How to Stop Anxiety (Before it Starts)

How to Stop Anxiety (Before it Starts)

Women are especially vulnerable to falling down a path of rumination. We have been socialized in this culture to hyper-aware of our actions and how we make others feel. Which can be good but in some instances.


One aspect of my behavior that I really want to change this year is being emotionally available to myself. I am the queen of controlling my emotions and "moving on." Anyone who knows me would understand this statement to be true. When I break up with someone, I'm already out on date number three. If a friendship is lost, I'm sad, but immediately delete all existing proof that it ever happened. If I don't get the job, I'm already planning how to snag the next one and what improvements I need to make. Now that isn't to say that I do not self reflect or accept my own responsibility whenever miscommunications or complications arise but I just find comfort in moving on. I have never been someone who believes in ruminating on things that I cannot change, which can be good. Plenty of research out there will tell you that nine times out of ten we stress out over things that simply never happen or weren't even that big of a deal in the first place.

However, because I jump right into "moving on" I do not give myself the space to fully process and acknowledge how I feel before locking it away in a neat little black box never to be opened again and this led me to feeling disconnected from myself.  Luckily, I found a method that allows me to take time to really identify, acknowledge, and sit with my emotions before closing the door. Tapping or the emotional freedom technique works by focusing on negative emotions while using your fingertips to "tap" each of the twelve meridian points on your body.

Now I'm just giving a very simple summation of the practice and there is plenty more information to be found here, but for the down and dirty version, simply tap 5-7 times in a meridian point that feels effective for you (Common points are the crown, forehead, temple (between the eyebrows), outside of the wrist, meeting of the collarbone and breastbone, etc) while reciting a mantra that brings that emotion to the forefront of thought. Repeating until you feel balanced.

"Even though I feel __________ (anxious, defeated, conflicted, etc) right now, I accept and I love myself."

I personally use this line above to recite to myself while practicing. Of course, there are many variations but this is just a sample to get you started!*