“My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple. I tell myself: ‘Get out of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you’ll win… channel your energy. Focus.'” – Carl Lewis
I chose that quote by the champion runner, Carl Lewis, because it clearly illustrates the idea of keeping things simple to manage anxiety. Looking back at the many times I have had a panic reaction or attack, I’ve noticed each time I feel confused from complicating the situation or task and it feels impossible to get anything done. And when I retreat, relax, and rethink the situation as a task that can be accomplished in simple small steps, the situation doesn’t seem as scary and becomes possible. If I have been very anxious, writing the steps helps. Of course it is not always easy, but repeating the exercise of creating simple steps creates a good habit which becomes a good tool for managing future anxiety reactions or attacks.