Sometimes we are in situations that scare us or make us so nervous that we feel sick or even paralyzed.

Just recently, I was talking to a friend who suffers from anxiety and stress. She was in a situation that made her so anxious that she felt like she was going to be physically sick. She ended up feeling so sick that she canceled her plans and went home to recover. Anxiety, fear, and nerves can be so ailing. For example, you may not go out to dinner because you’re worried you’ll be judged on what you eat. You cancel a date because you think he or she will make a comment on how you look and you won’t know how to respond.  In all of these situations, fear and anxiety are literally making decisions for you based on things that haven’t even happened. How can you plan for fear in the moment?

Coping with anxiety and fear can be very difficult, and there’s no one way to cope-everyone is different. One of the major steps in overcoming anxiety and fear is to be in the present. Think about where you are and how you feel right now. If you find your mind wandering, distract yourself-start playing a game or turn on some music. Also, stare your fear in the face and fight it. If you’re worried about how someone might respond to something, think to yourself, “Why will this response matter? How is this response going to affect me?”. In most cases, those responses don’t matter and it doesn’t actually affect you. Overthinking is a huge contributor to anxiety and stress. Lastly, take time to calm down and maybe even meditate. Most people think meditating is about clearing your mind, but it isn’t always. Meditating is about seeing your fears in your head and pushing those away to get back to a place of tranquility.

If you ever feel stuck in a place of fear where there’s no way out, ask yourself three things. “How do I feel right now?” “What is causing my fear and where did it originate?” and lastly, “How do I get rid of these thoughts?” Being in the present and staying calm is so important in managing anxiety and stress. Being yourself is important, but being yourself now is essential. The future sounds scary, but the present is what is actually happening.

Shine Bright

Photo by Jasper van der Meij on Unsplash