How to turn Anxiety into your Superpower!!!!
Movement, not staying stuck
Anxiety and panic are high energy states and they get worse when you stay stuck or still. Change your posture, get up, stretch, and move around if you can.
Get a drink of water or a bite to eat or chew gum
When we drink water or eat a bite our digestive system kicks in which signals to your brain that you are safe. It can help get your body out of the fight/flight/freeze mode. Even chewing gum will send the message that you are safe to the brain.
Change Eye Focus
When people get severe anxiety or panic attacks their eyes tend to hyper-focus in one spot which signals danger to the brain and intensifies the panic. You can hold up a pencil or a finger and shift your eye spot from the close to a distant spot in a rhythm that feels relaxing to you. Do this for 1-2 minutes and then relax, breathe deeply into your belly and feel relaxation spread out in your body.
All Senses Exercise
Shift your attention from thinking to sensation by noticing 4 colors in the space around you, then 4 sounds, then 4 sensory experiences, and then 3 colors, 3 sounds, 3 sensory experiences, then 2 colors, 2 sounds, 2 sensory experiences, then 1 color, 1 sound, 1 sensory experience, then relax and breathe into your belly, feel relaxation spread out in your body.
Fight/flight/freeze are physical experiences and go along with specific postures that are usually constricted. If you get up, make yourself big, stretch, and breathe you change the signal in your brain and you will feel more capable to deal with any situation. Your brain releases Dopamine if you make yourself big and wide and that will make you feel more self-esteem.
Abdominal breathing signals to the brain that you are safe. You can put a hand on your belly and breathe in and out slowly. You can imagine a balloon in your belly that slowly expands and contracts with every in- and out-breath. You can use any image that works for you.
Find the sensation & give it a color & let it move
When you notice intense activation make it as tangible as you can: give it a color, feel where it is most tangible in your body, and allow it to spread out. This is your life-force kicking in and if you don't constrict it and hold it tight but rather let it spread out and move, you can feel it and use it as the good energy it is.
Find a way of social engagement to calm the stone age brain: talk to someone, call someone, ask for touch or being held, or if you are by yourself you can help your body feel connected: push against a wall, lay down on the ground with your belly on the ground, lean against a wall, wrap yourself in a blanket or remember a situation where you felt connected.
You can make tea with herbs that help calm anxiety: Passionflower, Skullcap, Oatstraw, Damiana, Wood Betony, Tulsi/Holy Basil, Lavender, Linden.
© Avani G. Dilger