Over the years I have tried various methods to help me overcome my anxiety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been the most successful. Once you start to use what you have learned from CBT, you learn to recognize bad habits when they try to return.
You can very quickly end up fixating on something that will trigger your anxiety and affect your mood. You can prevent this by learning to break the cycle. Do not allow yourself to sit there stewing on something.
One thing I do is visualize different scenarios where I can see, hear, taste, smell and touch. For example, I might imagine myself to be at a fair, in a park or at the beach and think of five things in these environments: seeing the green grass, hearing the birds tweeting, tasting an ice cream, smelling the ocean air and touching the sand with my fingers. It stops that “stinking thinking” and is a good way to stop the negative fixation.
An anxiety attack can be terrifying — the more you feel like you are panicking, the more your blood will pump faster and your breathing will increase. This can be a scary vicious circle. Take some deep breaths. Deep breathing is a good way to lower your heart rate and pulse and help to calm you down. This will help to return your body back to its natural state and stop the feeling of panic.
I was amazed how much easier things became when I faced them head on with a positive attitude rather than a negative one. Thinking positively really does change your whole outlook and demeanor. If you allow negative thoughts into your life, you will be surrounded by a black cloud. Nothing looks bright if you are constantly focusing on the negative. Bring yourself back to the present by making a list of things you are grateful for. As an anxiety sufferer, being around positive, happy and bubbly people can have a big effect on my overall mood. I now distance myself from negativity because it is not something I want or need to be around.
I can be merrily walking down the road, happy and content, when I have a moment of panic. Did I send that email to the correct colleague? Did I turn the oven off? Have I locked the door? If you allow these controlling thoughts to engulf you, you can easily convince yourself you have done something wrong.
The more you allow these thoughts to consume you, the bigger fear becomes. Say no to it! As soon as that little niggle or irritation of anxiety enters your thoughts, tell it to go away. Shut the door on it. It is not welcome. Do not allow it to grow.
You have the overall control — it is incredible how, at times, we can be the creator of our own anxiety. We just don’t always realize it. While we have the power to allow anxiety to take control, we also have the power to stop it in its tracks.