Anxiety is NOT stress, but it is stressful. There is a common misconception that these two things are the same. But there is A LOT more to it than many realize. (Read More About My Story and The truth about anxiety.) There may be some overlap because they use a similar "fight or flight response" and have similar physical sensations but the causes, intensity and duration is different.
Anxiety is often harder to figure out. It can be worries or fears about things that could threaten us but it often becomes anxiety about the anxiety itself. Some days I don't know why or where it comes from but its often just a constant state of being "flexed" to the max. It comes on usually without warning.
Hard to breathe
Feeling of the attack coming
Stomach aches (often with kids)
Do you best to identify TRIGGERS. This is helpful in reducing what causes those feelings. Journaling is a great way to do it.
But the physical aspect in the moment requires attention and these 5 things work nearly every time for me.
Here are 5 ways I found useful to combat anxiety.
Effective breathing can combat the feelings of a racing heart and breathing issues. TRULY breathing means in through your nose and out through your mouth. Being outside makes it more effective. This is because how much oxygen you have in your brain affects your serotonin or “happy hormone”, which affects your mood.
It distracts the mind from focusing on the building anxiety to use your senses. Notice what you are experiencing right now through any or all of your five senses: sound, sight, touch, taste, and smell. Try a new taste, touch something cold, splash water on your face, do something to disrupt the cycle.
I won't say that "positive thinking" is the cure-all but with anxiety, it truly can be mind over matter. Going from "I can't breath well" to "I must be dying" escalates quickly. We have to get in front of it like a stop arm. Negativity grows exponentially and can only be combated by positive. You know you will not die, but sometimes you need to tell yourself that. Close your eyes and recite over and over your truth. "This is real. This is anxiety. I am not dying. I will overcome this."
4. Mood Enhancers
Part of why I use RevitalU daily is because of the ingredients in it that help keep my anxiety at bay. The L –Theanine in it known as the "feel-good" amino acid, science shows that it provides and assists with the calming effects on the brain, by nutritionally increasing the levels of serotonin and dopamine. It naturally provides a relief from anxiety and stress, which is a common cause for overeating and weight gain..
The other "in the moment" practice I have is an on-hand roller ball of DoTerra Oils Serenity, Balance and Frankincense. This combo calms, evens and accelerates.
Anxiety is more frequent when dehydration occurs. Its almost your inner bodies way of declaring a state of emergency. It can also set the heart racing and make you feel light-headed and dizzy, all sensations that are common during anxiety attacks. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to ward off any "thirsty" mood swings.
No matter what's going on in your heart, do as Lady Gaga said at the 2019 Grammy's, "And if you’re hurting, even though it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody & take them up into your head with you.”".