you can say to yourself, "I am aware that at this moment I am experiencing anxiety."
Take a minute to surrender to the sensations, feel the discomfort, connect with the parts of your body where you can sense the anxiety, and patiently breathe the distress. (e.g. I feel like a black smoke of despair traverses my chest).
Relaxing and breathing techniques will be a big help to calm the body and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, and try to remember your goal and purpose - you want to enjoy life instead of living in worry.
4. Repeat and expect to make progress
You can repeat these steps as many times as you need to. Over time your nervous system will learn that nothing dangerous will happen and will recondition the whole situation.
Remember, it’s a process, be kind to yourself, and celebrate the little victories on the way. Habits like a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, exercise, good sleep and healthy relationships will make the way easier.
In the journey of overcoming anxiety, you will need some stress reduction techniques, to cope with mental and physical symptoms.
- Stress reduction techniques like breathing techniques or mindfulness.
- Hypnotherapy especially when combined with cognitive behavioural therapy is a highly effective way of reducing anxiety and the results last long follow-up after the treatment ends.
Overcoming anxiety demands being committed, but it is a beautiful process that helps you to get to know yourself in the journey, build resilience, and develop agency and motivation to push for your goals in life.
If you are ready to make a change, email me today. I’m here to help!