I’m not an anxious person.
Wasn’t and still am not.
But I recall having two panic crisis.
I think we can agree here, that behind the panic crisis, there’s probably a cycle of anxiety. A foreshadowing of something that manifested itself a few years later. But that’s not the issue. Anxiety is.
The two I recall were ridiculous ones.
I was living in Viana do Castelo, a very beautiful town by the sea, my first job after getting the degree, independent, reasonably well paid, a solid entity for a patron, good status, living on my own, as dreamt in my teenage years.
About the panic crisis, they still make me laugh. One was in the supermarket, I got desperate – no drama, I’m talking about despair to the point tears in my eyes in a public place, not knowing what I was going to do. Just because my regular cornflakes brand was not available. No joke. That happened.
The second one was revealing too. The apartment where I was living had a problem with the light on the corridors. I had to go home, rest from the working day, cook dinner… So I had to use the stairs (elevators were off too). At a certain point, it was so dark, I couldn’t see one step ahead, I’m quite positive cellphones did not have lantern by that time. I panicked. I believe I even shouted, out of despair, out of fear. I was so scared that I stopped. I did not want to go on with all that dark. Too dark ahead. Thought about going back. Too dark too. And I didn’t want to go back either: I wanted to go home. But it took me some minutes (seconds?)there, on that disabling state. Had to move on, despite the fear. The decision was obvious: keep walking.
Where do I want to get with this?
The whole context. This crisis. The Covid situation. The income. This digital sales process: the new learnings, the challenging doings, the timings, the leads, the converting… Might at some point generate some stress, that might lead to some anxiety.
How do you Not Cope with anxiety?
Breaking the cycle.
If you have disabling thoughts (of worry of a hypothetical future), these thoughts will feed a feeling (normally bad), that will lead to another disabling thought, that will feed more bad feeling… And the cycle, basically, feeds itself: a snowball of anxiety.
The strategy: use a simple breathing exercise to lower the cardiac rhythm and use a trigger-phrase to stop the cycle.
I’m sharing this short video, that crossed my Youtube today because I think it’s very good in the simplicity of explaining the process that generates anxiety and explains the short, simple breathing exercise to control anxiety.
- Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRJNUJUgH5U
(The author is Brazilian but you can play it with subtitles in English (on the footer right side of the Youtube video: (1) you can select the show-up subtitle and (2)set it for English)
Of course, this anxiety talk reminds me of a song… Ella. Fitzgerald. Performing a Cole Porter song.
In this interpretation the drums pulsing in the begging, followed by trombones, grow in a crescendo sound, along with Ella’s voice initially monochord, anticipating the huge anxiety that carries when she tells the story on the song. Simply beautiful. Just love it. Hope you enjoy it too.
Here’s the link to Ella’s “Night and Day” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPd3FJPGDJU
Have a nice cosy weekend!