Anxiety sucks. It just does. And when you feel it, it's all-encompassing. The weight on your chest, the constant revolving door of negative thoughts in your head, second guessing your every move. Loss of motivation, feeling overwhelmed and totally helpless. Anxiety is rooted in control. A fear of things that will happen to us or around us that we can't stop or predict. The funny thing about anxiety is that we work so hard to control our environments/people around us but really when we're in that mode, we're NOT in control. They/it is controlling us. So how do I stop it? First, recognize aspects you have zero control over, and realign your thinking to focus on the things you DO have control over.
-Driving down the highway? You can't control other drivers, but you can drive safely.
-Kids going to a friends house? You raised them to call you if they need you, and you know and trust the other parents. -Terrified you're going to get fired at work? Think of all the good work you've done for the company. Second, understand the difference between glass balls and rubber balls. Some things warrant an immediate response and must be dealt with right now. Those are the glass balls- they might actually break if you drop them. But most things aren't that urgent. Rubber balls bounce, so there's no need to give them the urgency of a glass ball. Example: If your kid breaks their leg, that's a glass ball. Get them to a hospital now! But if they scraped their knee, it's not a glass ball. A Band-Aid and a hug is all that's needed to help them feel better. So instead of being the parent who "freaks out", approach calmly and recognize they are going to be okay. Third, be present and mindful in the moment. Look around you. What do you see; what do you smell; what do you hear? Pay attention and really be present in that moment. Don't fret about the future, don't ruminate on the past. Let yourself focus on the here-and-now. If you still find yourself overwhelmed and unable to let go of the anxiety check out my blog post on coping skills for proactively and reactively managing anxiety.