This week on "Be Kind to Your Mind", I am going to be discussing anxiety and address ways to cope and combat it. Let's be honest, we have all experienced the overwhelming and all consuming thoughts and emotions that anxiety can bring us. Personally, I have struggled with anxiety for years and it is a constant battle for me. It ranges from performance anxiety on the court to the fear of not being good enough in my daily life. I think that I have grown so much in the past year and have become so secure in myself and who I am as a human being and this has been the best way to combat to my previous struggles with anxiety.
Anxiety can hit us or be triggered at any time so it is important to have some tools in your belt to help relieve and cope. Some tactics that I use whenever I feel my anxiety starting to rise within are taking a time out, breath work, and clenching my fists. Taking a time out can help you reset your mind completely and allow you to physically walk away from whatever is causing you anxiety. A time out lets you hit the pause button and take a moment to simply exist and become aware of what could be creating anxiety within. Deep breathing is such an essential part of my toolkit. The effects of proper deep breathing are astounding. When we become anxious or stressed the body physically will speed up your heart rate and cause the production of cortisol in the body to spike rapidly. These two actions combined send your body into a fight or flight response that prepares the body for a stressful encounter or experience. Deep breathing can reverse these affects and help relax the body and settle the mind. Deep breathing causes relief that can be felt almost instantly which is vital when anxiety overcomes us, Lastly, clenching your fists. This action might sound slightly strange but trust me it works. By clenching your fists when having an anxiety attack or dealing with an anxious moment, it cause you to focus on something other than the anxiety and overwhelming feelings. It acts a distraction and it causes the anxiety to loose it grip on you (no pun intended).
The important thing to know is that anxiety is apart of everyones life and is completely normal to experience. It is temporary and can be coped with and combated whenever it hits. Hopefully these tips help give some ideas of what to do if you are someone who struggles with anxiety. I know I am.
Below are a list of resources you can call if you are in crisis:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text line: Text HOME to 741741
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233