Anxiety is the most common mental health issue in the world, yet it can impact everyone differently.
For some, however, anxiety can often feel like it’s “in control,” causing your life to spiral and making you live in constant worry or fear. It can lead to chronic pain, insomnia, or even make symptoms of trauma worse.
When you’re met with a situation that triggers your anxiety, your brain goes into “fight-or-flight” mode, and your symptoms often become worse.
Thankfully, you don’t have to let your anxiety control your life forever. There are things you can do to manage these spirals and take back control. The good news about anxiety is that it’s a manageable condition when you know how to take away some of its power.
With that in mind, let’s use an acronym—CALM – that can help you manage your anxious spirals.
Catch Any Sensations and Emotions You’re Feeling
It’s not uncommon for people with anxiety to try to avoid or ignore their own feelings. However, emotions always demand to be felt.
Instead of trying to ignore your emotions and sensations, embrace them. “Catch” them to build awareness. You’ll feel more in-tune with your mind and body and have an easier time getting to the root cause of your anxiety.
Accept or Allow Your Emotions to Be Present
When you try to fight back against anxious thoughts, you’re likely to dig yourself into a deeper hole of anxiety. Instead of trying to fix things right away, accept that your feelings are there. Again, this will help you develop a better understanding of them and will make it easier to work through them.
Anxiety often fuels more anxiety. The more worried you are about your racing thoughts, the more unrealistic and fearful they’re likely to become.
When you’re able to let go and detach from the fear, frustration, and worry, you can see it from a different perspective. You’ll realize that it’s just a thought—not reality or truth. Separating the two is a key component to taking back control.
Move Toward Positive Sensations
Once you recognize that your anxious thoughts aren’t rooted in truth, you can change your negative thought cycles into more positive ones.
Doing so can provide a sense of safety, especially when you’re able to stay in the present moment.
Remind yourself that you are safe right now, and even the most worrying thoughts can’t harm you. When you feel secure, try to shift your focus onto something more positive. That could include thinking about a positive experience from the past or something you’re looking forward to in the future.
Mindfulness has become exceedingly popular in recent years because of its effectiveness in shifting your mindset. If you’re not able to think of something particularly positive, try to focus on the world around you at this very moment. What do you hear, see, and smell? How does your body feel? Remaining present makes it harder for those “what if” thoughts to take hold for long.
Anxiety can be cyclical if you allow it to take control of your thoughts. It might not be easy, in the moment, to stay “calm,” but when you break down the acronym and use it to manage your symptoms, you can keep from spiraling.
If you’re struggling with these spirals and having a hard time getting out of them, understand you’re not alone. Feel free to contact us for more information or to set up an appointment. You don’t have to keep dealing with the effects of anxiety forever.