Anxiety is a common human reaction that we can learn to master and control. We all experience anxiety to varying degrees. You will be aware of how it makes you feel and react. But what is really happening? Well, it’s all about the Unconscious Mind.
The role of your Unconscious Mind is to serve and protect you but it can be your best friend or your worst enemy. When it perceives a real or perceived ‘threat’, your Unconscious Mind will trigger an instantaneous fight, flight or freeze response. So, it’s important to take charge of your Unconscious Mind and make sure it serves you rather than controls you.
Make it your ‘Best Friend’
Understand and accept that it’s okay to experience anxiety because it’s our internal defence mechanism, part of what makes us humans rather than robots. Anxiety is a warning from our Unconscious Mind that we need to take action. It could be that we need to do something small and relatively minor, or it may be that we need to address something really important and significant.
Become strongly self-aware. Understand yourself more deeply, honestly and constructively that ever before. Recognise your predominant tendency to go into either a fight, flight or freeze response and accept that it is a normal human reaction.
When you feel that reaction starting to happen, literally tell your mind to ‘STOP!’. Visualise a roadside ‘Stop’ sign and tell yourself that you are in charge of your own thoughts.
When you feel anxiety rising within you, focus and stay calm – be ‘in the moment’. Use an anxiety management technique that puts you in control. I teach my clients several different tools and techniques that all work very well, but most people have their favourites.
As an example, you can use ‘Box Breathing’ to take control of situations and get yourself back on track. It will relax and calm the mind, enabling clearer thinking and decision-making.
‘Box Breathing’ is a means of calming the mind that can be used to help deal with a specific situation that’s immediately in front of you, such as a job interview or a driving test, or as a means of preparing yourself to start the day.
Picture a box or square as shown below. Then follow the simple instructions.
Step 1: Inhale deeply through your nose for 4 seconds
Step 2: Hold for 4 seconds
Step 3: Breathe out through your mouth for 4 seconds
Step 4: Hold for another 4 seconds
Repeat the cycle 4 times and enable this pattern to form a more regular structured breathing pattern.
Learning how to control anxiety will enable you to become a strong, positive and assertive person, who tends to experience only moderate levels of anxiety and knows how to be the best version of themselves.
For further information or to book a place at one of my ‘Calm’ anxiety management workshops, please check-out my website www.tregunnalifecoaching.com or contact me via 07856571163 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Tregunna, Life Coach at the Wellness Hub, Falmouth