3 Tips on How to “Just Let Go”
Anyone and everyone with anxiety can relate to the complexity behind the phrase, “Just let go.” Perhaps your friends, family, or spouse has told you this before during a moment of personal crisis. You can barely breathe, your heart races, and your adrenaline rushes. The issue is that fighting your anxiety causes more anxiety. That’s just how it works. When we fight the physical symptoms of our anxiety they magnify. You can’t just “make yourself calm down.” So how do you manage your anxiety?
Accept that you have anxiety about certain things. It’s easy to be envious of others who seem carefree. Wishing to be someone else who can speak in public with ease, fall asleep in minutes, or introduce themselves to strangers happily will only make you feel worse about yourself. You have anxiety, so what? You also have great attributes others are envious of. The first step to managing your anxiety is being ok that it is a characteristic of yourself. Note however that you aren’t defined by it. You are not anxious, you just have anxiety about certain things and that’s perfectly normal.
Always breathe. Take a deep breath. Breathe in slowly through your nose, and exhale even slower out of your mouth. This has a very calming effect on your body. It can also be used as an anchor, or something to focus on when our mind abounds with anxious thoughts. This does a great job of bringing our mind to the present.
Accept it. This is the single biggest piece of advice I can give on how to let go of your anxiety. The anxious feelings, the pounding heart, the racing mind, the sweaty hands, accept them. Letting go of your anxiety is passive. Once you stop fighting the feelings of anxiety you will feel a sense of calm. Everyone wants to be in control of their emotions and feelings but by accepting that you aren’t in control you will begin to overcome the scariest part of your anxiety which is the fight against it.
So how do you actually “Let go?” Close your eyes and focus on a specific anxious feeling you have. Don’t try to distract yourself from the uneasiness of it all. Every time you begin to feel yourself trying to get away from the feeling remind yourself to again focus on the anxiety. Most importantly remember you aren’t trying to stop the anxiety, you are just trying to focus on it. You want to imagine anxiety as a person. What do they look like? How do they sound when they talk? Invite them inside, talk to them, ask them if they want something to drink. Your anxiety is only as big and scary as you make it out to be.