I grilled a life coach – His advice on anxiety will transform you

Racing thoughts, pounding heartbeats, a heaviness in the chest, an all-consuming and sometimes debilitating sense of fear – just some of the disconcerting ways in which anxiety manifests itself as an unannounced and unwanted guest. If you are one of 40 million adults in the United States who suffer from anxiety like me, have said that the symptoms are hard to get rid of. While it can be comforting to know we’re in good company, having a handful of coping mechanisms ready to overcome bouts of anxiety can make all the difference. Because, let’s face it, sometimes no amount of logic will suffice. I turned to Alana Warlop, psychotherapist and life coach, to discover his advice on anxiety to find your calm when it hits you. We have this.

Alana Warlop

Life coach

Alana Warlop is a spiritual psychotherapist and transformational coach who has guided countless women to the next levels of leadership and impact. From traditional transpersonal therapy to the use of breathwork and meditation, she has spent much of her life learning what it means to heal and live a life beyond limits.

What exactly is anxiety?

Sure, I could try to identify the all-too-familiar ways anxiety manifests for me, but it looks different for everyone. For some it’s constant, and for others it’s triggered by a stressful situation (looking at you, health scares) or popping up out of nowhere when everything was going well. Putting words on what anxiety really is can help us identify and control it, no matter the person. “[Anxiety is] a clever way to distract your attention and hold your consciousness energy hostage in an endless search for a ‘solution’ that alleviates the discomfort you feel,” Warlop explained. “We persevere in the hope of finding a logical reason why we feel hurt, depressed, judged, ashamed, guilty, blamed, or self-critical. And, if we know why, then we think the reasoning will justify our feelings, and they s Warlop warned that this approach rarely works, and if it does, it’s only in the short term.

But why doesn’t the reasoning work, you ask? “Anxiety is the product of blocked, stale, or stagnant emotional energy and repressed incomplete trauma patterns in the nervous system,” Warlop explained. “Unresolved emotions and trauma get stuck in our bodies and build their power to hijack the limbic and nervous systems, which control our behavior beyond any logic you could ever muster.” In short, at its core, anxiety is the mind’s natural defense against feeling or experiencing something painful. While you should always talk to your doctor or therapist if you suffer from anxiety, Warlop shares some tips you can try to not only manage anxiety, but also cure it so it doesn’t. doesn’t stop you from living your best life.

Tips to help during times of anxiety:

Bring awareness to your breath

There’s no shortage of “take a deep breath” memes floating around the World Wide Web, but it’s for good reason. The practice has become the go-to method in times of stress, and Warlop pointed out that it’s one of the best things you can do when dealing with anxiety. “Feel the breath flowing in and out of the body so that the mind’s attention enters the body,” she explained. “Let the body know that it’s safe to experience whatever is there and then ask, ‘What am I afraid to feel?'”

Warlop also suggested shifting your attention to the heart: “Imagine breathing in beautiful, warm, golden energy into the space of the heart with each breath. Let this light grow in size and in calming power within you. It will also move you towards appeasement, instead of wasting energy looking for a solution to an unanswered (and, most of the time, invented) problem or insecurity.

feel your feelings

Having feelings is as natural and involuntary as breathing, but Warlop clarified that feeling is simply a physical sensation and anything beyond that are stories and perceptions that we attach to feeling. “We are conditioned to think about our feelings instead of actually feeling them, so many people I work with have no idea that they don’t actually know how to feel feelings without telling stories and attaching meaning to them,” she said. On the other hand, shifting your focus from what is happening outside of you to your internal experience of your senses, energy, and emotions (AKA “felt sense”) will bring you into awareness of the present moment. . The result? There’s nothing you can’t really feel, and allow yourself to really feeling that whatever accompanies the anxiety will help push it away.

Don’t judge your thoughts

I am no stranger to thoughts taking over my mind and turning into an anxious episode. You know, like “What if it doesn’t work”, “Nobody loves me” or “I’m not good enough”. Warlop advised giving me space to be curious about these beliefs and distracting myself from them, rather than reacting to them: “Carry an essential oil that you like to smell when you can start to feel yourself going in the direction repetitive and disturbing thoughts. Run your fingertips over the skin of your arm or face and concentrate on feeling good. Put on soothing music and focus on the sound frequencies. In other words, tap into all of your senses – sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing – to instantly bring you back to the present moment.

Take care of your daily essentials

PSA: Anxiety is the body’s way of letting you know it’s in distress and needs more care. Call it taking care of yourself or creating a solid, foolproof routine, but prioritizing basic health and wellness habits is non-negotiable for Warlop. If you’re not catching enough Zzzs, I have (bad) news for you: Lack of sleep is on the list of top anxiety culprits. Warlop suggested giving up your daily nightcap or the next episode of your Netflix cue and letting your body reset. “7-9 hours of sleep, good nutrition, time in nature and exercise are key to changing the inner landscape,” she pointed out. “And for extra bonus points, try meditation. Consistent meditation is a game-changer by resetting your nervous and limbic systems.

These tips are not intended to be used as a treatment for anxiety disorder. If you suffer from anxiety, please contact your doctor, therapist or other trusted professional for help.
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