It’s a summarized list of things (physical and emotional) I have used over the years to help cope with my symptoms as they happened. For this subject, in particular, I urge you to go to your regular doctor before you (or a loved one you worry about) feels worse. Especially if you are not sure there isn’t something else medically going on. Once you confirm that you’re truly physically ok, maybe it would still be a good time to check in with a professional therapist?
How To: Handle Disabling Physical Manifestations of Anxiety
This happened to me when I started running. I would lose breath after a 100 yards and fall to my knees, dizzy without oxygen. I got upset and cried because I just wanted to jog. Not sprint, or run a marathon, I just wanted to be able to enjoy a nice spring run. Why was this happening to me? Why is my body like this? Running was supposed to help me learn how to breathe and make my anxiety better, but instead, it felt like it broke me.
What To Do Now
Give yourself a break. I know some people work better when they get an extra push, but for those of us who are already hard on ourselves 24/7, pushing can take the feeling of accomplishment out of the goal. It makes it feel like another hurdle to get over instead of a desirable feat.
Those questions I asked above? Those were the worst thing I could do. They did not help me feel better and they further perpetuated the recurring thought that something was wrong with me. I had decided that I needed to get to the solution in an instant even though my body was pumping the breaks. Giving yourself a break isn’t easy, but it’s a great way to remind yourself that it’s ok to be you, flaws and all. It’ll take some convincing and self-love, but that got me to my goal faster than being mean.
Let me elaborate.
I really wanted to run the Disney Princess 10K, so I navigated around my body to find the solution.
I took a year off and deferred my race. I came to terms with the idea, that unlike others, I would need more than a year to get ready. How? Well, I would catch my brain when it started comparing me to other people and would take care to remind me that I am not them. And again, it’s to be me and to do things at my own pace.
Then, I tried to run as many days as my body permitted, pushing ever so slightly. To be kinder to myself, I tuned into my own needs for the first time in a long time. I would ask myself, how has my breathing been today? Bad? Alright, then today is not a running day. Good? Alright, my positive reinforcement was helping me indeed, because with every run I was closer to my goal.
Once it was confirmed that I could defer and take the time I needed, I didn’t need to think of the whole 10K at once. I just thought, Hey, maybe I can run half a mile without being mean to myself. When I needed to stop, I would walk, focusing on keeping energy to complete the distance I had set out for instead.
Little-by-little I made progress. I ran-walked for a bit and just happened to notice it was a mile. The next week, I ran more than I walked that same mile. I would only move onto the next mile marker once I nailed this one down. I’ll show you a picture so you how this worked out.
Forcing yourself works for some people. I was and am to this day, not one of them. Turns out, I am one of those, break-your-problems-into-smaller-issues kind of people. One of those, you could be less mean to yourself type.
Maybe you are too?
Do you have any tips or tricks? Please share them in your local comment section.