A is for...anxiety
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
What can you do – in the moment – if you’re feeling anxious? If we have a headache, we’re used to taking an aspirin (or similar), but wouldn’t it be good if there was a quick fix for that out-of-control feeling that’s making your heart pound and your throat dry? (I know what you’re thinking – a double whiskey usually does it for me, but bear with me). After all – unless you’re in a fight-or-flight situation, one of real danger, then that feeling isn’t doing you any favours. It stops you from thinking clearly and can prevent you from acting in your own interests and is generally very unpleasant and unhelpful.
One thing you can do is this. Are you standing? Then focus on the sensation of the ground beneath your feet; the weight of your body pressing through your socks / shoes and into the ground. Maybe you’re sitting? Then focus on the parts of your body in contact with the chair. Try to think only of these simple sensations of weight and contact. This is known as ‘grounding’. Yes, I was sceptical at first but what happens when you direct your thoughts towards your body is that your brain is directed away from those 100 mile-an-hour thoughts that were making you feel anxious. People talk of feeling more ‘in their body’ during this exercise – which is the sort of phrase that doesn’t really make much sense unless you experience it. Give it a go - it’s cheaper than a single malt.
For other tips on coping with anxiety try here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/understanding-panic/