In response to The Daily Post.
It took me years to notice the many warning signs my body and soul give me before I find myself in a situation I can’t handle anymore.
First, I become agitated. My fingers start tapping on the table or I hold on my purse for dear life. My feet move on the floor, even when I am sitting down. My back becomes rigid. In short, my whole body tells me to get out and take a break.
When I ignore these early warnings signs, my soul joins the chorus. Anxiety bubbles up from deep inside until I am unable to focus anymore. My eyes start searching for a way to leave the room – where is the door, how far away is it?
I learned the hard way that this is the last point where I can control the situation. Often excusing myself for a short bathroom break helps. After a few steps the adrenaline is going down and I start to relax. If possible I try to stay in the moment and notice as many things as I can: The cooler air outside the crowded room, the smell of detergent in the toilets, how the cold water feels on my wrists. When I come back, everything is back to normal. And nobody will be the wiser.
If I push myself further and don’t react to these warning signs, everything goes to hell and I have to go through a full-blown anxiety attack. This is something I can’t hide from those around me.
At first, I felt like I was literally taking the easy way out when taking a short break. But now I think dealing with it the way I do is rather smart: Ignoring warning signs leads to escalation, reacting to them to de-escalation. So my advice would be to listen to yourself and coming up with a coping mechanism that works for you.
2 thoughts on “Warning Signs”
You are so right that our body tries to tell us things, we just have to learn the signals and then how to best respond. Taking a few minutes out is not running away, it is giving yourself a bit of fresh air to clear your mind and breathe… that’s healthy! If everyone did that we would have far less situations that get out of control and far less uptight, angry people! You are taking lots of proactive steps to improve your life and I am in awe. I am so glad I’ve met you on your blog, you are a good example to others! Have you ever thought about writing a biography? It would be interesting to read!
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Thanks. I think dealing with these things proactively is the best choice. Writing a biography never crossed my mind, but maybe one day I will get up the courage to do so.
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