Anxiety is defined as
"a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome."
You may think that you've never felt something like that before but let's break down the definition with a set of questions.
Have you every felt worry? (worried about a grade you got for that project you spent hours on, worried about a family members' health, worried about what your friends might think?
Have you ever felt nervous? (nervous about what your parents might say about the bad grade you got on that test, nervous about someone finding out information you weren't ready to share, nervous about going to a new school or new teacher?)
Have you ever felt uneasy? (uneasy about the future?)
These feelings of unease, nervousness and worry can all be felt during different situations unique to you. They may not all apply, but I can say with confidence that we have all felt one of those things at least once in our lives. Anxiety comes from not having control or the power to know what these situations may bring. We don't know how our parents are going to react about that bad grade, so we feel nervous. We don't know what the outcome of that family members health may be, so we worry and we don't know what the future holds, so we feel unease.
We are all in a place of uncertainty right now with the rise of COVID-19 and we don't have answers as to when we are going back to school, work or even normalcy.
So what can we do?
First we must learn to recognize what anxiety looks like. We react to anxiety individually in a very unique way.
The most common symptoms of anxiety are:
* rapid heartbeat
* stomach issues
Once you can recognize what you are doing when you are experiencing anxiety, here are some helpful tips to help clear your thoughts and be on the road to feeling better.
4 - 7 - 8 breathing
* sit in a comfy position and relax your muscles
* take a deep breath through your nose for the duration of 4 seconds
* hold that breath for 7 seconds
* next, take an even bigger breath for the duration of 8 seconds
* as you breath out, make sure you blow out with your lips parted
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Method
* Be aware of where you are and your surroundings and take deep breaths
* name 5 things you can see around you (window, clouds, plant, sun)
* name 4 things you can feel (grass, bed, desk, pants, hair)
* name 3 things you can hear (train, cars, birds)
* name 2 things you can smell (coffee, rain)
* give yourself a compliment or recite one positive affirmation (you are doing the best that you can, everything is going to be okay, you are stronger that you believe)
Other things you can do to ease your anxiety are:
* go for a walk
* write down your feelings
* take a bath
* go on a bike ride
* clean or organize your room
I hope this helps you realize that we all go through feelings of worry, nervousness and uneasiness and that you are not alone. Learning to recognize what anxiety looks like for you is the first step and the second lies in learning what helps calm you down.
I am always here,