Many clients seek me out because they feel stuck and one of the most difficult feelings that keep people stuck is anxiety. Anxiety is a scary word and an even scarier feeling. I too have been a victim of anxiety symptoms and it feels like I am running so fast but my body isn’t moving. My heart races and I’m trapped in the same space. I’ve also heard it described as a pain in the chest, or the stomach. For some, their throat closes, and for others, they feel sick to their stomachs. Whatever feeling you get from anxiety, it is a terrible one.When clients come to me and ask, “How do I get past this,” I often say “Sit with it,” or “Move toward it.” So today I am going to tell you three easy steps that will help you deal with and process your anxiety.
- Step One – Acknowledge that you have anxiety and give yourself permission to have it.
Most people tell themselves that anxiety is bad and what do most people do when something is bad? They don’t go near it; Anything to stop having that feeling as soon as possible. It is OK to have anxiety! It is something that many people have and can relate to. Acknowledging it and giving yourself the permission to experience it is the first step to dealing with it.
- Step Two – Let your body physically feel it.
Sitting with your anxiety symptoms means allowing yourself to feel it. I mean really feel it. Notice what is happening to your body. Is your heart racing or are your abdominal muscles really tight? Can you feel it in your shoulders, or just your lower back? Or is it a foggy head sort of feeling? Whatever physical feeling your anxiety is giving you, describe it, and allow your body to feel it.
- Step Three – Do the thing that helps you process.
Whether it is journaling, walking, listening to music or meditation. Everyone has something they can do that will help them process their emotions. I like to exercise and listen to music at the same time. It will be something different for everyone.
There you have it. Easier said than done right? I know it’s scary and challenging but it’s like anything else that’s worth doing. The more you practice the easier it gets.