Holy buckets! Anxiety is in the air this week. My clients have it. Ick. Blech. I’ve got it. No fun. And it’s normal! Everyone has anxiety from time to time. (That fact doesn't mean I'm happy about it.)
Anxiety shows up for me as a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Others describe their anxiety as “spinning,” “ruminating,” “lack of clarity,” or “fogginess.”
Of course there is medically diagnosable anxiety that requires a doctor’s expertise. For the kind that requires a coach’s expertise, keep reading.
An important thing to know: Anxiety lives in the future.
Anxiety cannot live in the present moment. Like this moment while you are reading. Or the one when you are making tea. Or now, when you are talking to your friend or petting your dog.
And when it rears its icky head, here are three things you can do immediately to send anxiety packing:
- Get present
I love this crazy strategy. Ask yourself: “Where is my butt?” (She said “butt.” He-He). The humor of finding your butt interrupts your anxiety and the act of actually putting your attention on your butt brings you straight to the present. Noticing your senses – the coolness of your steering wheel, the smell of the conference room – works, too.
- Take action
Action will quiet your anxiety. Knock something easy off your to-do list. Clean the bathroom. Set up a meeting. Hint: When you're feeling anxious, stay away from actions that trigger your anxiety. (Say, like checking out some dude’s multi-million dollar leadership program. Don't do that.)
- Ride it like a wave
Remember the advice that if you get caught in an ocean wave, don’t fight it? Let go and the wave will bring you to shore. The same principle applies here. The anxiety will pass, leaving you on the shore with new wisdom. Surrender, and ride it out.
And here's one last thought as you head back to your day.
Know that you can handle absolutely anything that happens in the future. Anything at all. So have faith in yourself and let that anxiety go!
I hope this helps!