We all need to exercise, stretch, and practice facing our fears in order to gain trust in ourselves. However, practicing is one thing and seeing what practice can do is another. Sometimes we practice and exercise but then we just forget all about it and next time we feel anxious or have a panic attack, all of our hard work seems to go out the window. I completely understand this; I’ve been there and I’d be lying if I said I’m not still working on getting through this all the time. The thing is though that when we show ourselves that we can get through our anxiety and other issues through exercising and practicing, we have to keep this in mind when we are struggling. The whole reason we are practicing is to show ourselves just how capable we are of getting through our fears and that there is physically nothing wrong with us, it’s just our anxiety making us feel otherwise.
So, how do we translate our exercising into seeing what it can really do for us? Here is some advice:
1.) While you are exercising, stretching, and practicing facing your fears, focus on what you are proving to yourself. Tell yourself that the progress you are making by stretching can be carried over to when you are feeling anxious. Also, when you are stretching, focus on when you are anxious and how you feel. Then remind yourself as you are stretching that you are physically okay and that like now, when you feel anxious, you can get through it. You are strong enough!
2.) When feeling anxious, try to remember to work on progressive relaxation. Tense each part of your body for about five seconds or so and then relax those muscles. This not only helps distract you from your feelings of anxiety, but will also calm your physical symptoms brought on by fear. Progressive relaxation also shows you your ability to tense up, but then also let go. You can do the same with anxiety, it just takes time and practice.
3.) Keep a journal or some other record of your progress. Being able to physically see on paper, your phone, or computer that you have made progress due to the exercising, stretching, and practice you have done will show you that you are stronger than your anxiety!
**If anyone has any other positive comments or ideas on this subject, please feel free to comment!