Consciously accept it. “I accept this anxiety. I don’t like it, but I accept it.” This ‘busts’ the danger of unconsciously fighting against the truth—always a losing proposition!
If a friend is nearby, ask for a 20 second hug in order to generate a wallop of endorphins and oxytocin (bonding neurochemicals). This may not solve the problem, but will give you assurance and a mini-break, especially if you let yourself relax and breath into the hug. (No huggy people in your life? Stroke your own forehead, speak soothing words to yourself, stroke your body—and think about how to be a friend, so that you attract friends.)
Ask yourself, “what is the problem?” Anxiety is a naturally occurring phenomenon and we certainly live in an anxiety provoking world (that is also beautiful and unexpectedly generous…). However your amped-up anxiety is likely to be personal: a reaction to a series of events, or one big event looming, or escalating put-downs in your interior narrative.
Also, listen to your interior voice. Make a list of the things you are saying to yourself: “OMG! I’m such a loser! Wimp! People think…..!” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the interior voice was soothing and supportive? That’s life-changing! But the narrative can’t change until a person realizes that they are being cruel, inside, beyond anything I hope they would accept hearing from another person—and also, that the cruel words are wildly exaggerated and manifestly untrue!
Change your environment: get out of anxiety generating surroundings (at work, sitting with a relative in hospital, etc) even if it is only possible to take a ten-minute break. Assume the “Wonder Woman” or “Super Man” stance for two minutes (somewhere private if you don’t want to generate wild speculation) and let a sense of power rise in your animal self—your body—to antidote anxiety.
Are you feeling out of control? DO something for YOU that is “in your control”, such as hot bath, cool shower, exercise, clean out silverware drawer, short-term lists (so it doesn’t add to a sense of overwhelm). And work on accepting that so much is out of your control and, ultimately, not about you.
Use nature, music, texture, scents, movement (or stillness if you have been moving too fast). Use that vast resource, imagery and imagination, to create greater bandwidth to your experiences of inner-peace.
Read or watch humorists. When I am anxious, my reading and what I expose myself to via media changes radically to funny, gentle material—and I might even reread or rewatch old favorites in order to soothe myself and reduce my stress load. Look under Resources (on this website) for ideas, and please send me yours.
There is so much more to add to this list—future expressions and explorations, right? I am wishing you a loving, lovely 2016!