We've now discovered what the difference between fear and anxiety is. Fear is about responding to an event, whereas anxiety is being afraid of what MAY happen. Let's go over some tools you can use to deal with anxiety. Keep reading or watch the video below for more...
If you missed Part One of the Anxiety Series, this was where we took some time to establish what exactly IS anxiety, as well as which powerful emotion it is connected to. Check it out HERE if you'd like to catch up or refresh your memory. Today, welcome to Part Two!
The very first thing that you can do in order to try to deal with anxiety is to stop yourself. Stop yourself and recognize that what you're feeling is actually anxiety. Take a deep breath and acknowledge it, welcome it. Feel your heart beating faster and your palms getting sweatier. Stop, breathe, and calm down.
Self-talk may help when going through this step: "I am anxious right now, but there is no snake." (See LAST WEEK'S BLOG to understand) "I need to take deep breaths and calm down right now, because I'm feeling anxious about something that has not happened."
2. Get Into Cognitive Mode
Put your nerd hat on and get into cognitive mode. This means you want to work with your prefrontal cortex, which is in the cognitive side of your brain. This way, the back side of the brain, the emotional side, is not going to be able to empower your cognitive side.
To do so, ask yourself: "Wait a minute. Am I making this up?" Look at the signs. Look at everything that's happening. Maybe you're at work, about to make a presentation, or you're about to talk to a customer, or you're about to make a sale, or you're about to contact a new client, or you're about to talk to your boss... Whatever it is, you are feeling the anxiety. Get into cognitive mode and say: "Wait a minute, What am I afraid of? I'm afraid the response may be negative, but have they said no already? No, I haven't even called them yet. What am I really afraid of?"
The bottom line is: Start observing the facts!
3. Create a Different Scenario
In your prefrontal cortex, create a different scenario. How could that go well? What is the best possible outcome? Granted, times are uncertain. We go through changes all the time, we are afraid for our job, for our security. We're afraid people might not like us. We're afraid we're not good enough.
Start inverting the story in your head and respond to a different story!
You don't have a choice. You're making things up anyway. It's not happening. Anxiety is not fear, it's not a response to something that is happening. It's pretending, it's making up the fact that something may potentially happen, but ultimately, you are making it up. So if you're going to make something up, why not imagine something that serves you?
I hope you feel free to use these tools and start dealing with your anxiety. Have a great rest of your week, everyone.
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