There are many reasons we can experience anxiety.
A dramatic event, the anguish of an important moment or an overflowing imagination are all symptoms that can lead us to suffer from this disabling illness.
Whatever the reason that causes this disorder, people who suffer from it all have two things in common.
They need to calm down first so they can keep moving forward.
They must then learn to control the physical symptom of anxiety that bypasses the brain and causes this disorder.
Control your breathing
It doesn’t matter if you are already in a state of anxiety.
In any case, this psychological disorder causes shorter breathing, which causes a kind of short circuit in our mind as well as in our body.
Breathing becomes quick and shallow, which triggers many other symptoms of anxiety.
In other words, if you are able to control your breathing, you are going to be able to reverse the curve of this annoying problem.
But, how is it possible to restore normal breathing under these conditions? The solution is much simpler than it looks.
The 7/11 rule
To control your breathing, you just need to follow these few tips to apply a method known as the 7/11 rule.
- Concentrate on your breathing, trying not to think of anything else.
- Breathe in as deeply as possible, while counting in your mind to 7.
- Slowly exhale as you mentally count to 11.
Follow this method for a few minutes. If you don’t get it right the first time, don’t worry.
The key is that the exhale should be longer than the inhale.
Prepare for situations that cause your anxiety
Most of the time, we are aware of events that can cause our anxiety, either because we have been through them before or because just thinking about them puts us in states of anxiety.
If you are in this case, it is important to prepare yourself well psychologically so as not to be victims of excess anxiety.
When you begin to experience the first physical responses of anxiety to an event that still hasn’t happened, you have the power to reverse that trend.
Don’t let anxiety take hold of you.
These early responses manifest as faster breathing, which in turn leads to cold sweats, sweaty palms, bad mood, uncoordinated movements, and other symptoms that make your mind more fragile to face the moment of truth. Your imagination will do the rest.
If you find yourself in a situation like the one just described, apply rule 7/11.
It is not about justifying or trying to understand the situation you find yourself in, or even rationalizing what is happening to you, but simply calming yourself down so that you can once again be able to control your breathing.
And, to do that, you have to clear your mind and think of nothing. Prepare for the decisive moment, and it will be easier for you to calm your anxiety when the day comes.
Dominate your imagination
The imagination has a very specific function to fulfill: it is responsible for our goals in life, our ability to plan our existence and dream of a better future.
But sometimes our imaginations can play tricks on us.
When we are waiting for something, for something to happen, it is quite normal to think about what could happen.
Normally, we are able to imagine scenarios that we can rank on a scale from the most favorable to the most disastrous.
However, some people can only imagine the worst because they overestimate the likelihood of negative scenarios occurring.
This is a very common wit among people who see the world as a hostile place, filled with potential traps designed to bring them down.
Controlling our anxiety allows us to control these thoughts, especially through the 7/11 rule.
Put yourself in a mental place that will allow you to better estimate the probabilities of achieving each of the scenarios that you have been able to envisage.
Streamline your emotions
In a state of anxiety it is very difficult to think clearly. The mind is totally clouded, the emotions dominate us.
When these emotions gradually dissolve, we can begin to calm down.
By rationalizing these emotions, we can flip our brain switch to move from our emotional brain to our cognitive brain.
To do this, we just need to rank our fear on a scale from 1 to 10. By doing this, our brain will start to think and fight against the domination of negative emotions.
Once you have come to appreciate your fear, visualize it as a kind of thermometer and try to lower its level little by little.