Anxiety is a type of fear. We feel it when we are convinced that we are not on top of our problems or if our current situation exceeds our capabilities.
Fear is a completely normal part of a stressful situation. There is no need to think that experiencing feelings of fear means you are strange or weak.
Evolutionally fear plays a great importance in our development as humans and has been crucial for the existence of our species, as it allows us to quickly assess the situation automatically, mobilize the body and prepare it for adaptive behaviour. Therefore fear contributes to the survival and self-protection of the individual.
It is important not to suppress our feelings. We need to recognize them and try to be as aware of them as possible. It is also important that we learn how to manage our emotional and physical responses. We can learn calming down techniques , which helps us to express and accept our emotions. That can help us to reduce the strength and intensity of our anxiety.
What can you do to help yourself?
In the moments when anxiety becomes overwhelming and suffocating it is important to redirect our attention away from the body. That makes it easier to calm down and remind ourselves that we are more than just our current experience. This too shall pass.
Redirect your attention
Take a deep breath, hold it in for a moment or two and exhale slowly. Can you hear your breath? Inhale again for four seconds, then gently close your eyes and exhale. When you feel that you have already exhaled, extend your exhale a little longer (exhale for six seconds). Fill your lungs with fresh air and listen to your exhale again. What is the sound of your breath?
- If closing your eyes makes you feel uncomfortable, that is not a problem. Simply pick a spot on the wall or ceiling and focus by looking at it.
- When you take a few deep breaths, look around and count the windows, the flowers or find the brightest stone on your path.
- Whatever is available around you can help divert your attention.
List of positive affirmations
When you calm down a bit, make a list of positive sentences to use as affirmations, such as:
- These are just my thoughts, not a reflection of the reality.
- I am more than my thoughts.
- I feel peace despite the great anxiety. Peace will grow and grow and I will feel even more.
- I am strong, I will overcome this, I can handle the feelings of anxiety. I believe in myself and in the grace of God.
- I love and I am loved.
- You can add your own calming and empowering affirmations. What would you like to say to yourself? What do you need to hear?
What to do if you did not get suitable help for your current distress on this website?
You can contact your scout leader or anyone you trust to help you find a solution. You can write to us and we will find the best approach for your distress together: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have no one to call and your condition is severe, you can call out Slovenian Scouts and guides Commissioner on: +386 51 364 251.
You can consult your personal physician as well.
Please seek further help on following numbers (Slovenian lines, but your country probably has similar lines too - search in the web):
112 / 911 - Urgent medical help
116 123 - Confidential Line "Samaritan"
116 111 - TOM Line for kids and youngsters
+386 1 520 99 00 - Mental distress line
+386 31 233 211 - Woman advisory and crisis centre (24h/day)
And remember: you're not alone. Talk about your distress, because that's the only way you can get needed support and help!