The Power of Challenge

Weariness mixed with agony on some of their faces. I scurried around, offering bananas, energy bars, water and directions to the porta potty.

Last weekend I had the chance to volunteer with the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, a two year old professional bike race. I scored a spot at one of the vineyards. It was the last rest stop on the Gran Frondo, a tour from downtown through the surrounding countryside that the non-professional riders could join. Participants had a choice of a 52 or an 82 mile ride.

When I got my assignment I had vision of sitting amid the grapes, relaxing in the sun in-between riders. When I pulled into the parking lot it was cold. And raining. Fortunately my fellow volunteer had a VW camper bus, complete with a heater. We sat in the comfort, listening to jazz until we saw the approaching riders. Pulling the door open, we jumped out like parachuters to tend to our charges.

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5 things to do when you’re anxious

One of the things I try to do when a client comes in complaining of anxiety is to help them listen to what that feeling is trying to tell them. Is there something in their lives that’s been neglected? Is there an old belief system about the world and their place in it that really doesn’t work for them anymore? Is something out of balance?

We can’t always follow the threads, but when we do, it’s fruitful.

However, the first order of business is always to find some ways to manage the anxiety in the meantime. Here’s some things you can do when you feel anxious or in a panic.

1. Focus on your breathing. If you’re a panic attack, put one hand over your heart as a way of grounding yourself. Visualize your lungs inflating more and more deeply with each breath. Focus on breathing all the way down to your toes. Yes, I know that physiologically our lungs don’t go that far, but visualizing it helps you open up your breathing.

2. Focus on a mantra as you breathe: “I am breathing out fear. I am breathing in peace.”

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