You are about to embark on a new situation or are put to a new and different task. But you begin to experience tightness in your neck and your shoulders seize up. Your breath might become more rapid and your belly begins to hurt. This is an anxiety attack, the most modern of afflictions.
Anxious people often have real worries and, often, just telling yourself, “There’s nothing to worry about,” won’t help you to feel less anxious. It might be more helpful to own your anxiety, observe what the trigger might be and then to find ways to work with it.
Anxiety is a powerful teacher and can show you where you are holding your stress or unprocessed emotions. It usually signals the need for growth or some inner shift. And it’s only when you are willing to bring consciousness to your anxiety and to pay attention to the bodily sensations it brings, the thoughts that go with it and the situations that trigger it that you can work with it.
When anxiety makes you feel physically constricted, these practices can help.
Tighten and Release
Breathe in as you tighten and squeeze the muscles in your feet, arms legs, shoulders, neck and stomach. Exhale and quickly release the contractions.
Sometimes, what is required is a warm bath or hot shower. Other times, you may need a massage.
Breathe in and Let Go
Find the parts of your body that feel tight and breathe into each with the thought, “Let Go.”