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Struggling with anxiety is almost inevitable when you’ve dealt with a narcissist in a toxic relationship, and one of the best ways to deal with anxiety is to recognize it quickly. The problem with this state of mind is that it quickly spirals out of control. The sooner you recognize that you’re getting more than a little anxious, the better you’ll be able to combat the effects it has with various techniques that help you calm back down.

Whether you use breathing techniques, meditations, positive thinking, or any of the other tips and techniques you come across during this challenge and elsewhere, the key to being less anxious is to notice it as soon as it starts. It’s much easier to calm down when you’re feeling a little stressed and worried than when you’re in the middle of a full-blown anxiety attack.

Your approach to noticing when you’re getting anxious without a valid reason – remember, sometimes anxiety is helpful and necessary – should be two-fold. You want to pay attention to both your mind and your body. Each will give you clues long before you start to feel out of control. Staying in control and forcing yourself to calm back down is the entire point of this exercise. The earlier you can disrupt the feeling of anxiety, the easier it is to break through and stop yourself from spiraling out of control.

You’ll experience both physical and mental symptoms long before you get too nervous and anxious to do anything about it. Before I share with you what to look for, I want you to be aware that it varies from person to person and event to event what you’ll experience. Sometimes you’ll notice most of these, while you only get a few symptoms here and there at other times. Don’t wait until you show every single symptom before starting to work on alleviating your anxiety.

The physical symptoms are comprised of what we talked about in yesterday’s post. They include trouble sleeping, insomnia, upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, increased heart rate, headache, fatigue, and weakness.

The mental signs that you’re starting to get anxious are a feeling of dread of fear, having a hard time concentrating or having a blank mind, feeling high strung and on the alert for danger, being tense and unsalable to sit still, and being irritable. Again, you won’t feel all of these mental and emotional times every time, but they are good signs to look out for.

Pay attention to your body and mind. Recognize the signs of anxiety early and then make an effort to relax and rationalize your fears. Break the vicious cycle and avoid spiraling down into a pit of anxiety.

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