If you are an anxiety sufferer like myself, you probably already know that sometimes that best method for coping with anxiety is distraction.
Although not always possible, turning your attention away from whatever is triggering your anxiety and towards something else will help your brain to relax. If you are turning that attention towards something soothing or relaxing, you’ll be stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system which is the part of the brain responsible for relaxation and turning off our body’s stress signals.
But sometimes anxiety shows up in a way that doesn’t make us want to take a bath or read a book. Sometimes it presents itself as energy. It can be a trembling need to move around or feeling like your brain is buzzing. When you find yourself here, it’s important to direct that energy in a more positive way because when you have these types of sensation it can often lead to self-destructive behaviors like self harm or making rash decisions.
All of us are made of energy. When we experience this anxiety where we feel an uncomfortable burst of energy, our brain is sending out fight or flight signals. These electrical signals are real and have a physiological impact on us. What if I told you we could harness this energy to increase our creativity?
First and foremost, what is your body trying to tell you during these anxious episodes? Feeling physical sensations in the body might be your message to move. If that is the case, consider blasting your favorite song and having a private dance party. Allow your creative energy inside you to be released through your movement. Have fun with it! And know that these feelings and sensations are temporary.
Other people may want to turn to a physical activity such as yoga or weight lifting, while others may run or bike as a way to expel the antsy energy that anxiety can create. Participating in these types of activities as a means of distracting oneself can prevent negative behaviors and channel energy in a positive and productive way. This can improve your mental and physical well-being.
Maybe you notice racing thoughts during these episodes. A great way to cope with this is to put these thoughts down on paper, or just any thoughts at all on paper! Write a story or a poem, or journal about your feelings. Writing is a great way to release your mental energy.
You can also try out different kinds of art like drawing, doodling, coloring, painting, knitting, and more. Any type of craft or hands on activity, such as playing an instrument, is going to be excellent for expelling racing thoughts. Through these creative outlets you can focus attention on something productive and good for you.
Maybe you don’t experience this type of anxiety. Anxiety comes in many different shapes and forms. Both the beauty and the horror of mental illness is how greatly it varies from person to person. Just like medication, treatment is not one size fits all. Try out different methods to see what works for you, and keep an eye on my blog for a post about different ways to cope with paralyzing anxiety and slow energy that comes from the “freeze” reaction of the nervous system.
Anxiety is very real. If you need help, reach out to a trusted person for support.