Years ago I used to have anxiety episodes so extreme that being in public became unbearable. The most frustrating thing about it was that they would come and go for no reason and at times made me feel so helpless. But I found a way to deal with them.
Caveat Emptor: There Is No Quick Fix
I used to be one of those people who would always look for a quick fix and I’ve tried so many different things and approaches, such as medication, therapists etc, and after years of battling with it, I can finally say I have no more anxiety, and I found a real way of dealing with it.
Anxiety is definitely something that you first have to understand before you can begin to get it under control. To be honest and from my personal experience, therapy had never helped me, neither did medication, which actually made the problem worse. I’ve learned a lot of things dealing with my anxiety, and the most important one is that nobody can help you if you aren’t willing to do some work yourself.
I believe the problem with this is for many people the same I had, and that is trying to find a quick fix and cover up the symptoms, instead of digging inside of yourself and finding the source. Soul-searching can be scary and we sometimes seem to prefer running away from inconvenient truths instead of trying to face reality.
Now, I am not saying that it’s easy and you will rid your elf of anxiety fast. But I do believe that if you find the source of the problem and are willing to climb over the barriers, with time you will win the battle.
What To Do During An Anxiety Attack
Sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, short breathing, a sense of terror – sound familiar to you? When you first get that overwhelming feeling it’s like the world is crumbling around you and you feel out of control. Try not to analyze it too much and create any metaphors as to why you think this is happening to you. Because at that point why it’s happening has absolutely no meaning. Focus on the actual moment. Start taking really deep breaths and tell yourself that it’s OK to feel this way, that you are not alone, that there are many others who feel exactly the same way you do. Don’t try to force it to go away, because forcing it will make you freak out even more.
When it happened to me and I had one of my anxiety episodes I gave my self a pep talk. I used to repeated to myself over and over: “OK, I understand that this is happening to me at the moment, but in reality I am in control of my life, this is only happening because of my habit of allowing it to happen. I will work through this, I am strong and I am in charge of my life”. It almost literally was my anchor; I clung to it like a ship in heavy sea, letting the waves wash away over me, yet keeping my position.
When you repeat such strong messages all the time, that anchor becomes stronger, because your mind begins to accept it. Don’t freak out if it doesn’t happen in one minute; understand that your anxiety had a grip on you for a long time, and it will take some time to break through it.
How To Handle Anxiety In The Long-Term
In order to completely free ourselves of anxiety, we have to come to an understanding of where it comes from. Anxiety comes from blocked emotions, because blocked emotions create barriers in our mind. The more barriers we create, the more anxiety we develop. Many people feel guilty expressing emotions such as anger, fear or love, and at some point they will boil over.
To break through these barriers we have to explore the underlying emotions, instead of trying to suppress them. Every emotion that we have has a purpose and we need to feel these emotions to understand who we are. I wrote an article on my blog called ” The Secret Of Emotions“, where I go into more details about this. In short, if you feel pain, fear or anger building up, don’t try to run away from it. Instead, face whatever you are feeling at the moment and before it gets too strong handle, look at what made you feel that way. That will help you to get in touch with your inner self, help things move along and eventually pass.
As I said earlier, if every one of us understands our true potential, and the potential of our minds, we can climb mountains that we never thought possible. We hold the true power inside of us, all we have to do is find it and get in touch with it, and then, nothing will stand in your way.
Picture courtesy of “Visit Greenland“. Oil painting by Ludolf Bakhuizen.