Yes. We all can relate to the experience of being anxious; our heart races, hands shake, and we often feel overheated, dizzy, nauseous, and lightheaded. In other words, our bodies begin the “fight or flight” response process.
Fear and anxiety are pervasive in our society. Unfortunately, individuals fail to direct enough present attention and acknowledgement of how these feelings directly impact behaviors and thoughts.
Examples of fear range from not getting on a flight due to a feeling in your stomach, rehearsing a future conversation with a friend, counting calories, or tracking a partner’s or child’s location countless times a day. This same anxiety and fear contemplates the future—the future of your family, your economic health, your physical health, etc. Anxiety also surfaces when humans internalize an experience as failure, disappointment, or shameful.
To gain control and empowerment over panic and feelings of fear or failure, consider adding the skill of humor to your toolbox. Create a treasure chest filled with humorous books, comics, pictures, jokes, and magazines. Alternatively, have a date with humor each week. This date can be with yourself or with someone who also needs laughter. It is important to include facial expressions and funny faces, such as saying cheese.
Lastly, consider exaggerating and magnifying a perceived fear. For example, if you are afraid of making a presentation, consider what could go wrong. You may drop your note cards, the microphone proceeds to drop and make a loud noise, and the audience begins throwing water balloons at your body. Next, the fire sprinklers go off and everyone is soaking wet.
Do not let your fear and anxiety win; approach it and see it as a visitor providing information rather than having to continually search for avoidance strategies. After all, thoughts are just thoughts—they do not have to become your reality when you choose laughter and embrace the freedom it brings.