Hi! Claire Westfall here. I work at DECSA, and I’m very thankful to be in an office where mental health is a priority because like a lot of people, I live with anxiety! I’d like to share with you a few ways I manage my emotions in an anxious moment.
First of all, I’ve learned that getting upset about feeling anxious only adds to my stress. Of course I don’t want to feel anxious, but rejecting my feelings never helps. These days, I choose to think, “I feel anxious. That’s okay! This is the way my mind and body respond to some situations.”
Second, I shift my focus away from whatever I’m anxious about. So let’s say I’m anxious at a networking event. My natural response is, “I don’t know who to talk to! I don’t feel confident! I might say the wrong thing!” When this happens, I choose to think about something in my environment instead of the problem because this gives my mind and body a chance to relax. I might take a couple minutes to focus on ten interesting things around me.
Third, I take deep breaths! Anxiety happens in your body, not just in your mind, so breathing deeply helps you physically relax.
These things help lessen my anxiety, but they don’t make it go away, so next I remind myself that the feeling of anxiety will pass. This experience won’t last forever! My goal these days isn’t to stop feeling anxious; it’s to recognize that anxiety is an acceptable, manageable part of my life, and I can work through it. Then I’m ready to start a conversation with a stranger at the snack table, even if it’s not an entirely comfortable experience.
Did you know that DECSA actually supports individuals who have mental health conditions like high anxiety to find employment? If you think this opportunity would benefit you, call us at 780-474-2500.