Today we will look at moderate anxiety- what it is, how to know if you have it, and steps you can take to get through it unscathed.
Moderate anxiety is when you are not actually in a full blown panic crisis, but you have a general feeling of nervousness and uneasiness. I have been dealing with some moderate anxiety over the past few days. It’s definitely not a comfortable feeling.
You lose your focus on the big picture and instead hone in on your anxiety symptoms. It’s a loss of perspective where the anxiety takes over. You know it’s happening but feel powerless to stop it.
Why is this happening?
People that get anxious tend to be highly sensitive to their surroundings. Look to what is going on in your life. Are you in a conflict with someone? Are you having pms (premenstrual syndrome)? Is there recent life stress going on?
It can help to pin point WHY you are feeling the way you are.
Here is what is going on with me: I had to be assertive at work the other day regarding a coworker. This entailed going over her head and having a meeting with my manager. I am not an assertive person by nature but I recognized I had to do this because this coworker was messing up the work schedule and I wasn’t getting my hours.
Everything was done professionally and I felt good about stating my case to my manager. But my anxiety has been “on” all week because of this.
I had a mini panic attack that morning before the meeting and I have been dealing with moderate anxiety since then. I am going to work today and I will be face to face with the coworker I complained about.
I recognize this morning that I have to take matters into my own hands. I am not willing to let this anxiety spiral out of control.
How to tell if you have moderate anxiety
Check to see if you are having any of the following:
-Loss of sleep.
-Constantly focusing inward on anxiety and panic attack symptoms.
-Irritability- You feel like you want to snap at everyone around you. You feel impatient and angry.
-Low level feeling of doom- you feel it in the background. In fact, it’s always there.
-Unable to relax- you feel you have a lot of nervous energy but you don’t’ really get anything done. You feel like a hamster on a wheel.
-Aches and pains- headaches, neck aches, stomach aches, irritable bowels, migraines, etc. Our bodies carry nervous tension in so many ways.
-Loss of perspective- left unchecked, can lead to feelings of despair and depression.
So, what can we do about moderate anxiety? Does it have to take over and make everything so difficult?
Well it can- and for me it was- until I decided enough was enough and I took my power back.
Remember that you can control your anxiety, it’s doesn’t have to be the other way around. Here are some great action steps to help:
1. Recognize your situation for what it is. And do not judge your feelings or yourself harshly.
I made this mistake yesterday. I explained what happened at work to my husband and later on the phone to my father. Neither could see why this was making me feel so awful- it was my right to speak up for myself, after all. Yesterday my perspective was still off– I listened to what they said, agreed whole-heartedly with them, and then berated myself internally for still feeling anxious and nervous about it. And I continued to feel like crap…
This was a thinking error on my part: I was comparing my reactions and logic to a non anxious person’s. No wonder I continued to feel badly.
I remember today that neither of them suffer from anxiety like I have. They cannot what it feels like to have tremendously exaggerated reactions to stress like I do. Today I remember to be kind to myself and take extra good care of my needs.
Today I can see the bigger picture- that although I did the right thing for myself and ultimately for my workplace, that I am nervous to work with this coworker today. It scares me that it may be confrontational.
Today I know that is ok, I can own my feelings, work thorough them, and take the best possible care of myself in the interim.
Try to be as objective as you can and see what is going on in your life. Note what is bothering you, and make an effort to take good care of yourself. And know that This Too Shall Pass.
2. Don’t just sit around, exercise.
It really helps to take your mind off what is bothering you – so get out there and do something with all your extra nervous energy.
I went to a spin class. It felt fantastic. About 30 minutes into the class I was so happy inside. I was thanking God I made this decision to work out and work off my anxiety.
It doesn’t have to be a spin class, you can just walk around the block or do some weeding. Or vacuum the heck out of your living room. But get moving and get the focus out of your thoughts. Exercise helps break the negative thinking pattern.
3. Focus on the breath.
99.9% of the time you are anxious, you are breathing incorrectly. Remember to slow your breathing down, breath from the diaphragm, and let the exhale be longer than the inhale.
Yesterday whenever I thought about my breathing, I noticed it was all panty and rapid. Or I was holding my breath. I had to make a conscious effort many times throughout the day to slowwwww it downnn. Remember, your breathing affects your anxiety very much!
4. Go for natural anti anxiety supplements.
Instead of reaching for an extra Ativan or Xanax, why not sip some soothing Holy Basil Tea? Holy basil benefits anxiety so much! And if you don’t have time to sip tea, take a Holy Basil capsule.
You don’t have to tough it out on your own. Use your favorite natural supplemtent, like PureCalm or Rescue Remedy.
I have done all of the above tips and feel much better already. I know I may be challenged at work today – but now thank God the moderate anxiety is well under control.
What helps you when you are suffering with moderate anxiety?
I wish you peace,
ps. When I need to go back to basics I review Panic Away and also check in at the support forum there. It is very very good. If you would like to know more you can check out the program here.