Just Take A Deep Breath.
Sounds A Bit Glib, Doesn't It?
Only it's not. Is it?
You, me, and everyone you know who is still currently inhabiting the planet and is not on life support is managing to breathe. And do it on their own. They're managing to breathe. It doesn't mean they are managing their anxiety.
So, I don't teach breathing as a first place to start when working with anxiety. The whole world wants to talk to you about that and up to the point you hit my office, it has not been the magic key. The time will come when we will talk about breathing, but we will start elsewhere.
All We Have Is Now.
This is the perfect time to allow yourself to pause and notice where you are. Notice your surroundings. Notice what you see, and hear, and smell. Notice where, despite the discomfort of anxiety, you feel better in your body. Where do you feel the most calm and neutral? Notice that. As you do so, you will move more freely and clearly towards the present moment.
You are okay. Noticing this, reminding yourself of this is great self talk and an important skill to cultivate in your day-to-day life. Notice what is okay in your body. Notice what is okay in your circumstance. Despite it all, some things are okay. You are already talking to yourself all day, every day, but the kind of anxious, negative, self-critical statements most of us employ are not helpful. We can train the brain over time to begin to let go of habitual negative thoughts. As we do so, things begin to change.