3 Self-care Tips to Manage Anxiety and Panic in Daily Life
In this fast paced life our inner balance and equilibrium gets knocked out of sync as we slog ahead pushing our stress to the side because there are more important things to focus on. We put ourselves under insurmountable pressure in order to be the best at work and live up to the expectations of people, but with much mental sacrificing and little time tuned in to our own well-being. It is no wonder many of us are more stressed and anxious than ever before.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety stress is predominantly a fear-based emotion triggered by a past experience which can affect behaviour many years later. An example could be a subconscious memory of a critical teacher who made you feel desperately humiliated at school, or a traumatic event like the loss of someone you deeply cared about. In most cases we consciously “get over it” but subconsciously the stress emotion gets stuck and then manifests into more intense emotion such as anger, depression, anxiety and panic.
Many people resort to self-medicating to try and manage these emotions, resulting in disrupted sleep and side effects from lifestyle such as alcohol consumption, poor food choices and in some cases side effects from prescribed medical care (I am not a Doctor so please don’t throw yourself off any meds but worth talking to your Doctor if you are worried about anything). Many of these things contribute to, and exaggerate anxiety and stress levels.
Self-care is important:
Below are some typical behaviours that often trigger anxiety and panic. If you can relate to these you may find these tips useful to help you manage your well-being:
1. The Perfectionist
Often there is the need to exceed or live up to other people’s expectations for fear of letting them down. If you’re a bit of a perfectionist, you may find you are sinking under your own stifling pressure. Take a pen and paper and write out all the reasons why it’s ok to make mistakes and some first steps you can take to let go of the pressure.
Useful affirmation: “I am always doing the best I know how”
2. The Stress-head
Anxiety can often be triggered by stress so it’s important to reflect on the small adjustments you can make so you’re not constantly on red alert. When you’re stressed your body will be pumping adrenaline around like a conveyor belt and this can impact on mindset, mood, energy levels and sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep or a healthy dose of free time, and your diet is mainly coffee, sugar and caffeine you will be overloading your body with the wrong fuel. Have you heard the story about the driver who put diesel fuel into their unleaded petroleum car?
Useful affirmation: “I appreciate the miracle of my body and all it does for me”
3. The Worrier
Do you find yourself constantly worrying about things that haven’t happened yet? If you’ve read any of the books by Eckhart Tolle you will be familiar with the concept of mindfulness and being in the now. Exercising your mind to be more present will have a huge impact on your worry symptoms because the mind is like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the better it becomes. Practicing mindfulness becomes easier the more you do it. Incorporating this way of thinking into your daily life will mean you spend less time worrying about what is happening in the future. The mind is very impressionable and can learn new ways of thinking and behaving. Taking the time to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life will have tremendous results on your mindset and over time will reduce your anxiety and stress.
Useful affirmation: “I am the creator of my thoughts, my mind is free”
“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.” ~ Eckhart Tolle