Lurking in the background of your life like a school yard bully. There are days you go unnoticed from the taunts and there are days where the wedgies and the name calling are never ending.
Even if we we're spared actual physical confrontation, the fear of the day of actually being "discovered" was enough to torment most of us until it actually happened. That my friends is anxiety and I am going to outline a few steps on how to put a few holes in the armor.
Like most people, those who suffer from anxiety had a real life bully of sorts. More than likely when we were younger, or under the care of, or in a position where someone had power or influence over us. Being subordinate to that person, we lacked the tools to defend ourselves physically or mentally if attacked.
When we are in the position of not being able to challenge or defend ourselves(Fight or Flight) we Freeze. Contrary to the believe, not doing anything, does do something. Anxiety, anger and frustration build in silence, slowly becoming our coping mechanism, shaping our inability to interact with someone because we lacked validation and a platform to be honestly heard.
It doesn't have to be that way.
The following list will outline how certain habits holds us the pattern and how we can start picking those locks.
1) Take off the mask - I bet early on or when you might have been vulnerable or subordinate to someone that disrespected or belittled you. This probably caused you to go into survival mode and hide the real you. A variety of reasons. Sexual orientation that wouldn't be approved and choice of a vocation. More than likely you are still on stage. Take some time out, find our who you are and start taking steps on how you can live authentic.
2) Re-wire the mind - Whatever you do the most, you will master. If your minds has been swimming in a pool of perceived fear and nervousness. You need to be mindful of your thoughts and reality. I suffer from anxiety as well and this can all be summed up by a famous quote from Mark Twain.
"I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened."
Being under the someone's warped perception of you, will eventually warp your perception of you.
Get out a piece of paper and write down the top accusations of what is holding you back and keeping you from fully living and see if it is true and does it serve you. If the answer is no, then replace that believe with the truth. Example if were always believed you could never paint, take up an art class and start painting. Don't be afraid to prove yourself wrong when you are wrong. That is one of the keys to stop being anxious, keep promises to yourself if no one else will.
3) Eliminate stimulants - Does your diet revolve around Sugar and caffeine in the morning? Stimulants activate our adrenal glands. When you battle with anxiety starting your day off right sets the tone for the remainder of the day. You want to be in control and not out of control. The ability to be in charge of your emotions can help you be more productive so you're not wasting energy worrying. The energy that gets wasted worrying actually puts on a cycle to need more stimulants because we are burning ourselves out.
4) Go Outside - It's scientifically proven, nature calms us. You don't have to go out to a remote area, a local park or waterfront will do just fine. The fresh air and scenery has been showed to lower blood pressure in minutes.
5) Say Hi and smile to people - When you are at the park, why not kill two birds with one stone. Smile and say high. This is a perfect exercise for those who may suffer from social anxiety. You are on control of the people you interact with. You get to choose who you say hi to. Most of the people you encounter will smile back. Not only will being outside help relax and bring down those stress chemicals, but smiling and getting smiled at has been shown to increase happiness and overall well being about oneself. Not only are you healing yourself, you just may be helping someone else. How empowering is that?
These are all simple tools that can be practiced right away and can give you an immediate morale boost.
Keep a notebook and write about your experience. Did you feel different?
Watch for more changes the following week and the more time you practice these exercises.
Whenever you experience little victories and moments of clarity find ways of building on your gains. Get creative and up the stakes a bit. Before you know it, you will wonder what happened to that person that was so consumed with every worry under the sun and everyone's else opinion of themselves except their own.
For more information on finding and living authentic please visit..
Persona Development Coach and Fiction Author.