Break the anxiety habit
Watch your food intake. People who are highly anxious also tend to have extremely reactive systems. Stimulants can over-rev those systems to a greater extent that with others. Particularly look out for caffeine and sugar. I know, I know. Those two items make so many things soo very good! Plus quitting caffeine cold turkey can lead to withdrawal.
You’ll need to “titrate” downward, a fancy way of saying cut back. If you drink 10 cans of soft drinks a day, make a calendar. Every second or third day reduce your intake by one can.
Caffeine has an unusually long half-like in the body—up to 6 hours. If you have 200 milligrams of caffeine at 2 pm, about the amount in a cup of coffee, 100 milligrams will still be bouncing around in your system come 8 pm.
What can you do about this? Reduce your caffeine intake. It’s a stimulant, and people who suffer from recurrent anxiety, stress and panic attacks need to be as stimulant free as possible.
Foods: many foods are caffeinated and sugary—I’m looking at you, oh delicious chocolate!
Learn your triggers. This can be a tough one as what sets us off into a screaming panic at one time in one situation fails to provoke a yawn in a different situation. This is where mindful awareness comes in so very handy. By being fully aware of your self and your perceptions, without filtering anything out, you can later identify what aspects of what situations just didn’t sit well with you.
Stay rational. Anxiety, stress, panic and a plethora of other responses are at their root primitive survival instincts run amok. Our very high powered modern brains take these primitive emotions and boost them with our boundless imaginations.
These older emotions come from the limbic system; rationality, logic, and the impulse to say, “hey…now…wait a mo’” are all born inside the frontal cortex. It’s new, it’s nifty, and it’s way underused by people today.
People still respond with anger, aggression and fear even though we have quite serviceable mechanisms inside our heads to turn those emotions down, if not all the way off.
How to stay rational? Ask yourself what is the likelihood of the reality of your fears coming to pass. If you have to say “IF” more than twice, give it up!
It’s a fear-issue, not a legitimate fear. “If I have a breakdown on the way home, I’ll be in trouble as I have no spare.” Ok, that’s valid. Get a spare tire.
“If I have a breakdown, and if it’s raining, and if I don’t have my umbrella with me, I’ll get sick and die” Ok, see how that works?
By making a few simple changes, and forming some good habits, will in the long run, help you calm your system down.