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  • Darwins +374/-1

Hei, Nebula! *wave wave wave*  Very thought-provoking question.

My main coping strategy at the moment is mindfulness, combined with what I call "borrowed confidence" (using the memory of past successes to ease the anxiety of current or future situations).

I try not to "stockpile" emotions but like to deal with them up front.  Sometimes it's as simple as putting a voice to what I'm feeling, as in "I get angry when I have to work with that idiot."

In an acutely painful situation, I may have to withdraw to a quiet place and just feel all the physical sensations that have been stirred up... And stare right at them.  I discovered that if I look closely at an emotion, or even physical pain, it seems to fragment and I start "seeing" through the pain or worry.  If I can do that, I can mentally break it into even smaller pieces until it's no longer a problem.

As for borrowed confidence, I can give you an example of highway driving at night. (I play in a few bands that do the occasional out-of-town gig, and we usually come home well after dark).  I'm a city mouse:  I'm fine driving around town, but if I know I'm going to be driving on a rural 2-lane with no streetlights, I get anxious.  The last few times out, I reminisced about previous successful trips home and the anxiety dropped immediately.
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