How to Calm The Fuck Down
Anxiety is a human condition. We really like to worry about all the stuff that isn’t happening right now! It’s part of the challenge of being human: evolving to remain present with what is instead of worrying about what isn’t.
Here’s how to snap yourself out of it:
1. Get in water. Drink a glass, jump in an ocean, take a shower, splash some on your face. Your body is mostly water, and let's face it, you're probably dehydrated. When you surround yourself with water, you move your attention away from your anxiety and towards self-care.
2. Give your anxiety a hug and ask it what it needs. Picture your anxiety like a puppy or kitten or koala, something you'd enjoy cuddling. Give that whining puppy a good snuggle and tell it it's going to be okay. Ask it what it needs. Wait for the answer, and then decide if it's a reasonable request. If you can separate yourself from your anxiety, you can gain some clarity of which of your needs aren't being met and use your anxiety as a tool rather than letting it control your experience.
3. Exercise. Go for a walk, go punch a boxing bag, take a yoga class. Get out of your head; get into your body. The more rooted you are to your body, the easier it will be to acknowledge the anxious thoughts without letting them dictate how you feel.
4. Talk to a friend. Keep a list in your phone of 10 people you can text when you're having anxiety, people who you know love and support you. Text them and ask if they are available to talk. At least one will be. Tell them your anxious thoughts. Sharing your experience liberates you from it, but more importantly, it allows your friend to get to know you better. Isn't it a great feeling when someone calls you to help them with a problem? You get to give that gift to someone else! Yay vulnerability!
5. Eat a vegetable. Did you get enough leafy greens today? Me neither! Let's go have a salad; we'll feel better if our cells have the energy they need to keep us movin' forward.
If you wake up upset; if you can't sleep; if you are unable to get out of bed; if you lash out at your loved ones; if you find yourself unable to cope with simple challenges like traffic or changes to a plan; if you have anxious thoughts and don't know how not to, then it's time to find some relief from your suffering.
You deserve professional help if your anxiety is keeping you from living the life you want to life. There are many methods these days to help understand and manage anxiety.
Therapy is a wonderful resource; somatic experiencing can be especially healing.
A spiritual healer or trusted religious figure can also provide significant support and guidance.
A yoga studio can be a sanctuary.
Nature is always there for us; we can't handle our anxiety, but the earth can.