Anxiety symptoms can vary greatly for different people. The most common anxiety symptoms we think of have to do with your body’s fight or flight response.
When you’re brain is sensing danger the fight or flight response tells your brain to release adrenaline. This adrenaline is what is needed to make a quick decision in an emergency situation. If a lion was running towards you you would need to decide in a split second whether you are going to run away as fast as you can, or if you think you can take him and decide to fight.
When the adrenaline response is activated during anxiety it can lead to:
•increased heart rate
•shortness of breath
•sweaty palms or feeling hot
•feeling overwhelmed or confused
Makes sense when you are in serious danger, right?
You may not experience all of these symptoms all of the time, but chronic anxiety can cause people to be in a milder, but permanent version of the fight or flight state. This might be described as feeling “on edge” or “feeling like you can’t slow down”. But wow, how exhausting to feel this way almost all the time!
One of the most practical approaches to managing anxiety is learning how to calm down your body’s physical response to anxious thoughts. Some common relaxation techniques include deep breathing, doing a body scan, progressive muscle relaxation, and grounding techniques.
If you’re interested in learning more follow my Instagram account as I go through each of the techniques in more detail over the next few weeks. With the disclaimer that Instagram is not therapy and these are only suggestions. 😊
Relaxation techniques are a good start when you are wanting some immediate relief from the physical symptoms of anxiety. In counseling, the ultimate goal of dealing with anxiety is to uncover the deeper fears behind the anxiety. It is to expose and wrestle with your “lion”. Which can be even scarier for a time! But it is worth the struggle when you find that your lion can in fact, be tamed. 🙌