I think it's important to start off by saying I'm not a doctor and I do not have any sort of medical degree. I am however a human (shocker!) and have felt anxiety now and then. The tips below are ones I practice when anxiety and fear try to take over.
Being a performer and a teacher (dance/yoga) there are moments before the music comes on or the lights dim that your heart beats a little faster or your chest seems to tighten. These are the moments that our bodies return to our natural habit of fight or flight. While fight or flight might be useful when we were being chased by a larger prey, getting ready to perform might not be the best place for it.
These are the moments I practice yoga, breath work and meditation for. Sure, there are other benefits; but it's when anxiety, fear, or panic kick in that I see the most benefit in my own life.
1. Take a Breath
Once you've noticed your heart beating faster and anxiety start to push it's way to the top of the to-do list try to focus the mind on breathing.
In my own opinion this type of focus is both a breath work (pranayama) and meditation technique. Using the breath as the focal point for the mind starts to push that anxiety aside. Then of course, if you've ever taken a few breathes you know it begins to create a calming sensation as oxygen begins to flow through the body.
If you can't seem to focus on the breath, close the eyes. Some times decreasing outside distractions are all we need to focus inward.
2. "This too, Shall Pass"
I forget who said it, but no matter what we can't stop time. Read that as in you're going to make it beyond this moment and you will be okay. Remember when you were little and you fell down. You got back up. Remember when your heart broke the first time? You are still here and able to love again.
Time passes no matter what. Whether it's a big decision or taking that first step on the stage, knowing that this moment is something you will soon look back on may give you a little big of ease.
3. We are all Human.
You. Me. Beyonce. The Rock. Oprah. Even Gandhi.
We are all human. I'd wager we all feel anxious at one point or another. When we're in that moment of fear and anxiety we may feel alone. We might feel that no one has ever felt the way we do.
I'm here to say that I've been there. Perhaps we can find comfort in knowing that others have been there as well. Knowing that feeling this feeling, just for this moment, makes me human. Knowing that if I wasn't feeling it, perhaps I'm not pushing myself or challenging myself to try new things.
Perhaps allowing us to re-connect the idea of being anxious to meaning we are taking on a new idea or challenge. Giving ourselves a new chance to grow and even re-connect with others who have felt anxious in their evolution as well.
Giving yourself a moment to reconnect with these ideas may help train your anxious mind. It's a practice I'm working on.
Interested in practicing with me?
With Love, Jenn Rose
P.S. - Sending Thanks to my beautiful sister for being my model in the above images. <3