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Embracing the Jitters: Dealing With Anxiety and the Freeze Response

We've all been there - that moment when anxiety starts to creep in. Your heart starts beating faster, your stomach sinks, your breathing becomes shallow. Suddenly, it feels like you're stuck in quicksand, unable to move forward. The symptoms of anxiety can often become so uncomfortable that it feels impossible to take action on our goals, or even focus on anything else. We feel frozen, hardened into our suffering, and desperate for relief, push away our anxiety, which usually only makes things worse.

So how do we learn to thaw ourselves out from the freeze response once it's activated? Let's dive into some practical, down-to-earth tips to help you keep moving forward even when anxiety tries to freeze you in your tracks.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

First things first, let's acknowledge that anxiety is a natural human response. It's like your brain's way of saying, "Hey, something important is happening!" So, instead of fighting against it, try embracing it. Say to yourself, "Okay, I'm feeling anxious right now, and that's totally okay." By accepting and being mindful of your anxiety, you take away some of its power.

Break It Down

Big tasks can feel overwhelming, especially when anxiety is lurking. So, break them down into smaller, manageable chunks. It's like slicing a cake into bite-sized pieces - suddenly, it doesn't seem so daunting. Tackle one piece at a time, and before you know it, you'll have accomplished the whole thing!

Breathe, Baby, Breathe

Deep breaths are your secret weapon against anxiety. When you start to feel frozen, take a moment to focus on your breath. Inhale slowly for a count of four, hold it for a count of four, and then exhale for a count of four. Repeat this a few times. It's like hitting the reset button for your mind and body.

Embrace Imperfection

Repeat after me: "It's okay not to be perfect." Seriously, nobody has it all figured out. We're all just doing the best we can. So, let go of the need for perfection and embrace the messy, imperfect journey.

Visualize Success

Close your eyes and imagine yourself successfully completing the task at hand. Picture every detail - the feeling of accomplishment, the smile on your face, the sense of relief. Visualization can be a powerful tool to trick your brain into believing you've already conquered that anxiety-inducing situation.

Lean on Support

You don't have to go it alone. Reach out to someone you trust and share your feelings. Sometimes, just talking it out can make a world of difference. Remember, you're not a burden; you're a human being, and we all need a little help sometimes.

Celebrate Small Wins

Every step forward, no matter how small, deserves a high-five! Celebrate your achievements, even if they seem insignificant. It's like giving yourself a little pep talk and a pat on the back. You've got this!

Stay Present

Anxiety often stems from worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Practice mindfulness to stay grounded in the present moment. Focus on what you can do right now, and let go of what's out of your control.

Keep Moving, Even if It's Baby Steps

Progress is progress, no matter how slow. Keep moving forward, and focus on daily consistency versus the end goal, or having it all "figured out." Sometimes life can seem completely overwhelming, but breaking down our goals into small wins, and celebrating progress each day, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can be a powerful confidence boost.

So, my fellow anxiety warriors, let's face those jitters head-on. You've got the tools, the support, and the inner strength to take action, even when anxiety tries to freeze you in your tracks. Keep pushing forward, and remember, you're stronger than you think!


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