In this video, I share with you three tips to manage stress and anxiety, specifically if you are an HSP (highly sensitive person). Now, it is important to state this these tips are not about suffering from generalised anxiety disorder, as it is more focused on the normal everyday stresses that people may experience.
Often, we associate being highly sensitive as being naturally anxious. And while there is not direct connection between anxiety and sensitivity, there is a good reason why sensitive people tend to feel more anxious than others. It all has to do with the brain.
(Tertia) 00:00 Hey everyone! In today’s video, I’m going to share with you three tips on dealing with anxiety and this is a follow-on of my video that I made a couple of weeks ago about how do we deal with emotional triggers as highly sensitive people? So, I’ll link that video for you in the description below and go and watch that video first if you haven’t seen it yet before you come back to this one. Now, before we get started, I want to quickly talk about something else as I’m recording this video. I’m a couple of subscribers away from a thousand and we are growing, our community is growing and I just want to say thank you to each and every one of you who subscribed. Those of you that watch my videos and that you know regularly comment as I’m learning and finding my way in terms of what information you find helpful and the things that I can share with you, the things that you benefit from. I really appreciate all of the interaction and the comments and thank you for allowing me this space and for journeying with me. And I hope really that the videos that I’m going to continue to put out will have a big and great impact in your life. That’s the only thing that I can, that I can hope for and that’s why I’m doing this work if you are brand new to my channel, my name is Tertia. I am an EFT practitioner and a coach and I help highly sensitive people get unstuck and break through the blocks that hold them back. So, that they can live better and feel better. Now, I want to talk about some things that we can do as HSPs when we struggle with anxiety. Before I start, let me just say that two things. Number one, I’m not talking about a generalized anxiety disorder. So, that is a completely different kettle of fish. What I’m talking about here is the normal anxiety that we feel every day as a result of the stresses in our lives, thinking about a looming project or thinking about a conversation that we need to have with someone or wondering about something that’s happening at the office or maybe happening at the home. So, it’s just about those normal kinds of anxieties that show up for us. That’s the first thing that I want to say and the second thing is that there’s no direct link between being a highly sensitive person and struggling with anxiety. But, if we don’t pay attention to becoming overstimulated, that can lead us to feeling anxious. So, there is the link between anxiety and being highly sensitive. It’s because our brain becomes overstimulated. So, it follows that if you know what your triggers are and you are able to better manage your triggers and take responsibility for your own well-being, then you can begin to manage any excessive anxiety symptoms and anxiety experiences that you have. Unresolved emotions can also cause you to feel anxious and we all have unresolved emotions because we all have a past. We all have experienced things that were done to us, we all have done things to other people and when these emotions are not resolved, then they can also show up in as triggers in our experiences today. The problem with anxiety is that it puts you into autopilot mode. So, when you are operating in an energy of anxiety, you start making decisions based on fear instead of decisions made on trust. You’re in autopilot mode. Your brain is in survival mode. So, the amygdala in your brain is triggered. Your system goes into fight or flight and this is a normal reaction. We, we have to be able to go into fight or flight because that’s how we survive. But, if that is a constant state of being, if you are finding yourself to be constantly triggered and constantly feeling anxious that can lead to all kinds of other problems and the things that I share with you in this video, the tips that I have for you is then to deal with this excessive level of anxiety that you’re always feeling. So, that you can begin to calm that down and begin to calm down the nervous system so that you can start making decisions from trust instead of being driven by fear which is what underlies the anxiety. So, what we want to do is we want to retrain our brain. When you retrain your brain in terms of how it responds to the different triggers, that’s also going to have the result that you are less triggered. You are less overstimulated because you’re accommodating for your triggers and your anxiety levels are going to come down. You’re not going to feel so anxious, so often. And one of the first things that you can do to retrain your brain is to stop talking about your anxiety as if it is a precious possession and what I mean by this is I’ve heard so often from my clients, some of the Facebook groups that I belong to even myself, we say my anxiety was triggered. I’m feeling so anxious again when I hear the, the cars you know the traffic outside it just makes me so anxious. Those things that you tell me, it just makes me feel anxious. So, we are labeling our feelings of discomfort and we putting that into anxiety mode and your brain, your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is happening right now and what it is that you are only imagining. So, if you keep on telling yourself, my anxiety is being triggered. I am feeling anxious. I am overwhelmed and completely anxious. Then guess what you’re training your brain to react in a way that is full of anxiety and I know this is easier said than done. So, often we say things and we don’t actually realize the weight that they carry. So, instead of saying my anxiety sky rocketed, those things make me feel so anxious, what if we say this is overstimulating my brain? So, don’t give it any emotion, don’t give it any attachment. Just speak to what is my brain is being overstimulated with that. I can work because now I can choose to do things that is going to reduce the overstimulation in my brain. Become aware of your triggers. Become aware of the things that overstimulate