I am in Istanbul Airport with my brother waiting for our connecting flight to Cairo. The sniffer dog is doing the rounds and keeps coming back to my bag. His nose is going crazy over the contents of my bag but the handler keep leading him away. I have nothing to worry about, but I start thinking, “Oh shit, what does this mean? Do they think I have drugs or something? What the hell!” My anxiety starts to kick in… This is not helped when two uniformed men approach me & ask me to accompany them & bring my bag. I look at my brother & he just shrugs & asks if I want him to come with me. I shake my head, no, thinking that will not help the situation. Everyone is staring at me. I am going a dark shade of red & beginning to sweat. This, I think, is not helping me look less guilty for whatever crime they think I have committed!
They take me into a small room & I ask that they leave the door open. Me, two unformed male officers & a tiny room. I don’t think so! They keep it slightly ajar so that I can see the passers-by.
I am interrogated for having a large sum of cash. I am told to produce ALL of the money I have with me. ANXIETY IS SUPER HIGH BY THIS STAGE. Are they going to steal it? DO I have too much? Shit! What have I done? I produce all of the cash I have, which to be honest was a fair amount & in a few different currencies. Let’s say I had approximately $1000 USD on me. I put this money into a tray & then ask, now what? I was asked to produce more – keeping in mind that their English is broken & their accent is strong. “What else, you have more?” “I don’t have much more, this is it!” “Why you have so much? Why so many currencies?” ANXIETY!!!!!!
Ok. So I managed to explain my way out of it & I was able to put my money away & leave this tiny room & these two men behind.. I went back to where my brother was seated & sat there with all the whispers & stares from the strangers around us. Eventually I calmed down. Eventually my anxiety subsided…
So where does this anxiety come from? What is it really? Is it in any way useful?
Let me tell you…
Google’s definition is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
Where does anxiety come from? The worried THOUGHTS you are having in your head.
These thoughts (usually negative) keep replaying in your mind to generate this feeling of anxiety. It is often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue and problems in concentration.
Most of us feel anxiety on a regular basis. It is completely normal & part of the human experience. Anxiety served us well in our evolution as humans. But it is not quite as necessary now.
Anxiety itself is harmless. The problem is our reaction & resistance to it.
Most of us add fuel to the anxiety fire by worrying about being anxious. Worrying about the feeling is only going to make it worse…
So what’s the best way to deal with this feeling of anxiety…?
Use these 5 steps to manage your anxiety:
1 – Remind yourself nothing has gone wrong. You are feeling anxiety.
2 – Accept it.
3 – WRITE all your thoughts down (without editing them) & then you will see what your brain is focusing on… Often this is some crazy stuff – it’s no wonder you are feeling anxious! Notice that these thoughts are the cause of your anxiety…
4 –Tell yourself, ‘the reason I am feeling anxious is because of all of these thoughts, and that’s ok”.
5 – Breathe – Use some breathing techniques such as focusing on breathing into your belly. Put your hand on your belly and feel your breathe going slowly in & out, let your belly fill up. Focus on the exhale. Slowly exhale all of your air out & count the exhale breaths.
From this place of understanding & acceptance you can start to change your relationship with anxiety.
Interested in taking this work to the next level?
My program takes you through a specific process focused entirely on you. First we will take your confidence to the next level, then you’ll learn about how to feel in control of your life and to get more of what you want (travel, money, motivation for example) and less of what you don’t want (anxiety, overwhelming fear and worry to name a few).
Head on over to my website www.xenathewarriorcoach.com to sign up for a FREE mini session with me.