Finding the Calm
There is a lot to be anxious about these days, but some simple steps can help you manage it
Article by Susan Heitler, PhD
This article appears in Volume 1, Issue 1 of AHP Indie Stylist magazine
What signs indicate that you are feeling anxious in response to a challenging situation? You first may note the physical indicators: butterflies in your stomach, tightness in your chest, a racing heart or skipped heartbeat, a breathless or nauseous feeling. You might also note that worries and fears permeate your thinking. Labels for feelings may include anxious, stressed, fearful, panicked, nervous, worried, or phobic. In some geographic areas in the United States, folks say, “It’s my nerves.”
Unpleasant feelings serve a purpose. Although anxiety can arrive mysteriously, like a sudden fog on a clear day, it usually is triggered by a specific thought or situation. Anxiety arises to warn you when something ahead looks threatening. Freezing then aims to keep you safe.
A deer stays still when movement would attract the attention of predators. Moments of stillness may similarly keep you safe, at least temporarily. While the saying “strike while the iron is hot” sometimes proves to give good guidance, sometimes doing nothing is preferable to impulsively doing something that would worsen the situation.
At the same time, lack of movement toward a solution perpetuates fearful feelings. Anxiety will continue to hover until you move forward. Action toward gathering information and finding a solution to the provoking problem brings relief.
As unpleasant as anxious feelings can be, anxiety is like a good angel that visits to help you. It arrives to give you a message about where your problem-solving attentions are needed. Address this problem and decide on a solution. The anxiety, like a good angel, will have accomplished its mission and will disappear of its own accord.
CHOOSE FROM TWO CALMING OPTIONS FOR ANXIETY SURGES
Do you find yourself experiencing a sudden surge of nervousness? If so, what are your immediate options for calming yourself? In this kind of circumstance, distraction can give your body time to metabolize the chemicals of anxiety. Paradoxically, the opposite strategy, focusing on your feelings with full mindfulness, offers an equally effective alternative.
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AHP Indie Stylist magazine
AHP Indie Stylist is AHP's bimonthly publication, created to speak directly to you, the independent hair stylist and barber. In this issue:
- Crisis Management
- Dreaming Big
- AHP's Guide for Reopening Your Salon
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