Updated: Mar 25, 2020
Anxiety manifests in many different ways for people. But for the most part, anxiety is physically uncomfortable, frustrating, hard to control, and distracting. It can cause us to feel disconnected, disengaged, sad, panicked, desperate, angry, or in other words, pretty much all the negative emotions under the sun.
We all experience anxiety on some level throughout our lives, so how do we cope with it? Unfortunately, one of the worst times to manage anxiety is when we are at the height of it.
As a yoga teacher, I was always mindful to prepare students for a challenging posture when they were out of the pose. It is usually never productive or helpful to make big adjustments in the middle of an intense physical and mental challenge. I take the students out of the pose in order to problem solve and adjust accordingly.
Anxiety is similar. We need to address our anxiety when mild or moderate, not just when it’s severe. We need to learn what kind of coping helps at these different levels of intensity and gain confidence that we can reduce our own anxiety.
If you are experiencing anxiety, it can be tempting to ignore or invalidate your anxiety until it gets unbearable. See what you can do to “come out of the pose” through rest and relief - as opposed to a kick up in dopamine & adrenaline - alcohol, sugar, caffeine, roller coasters
Stop. Take a breath. Focus on the immediate present moment. Pay attention to your senses, pay attention to your breaths. And the most important thing, be kind to yourself.