Tigers....You heard me right. I have found the easiest way to explain anxiety is to use a metaphor about saber toothed tigers. Let's say we are walking around and all of a sudden, we see one of those tigers. First of all, that's not really possible in this moment, but could you imagine......those things are huge. Anyways, we see that huge tiger and realize really fast that this thing is a threat. This is where our friend anxiety comes to visit. Our brain realizes this is dangerous and then it sends signals to our body to say hey we are in danger, our bodies respond in fight, flight, or freeze and we need them too. In fact, that's actually very helpful, I mean again that tiger is HUGE.
When that anxiety happens and our hearts are racing, we feel hot, there's sweat and shaking and panic. The problem is that like I said the tigers aren't here anymore, so we have adapted. The way we handle things now isn't wrong, it just means our anxiety response isn't helping us in those moments the way they did with the tigers. For example, we have a big work meeting, our brains say oh no this is danger, what if we get fired, what if they realize I’m a fraud, what if I say something stupid, what if I fail....and you guessed it sends the signals to our body and we respond. Our bodies are trying to help us, but unfortunately during times when we are trying to control ourselves and our emotions this doesn't feel like help. So I'm going to give some tips on how to help anxiety to make it more manageable.
Now that I have explained the science behind what is going on, let's talk about some simple ways to help. Therapy. Okay just kidding, you knew I was going to say that. Beyond therapy the best way that I have found to help with anxiety is to help with your BODY. That's right, crazy concept. You are thinking wait a minute my mind, my brain, started all this, if I calm it down won't my body respond. In my opinion NO. Your body doesn't believe you, you just told it that you are dying, to panic, to fight, to flee, etc. We have to calm our body down so that we can start working on the thoughts that caused the panic in the first place. A few ways to do this: Yoga " legs up the walls pose and child's pose are my favorites".....meditation " progressive muscle relaxation" and there are app recommendations on my recommendation page.........breathing techniques try diaphragm breathing, square breathing, and lion breathing is super fun.