Learning to Control Anxiety? Acknowledge Your Progress
One of the worst things about anxiety attacks is the feeling of loss of control. Along with a racing heart and the awful feeling of being short of breath your mind can easily spiral out of control with "what if" thoughts of the worst possible outcome. Your mind might start panicking about passing out, not being able to breathe, or even dying. These thoughts are all hot wired in to your head as a result of an over taxed nervous system experiencing some awful symptoms as a result of it's sensitised state.
Knowing how to control and calm that state is they key to relief. It's a powerful and liberating act of self care to learn a trick or three to help you calm your heart rate and ease your way out of anxiety. Knowing what to do to help yourself calm down is crucial in anxiety recovery and embracing and consciously appreciating that knowledge is crucial too.
When our kids learn a new skill we praise them. Our positive feedback validates their learning experience so they remember what they learned. They also remember that it got a good reaction and they feel good about it, which helps them learn new stuff in the future.
With anxiety you can help yourself by acknowledging your new found skills as you would encourage a child or a friend who figured out something new. You can talk to yourself, keep a journal, or reward yourself, do whatever works for you: but do acknowledge your success.
Why is this so important?
Because anxiety will happen again and when it does you need to know what worked so you can swing into action with your fire fighting techniques confident that what helped you before will help you again.
When we learn to ride bikes we fall off them a lot. But we keep going and eventually we succeed. When learning to control anxiety we need to keep going to. So cheer yourself on for the smallest successes and keep going and you will soon learn to master your mind and calm your heart.
Some kids learn to ride a bike in a couple of days, some may take longer. That's OK, once they've learned they never forget. Some people can learn to master their anxiety quickly, others may find relief over time. The main thing is to keep playing with the skills and tools that can help and get to know them so well that you have them at the ready for any situation when you want to feel calm and in control.
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