your brain as HSPs. We all have different triggers. We all have different levels of tolerance and it is going to be helpful if you can identify what is your specific level of tolerance? How much can you take before your brain feels overstimulated, which can lead you to feeling anxious or threatened or unsafe? So, understand your triggers and then make the lifestyle changes that you have to in order to accommodate those triggers. I speak in many of my videos, I talk about these lifestyle changes creating a supportive morning routine, making sure that you get enough rest, making sure that you get enough alone time away from distractions which will allow you to process your experiences of the day or of the moment, and the reason why I talk about this so much is because it works. That is what we have to do as HSPs is we need to change our lives to accommodate for our sensitivity because in that way we can show up stronger. So, that’s the background. Then on dealing with anxiety and now I want to share with you, the steps or the tips that I have when you notice that you are feeling anxious and you notice this, this uncomfortable fluttering, however, it might show up for you. The most important thing is to develop that awareness of realizing I am feeling anxious, and then like a scientist looking at it. What we tend to do is we push these uncomfortable feelings and these feelings of anxiety away or we get lost in them. So, those are the two extremes either denying that they are there or being completely sucked in and getting stuck in the story and in the emotional turmoil of the anxiety and what I propose is that you take a step back and become the observer of your anxiety. So, acknowledge that the anxiety is there. Acknowledge that you are experiencing this feeling wherever it is and then like a scientist begin to explore it, begin to examine it, where is it in your body? What does it look like? Does it have a shape? Does it have a color? Does it have a memory attached to it? What were you doing before in the moments before? Or were you doing something yesterday and you haven’t rested yet and it’s a build on from a meeting that you had with someone yesterday or a visit that you had with a friend or a conversation that you had with a partner or a colleague. So, become a scientist and observe with curiosity, what is this? Where is it? And a lot of times what you will find if you don’t get sucked into the anxiety or you don’t suppress it by simply being witness to it, by acknowledging that it’s there and by curiously observing it. You can begin to dissolve it without having to do anything else that doesn’t always work through but sometimes it does if that doesn’t work. The other things that you can do is to do breathing techniques and I’ve got two breathing techniques that I want to share with you. The first technique is called ‘hand on the heart breathing’ and it it says exactly what it does. So, you place your hand one or both hands on your heart and then you just take a nice calm and gentle breath into the heart space, into the space underneath your palms. Just allow this breath to gently fill you and you can imagine that it is maybe warm and loving air, loving light that you breathe into your heart space and then once you have breathed one two three deep breaths, you think about a loving moment and what this does is, it really connects you into the heart. So, you use your breath to focus on your heart space and then you open your heart by thinking of a loving moment and this can be any memory in time. It doesn’t have to be a very big moment. You can think about your child’s laughter or you can think about your partner, you can think about a pet, you can think about a beautiful place in nature and just hold on to this loving moment while you continue to breathe. So, let’s do that together. You’ll find as you hold on to this image of love and happiness and joy as your heart center begins to open the stress and the anxiety is going to start to leave your body. What also happens is remember when we are anxious, the amygdala goes into fight or flight, right. It, sends our body into fight or flight because it’s the alarm system that gets triggered in our brains and by doing a focused breathing like this, by touching yourself and physically connecting with your own body and also by opening the heart center, all three of those things lead to calm down the amygdala. You release oxytocin into your bloodstream. The amygdala calms down and at the same time the physical feelings of being anxious is also going to start reducing. So, you are busy retraining your brain at the same time telling yourself that there is nothing to be anxious about and that you are safe in this present moment and then the second breathing technique is called box breathing. It’s also called 4×4 breathing. I just call it balanced breathing and you can do this when you’re standing amongst people. You don’t have to be alone when you do this, you can obviously do this on your own as well. And it’s a balanced breath because you count in while you inhale for four counts. And then you hold your breath for two counts and then you exhale again for four counts and it needs to be just a slow and steady breath. So, all you’re going to do is you’re going to count the breath and as you are counting, you are shifting your attention away from the feeling of anxiety and you are connecting to the breath which brings you into the present moment and again that allows this conversation in your head to quieten down, to calm down also signaling the amygdala to calm down that you are safe. I’m really curious to find out if these breathing techniques do work for you. So, please could you leave me a comment below and tell me about your experience and also if there’s anything else that I haven’t spoken about that you use to help manage and deal with feelings of anxiety that will be helpful to our community, then please share that in the comments too. If you have enjoyed this video, then please can you give me a ‘thumbs up’ It really helps me to get this message out to as many people as possible if YouTube sees that my videos are valuable and the same goes for you to please subscribe if you haven’t subscribed yet. We would love to have you as part of our community. Again, thank you very much for watching my videos. Thank you for being part of my community. I really do appreciate you and I will see you in the next video. Bye!