Biology is weird. It wires our brains to think in a way to perpetuate survival, even if it also comes designed to allow potentially day-wrecking anxieties rooted in nothing concrete (haha, thanks, science). However, there are little things anxious people can do to calm down during the day to stay balanced. Sometimes all you have to do to ease your anxiety is take a few minutes out of your day, or maybe just a few moments, and carve out some time for your health.
When excruciatingly stressed out or worried, I get a compulsion to tear at the skin around my fingernails. Which means, yes, that one scene in Black Swan made my hands feel numb for just a moment. I recall a specifically challenging moment in my life when, working as an office manager for an advertising start-up, I had rushed all over Soho looking for a certain kind of gas cans for a catered lunch. I prepared with the wrong type and had to run half a mile in the rain in ankle boots to correct the error before lunch was to be served. It was so totally absurd and not my fault exactly, but that paired with a tall pile of freelance writing deadlines to tackle after my day in the office made me physically shake. Standing soaked in the elevator with a bag of heavy cans, I noticed a fellow passenger looking at me with concern. I hadn't noticed, but during all the insanity, I'd apparently shredded my fingertips. As I jammed the ninth floor button, blood quietly trickled down a few fingers. Clearly, I looked kinda insane.
But! There's way better ways to deal with anxiety than bloody hands. (Gotta say when I worked professionally framing art, people don't much like globs of blood on the matte board.) Here are some of them:
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