Watch for warning signs of anxiety developing or worsening.
Changing the habits of what may have been almost a lifetime is quite a challenge. So don't be surprised or discouraged if you have the occasional setback when a panic overwhelms you or your mind is just a fug. It doesn't mean that you are back to square one: far from it.
Setbacks are learning experiences. As soon as you are able to bring your new skills to bear, calm yourself down and consider, from your 'observing self' what might have brought it on. Perhaps you were tired and run down and not able to access your coping skills. Perhaps you pattern matched to a past powerful negative experience without even realising it.
Remember, your nervous system has been hyper-aroused for quite a time, and so it is really no surprise if occasionally it flares up in reaction to some quite minor stress.
Try to become alert to signs that might indicate that you are becoming over-anxious. These might include:
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty falling asleep
- suffering headaches
- feeling tense
- feeling faint
- withdrawing from enjoyed activities
- smoking or drinking more
If you become aware of any, or a cluster, of these symptoms, it could be a reaction to a new, stressful circumstance. Or maybe you have stopped applying your anxiety-reduction skills. Whichever it is, don't panic! Look back over the preceding articles, review what you have learnt and put your skills back into practice.