Anxiety Advice from Marg Ryan

I’ve loved sharing these great tips from so many self-care pros! Marg Ryan guest posts below.
— Celeste

Anxiety feeds off itself until after a while, you get anxious about being anxious. The more you struggle against it, the more it will hang around. Remember, it thinks it’s there to protect you. The more you can accept your anxiety (befriend it) and assure yourself that it’s been triggered for a reason rightly or wrongly, the quicker your anxiety will stop yelling for attention. Your anxiety is a physical, neurological response of an over sensitive brain checking constantly for danger. Remind yourself of this and start deliberately slowing down your breathing. You've got this if you keep at it this will eventually will calm your physical symptoms.

Your anxiety is a physical, neurological response of an over sensitive brain checking constantly for danger. Remind yourself of this whenever you start giving yourself a hard time about being anxious. We are all unique, trust yourself to work out the best self-care techniques for you. Encourage yourself to explore various tools, breathing, meditation, yoga etc until you find something that fits you. Seek help with a skilled professional if things are becoming unmanageable and be assured that once you get better at managing you can feel much more a sense of mastery over your anxiety.


Control your breathing.

This seems so simple but it is amazing how often we don't use this tool. Give your breath the attention it deserves, hang out with it and become better friends with it. You want to begin to learn to develop better positive qualities of mind. Feel safer and protected by using your breath to calm your mind.

When your breathing is under control, the physical symptoms of anxiety and panic decrease. I recommend trying the utube clip on alternate nostril breathing as a lovely gentle way to get back in touch with your body and help it calm down.

The best way to overcome panic attacks is to stop trying to overcome them. Ironic huh? You can’t always control the way your body reacts. However, you can still choose to be gentle and kind towards yourself and this alone decreases their frequency and then you can gain more understanding about what triggers these responses in you.

Reduce severity of your panic attacks by tracking when you have them.

Ask yourself what happened immediately before the onset, what were you thinking / feeling / what was going on in your body?

Where were you?

What were you doing?

Understanding what brings on a panic attack helps enormously with developing a plan for compassionately managing their onset.

I’m a big "toe scruncher " suggester with clients, I get them to notice their feet on the ground and then curl their toes in their shoes. It helps distract from the emotional panic at hand and gives your body /mind something else to focus on. Sometimes just this switch in focus to your feet is enough to begin to help ground you and calm you down.

Marg Ryan Relationship Counsellor and Therapist | Individual Psychotherapist | Trauma Specialist - Counsellor Melbourne

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