Win your Anxiety over with the Fab Five!
- Make friends with your anxiety – recognising that no-one is to blame for our anxiety is the first step to dealing with its crippling effects. This negative bias, we have as a species, exists to protect us and keep us safe – it’s a fundamental part of our survival. The pressures of living in the 21st century, however, can constantly trigger the stress hormone, cortisol, leaving many of us in a permanent state of flight or fight, or even freeze. Over time, this develops into a pattern of automatic response, presenting as anxiety. By accepting this, as part of the human condition, will go a significant way to calming us down.
- Use the power of suggestion – your subconscious mind is so open, you have a lot more control over it than you think. In fact, you have complete authority over soothing your anxiety away for good! If you think of your subconscious mind as a little child and your conscious mind as the parent, everything you say conditions a response of either fear or love, depending on your thoughts. Doesn’t it make sense to soothe a child with calming words of comfort, rather than shouting at it to be quiet? This isn’t about changing who you are, but simply accessing a part of you that already exists.
- Create a self-concept that’s good – the way you speak about your life is essentially a way of creating your own story, or script, both to yourself and to other people. The words and language you use to describe yourself, your family and your work, all form the framework of how you feel about yourself. This ‘out-of-your-awareness’ story that you tell yourself everyday has a huge impact on your daily life, so make sure it’s a good one.
- Be a loving parent to yourself – becoming an adult is essentially about shifting the power and responsibility from your parents to yourself. It is about letting go of any real or perceived hurt and pain from the past and realising that to feel safe, secure and loved, you must cultivate these feelings from within and not keep looking for validation on the outside from others. Nobody can love you until you love yourself – we hear this all the time, but what does it actually mean? Freedom from angst only comes about when we honestly feel that we are worthy of care and love – now, providing that for ourselves is true liberation!
- Pay attention to your needs – the habit of self-care is essential when dealing with anxiety. Your body responds well to having its needs met and soon recognises the rewards of a healthy regime. We would never expect our children to manage on just four hours of restless sleep, not feed them properly, not bother cleaning up wounds as soon as they appear or send them out into the cold, hoping that they’ll somehow manage! Only the most neglectful would! Yet, how often do we do this, or worse, to ourselves?!!? ….and you wonder why we’re all exhausted, struggling to think straight and feeling anxious. It’s not rocket science, really. Remember, anxiety can be conquered ….and a self-care programme means just that – taking care of yourself first, so you’re best placed to take care of others!