We all have or will experience it in life. Anxiety. That uneasy feeling which can come creeping along for seemingly no obvious reason. Or perhaps not. Anxiety begins in the mind then it fuels the body. It is a natural sensory message that the thinking mind processes and delivers to the acting body. Fight or flight. The parasympathetic nervous system keeping us moving forward.
Getting a handle on it means being able to identify it as simply anxiety. That is half the battle. Simply anxiety that you do not feel safe. We may experience a quickening of the heartbeat, a seeming shortness of breath or lightheadedness. Some even may encounter nausea or a dryness in the mouth. We may even mistake that we are having a medical emergency. Our bodies are preparing to either run, or fight for our lives.
Step one is to focus, catch your breath. Keep breathing, slowing, thoughtfully lengthening the exhalation. If you are with someone, let them know that you are feeling these sensations. If you are alone, realize that you will get through it, allowing it to pass as it has before. Push through. For some, getting to a familiar place or open air helps. There is a lot of chemical charge in the body, a rush of hormones that needs to disperse, so walking it out or movement can bring release as well.
If we know we have been under a lot of stress, be mindfull of extra stimulants to the body. Avoid the heightened drama of the news. Watch your intake of caffeine, sugars and greasy foods. Be sure to eat enough, regularly, without overeating. Exercise your body within your limitations, not to excess. Yes, we can over-exercise too! Mostly, never underestimate the healing power of sleep.
Like anything, after an event, whether it be a fall, a close call or an anxiety attack, we are afraid of it happening again. That is fear itself. So be proactive in your choices including what you choose to feed your mind. Gather support around you from family and friends during times of strife and especially, know that you are never alone.
Take time to enjoy a natural space, a park or a riverside walk. There is an energy in the universe, in nature, that grounds us. We have connected to it for millennia. It has seen us into the modern day and will take us into tomorrow as well. We need nature, everyday. Like the sun and the stars, it makes a real day complete. Get sidelined and you start to miss it!