The Key to Managing Anxiety – Part I
You obviously hate what anxiety does to you. Extreme fear engulfs you and all of a sudden you can’t move. Sometimes you can’t stand the sound of the ambulance siren. It makes you faint.
While there’s healthy anxiety, some anxiety is extreme. For instance, it’s okay to be a bit anxious going into a job interview. Fear of danger makes you take steps to be safe. And that is perfectly fine. But yours is different. You feel helpless. You can’t breathe. You don’t want to do anything, not even things you love.
Are you doomed? No. If the previous paragraphs describe you or someone you know, remember that you are not alone.
Research shows that “anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness. 18.1% of the United States population are affected every year"!*
But that doesn’t solve your problems now, does it? While knowing that you are not alone is a bit comforting, it doesn’t take away the fact that you are still battling anxiety every day.
Is there anything you can do? Happily, yes!
Take a look at some of the steps you can take to manage your anxiety.
Your Best is Good Enough
Hey, Miss Perfect, you are doing just fine. In fact, you are doing very well!
Most people who struggle with anxiety often expect more from themselves than they are already doing. If you are struggling with anxiety, you may want to cut yourself some slack. Being overly hard on yourself only makes you more anxious.
Instead, focus on doing your best. If you are working as hard as you can on whatever you are doing, that should be enough.
Avoid comparing yourself with others. Do your best and be proud of yourself for what you have achieved.
Feed your mind positive thoughts
You don’t want to fill your mind with things that make you anxious. For example, if there's an item in the news that's making you anxious, avoid dwelling on the news. Instead, find something that puts you in a good spirit. And focus on that.
Of course, you want to know what’s happening around you. But the best way to deal with anxiety is to keep negative thoughts to a minimum. You can ask a friend or family member who doesn’t get as anxious you do to give you a few important details of what’s in the news.
If the little information you are getting still makes you anxious, it’s wise to take a break. Stay away from the news for a while until you feel you can handle it.
Identify your Triggers
If you are dealing with an anxiety disorder, it’s important to know what or which situations trigger your attacks.
You can do this by keeping a journal. Write down what happens just before you suffer an attack. You can write down the events from a few hours to several hours of what you can remember before the attack. Keep a record over a period of time.
Go over your journal to see if you can figure out a trend. Once you do, it’s easy to act accordingly to reduce anxiety attacks. Try to eliminate or stay away from the confirmed triggers. Just make sure you take the action needed.
Did you know that exercising gives you the happy hormone? When you feel anxious, this is the easiest way to lift up your spirits.
There’s no need to worry if you are no athlete. Something light is okay. A few stretches, a short walk or jog, or a few push ups are enough to do the trick.
The happy feeling you get makes any inconveniences worth the effort. And it lasts for a long while. So why not push yourself to do some exercises. Think about it this way: You are short on happiness, and exercise is the money you need to buy it.
And it doesn’t hurt that your physical health will improve too.
The steps we have discussed thus far can greatly help you as you fight the monster that is anxiety. So, take action. In the coming few days see how you are doing when it comes to feeding your mind with positive thoughts, exercising, identifying your triggers and of course, being content with your best.
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*Data from adaa.com