Did you know stress can be both good and bad? Most of us usually think about stress and anxiety as negative aspects. What we know is positive stress (eustress) is actually helpful for health, excitement, and motivation in life.
The problem happens when our minds go from a solution-orientation to one of overthinking or worrying. We begin to let the “monkey mind” control our narrative. Unfortunately, this narrative is usually negative in nature.
The negative narrative can become the lens that colors your views of how you perceive things in your life. If your views and thoughts are always negative, then it becomes highly possible to misinterpret things.
It’s this shift in mindset, in the tone of internal chatter and a slanted view of things that can be the start of anxiety or even a panic attack.
When thinking about how to start tackling your anxiety, remember… 1. Become self-aware. By recognizing your thought patterns and tone of thoughts, it becomes possible to change them. It is the same with the feelings and situations associated with the anxiety or the start of the stress. Awareness of how certain situations or people make you feel gives you another opportunity to gain control. Having an intuitive sense about what happens in your body when the stress or anxiety begins is key to that control. When it serves as a warning sign that you need to pay attention and use your coping skills.
2. Look & listen to your environment for reassurance of safety or calming. Reassure yourself that the sky isn’t falling, the world isn’t ending and you are not dying. Then see if there is something in your environment to help you focus your thoughts and regain control.
3. Challenge yourself verbally. What is YOUR evidence to support and challenge your “monkey mind”? Unsure of how to challenge yourself… What would you tell your best friend in your situation? What’s the VERY WORST that could happen? What’s the likelihood of that actually happening?
4. Use a disconnect to get between the body and mind to gain control. Remember NOBODY EVER DIED FROM A PANIC ATTACK!!! Find a way to interrupt the cycle of mind-body-anxiety and you can stop the anxiety.
5. Reframe Your Thoughts/Beliefs. This could be saying positive affirmations, positive challenges, or views of the situation. State them with purpose, intent, and a smile!
6. Reset yourself again on the path of change, health, and happiness.
7. Practice, practice, practice