How To Stop Anxiety Before It Starts
Obviously, once you are in a state of anxiety, you’re not in any mental state to figure your way out of it. Until you learn what to do to stop anxiety before it starts, you’ll just have to let it run its course.
Believe me, I know. I remember all too well what it felt like to have an anxiety attack and feel so overwhelmed, puzzled, afraid and scattered. You can’t think of anything else, can you? It takes over your entire being, from your body to your mind.
Fortunately, it does end. Personally, I think it’s because your body eventually tires of it and decides to stop fighting. That’s when the attack goes away.
Why do I say that? Because now that I have recovered from anxiety disorder, I can easily study what’s happening. Here’s an example.
Not long ago, I felt anxiety coming on. Admittedly, I didn’t recognize it at the very beginning and just started to become afraid, wondering what the heck this was. I thought I might be sick. You know, like when you have a vague health issue that you can’t identify until it develops into a real problem.
Well, yes. I did feel it heading towards panic. My mind began to race, my heart started to speed up, my hands got a little clammy and I couldn’t focus on anything else.
And then, I stopped myself. That’s right. I stopped the process. I recognized it was an anxiety attack and knew where it could end up. I’d been there many times.
I quickly turned my attention to relaxing, something I’d learned how to do some time ago. I thought, “Hang on. This is just anxiety. It doesn’t have to get worse. Just relax. Take your mind off it. You know exactly where it’s coming from. Shut it off, now.”
And I did. But it started by taking a logical look at the anxiety. I knew it couldn’t hurt me and I also knew that I could control it whenever I wanted. Had I not taken control at that point, it surely would have gotten much worse. But it didn’t.
You can do that too. It takes a bit of practice, but start by putting the whole episode into perspective. Tell yourself, “It’s just anxiety.” This tends to downplay its importance. Think of what just happened to cause it.
In my case, I’d been worried about finances, money owing to me that doesn’t seem to want to arrive while the bills are flooding in the door. It could get serious. I could lose my house, my car. I might have to give up my dog.
I have good reason to be anxious, but I know it’s a useless event. It doesn’t solve my problems. It doesn’t provide me with any answers, just questions. I need answers, so that’s the direction I turned my attention… looking for answers. You need to do that, because you know inside that anxiety doesn’t appear unless something happened to trigger it.
It’s all about perspective and how well you can learn to turn your thoughts in the right direction on command. That’s how you stop anxiety before it overwhelms you. Practice it the instant you feel anxious. Ask yourself right away, “What was I just thinking about? What has been on my mind lately?”
Figure that out and then you’ll see why you’re anxious, and you’ll realize that anxiety is not the solution but an outcome of your stress.
Do this, and you will surprise yourself when you see how easy it really is to stop anxiety on your own.