Anxiety is a part of life and we all suffer from bouts of it. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million people over 18 years old. When you break it down, that is 18.1% of the population. The biggest thing to know about anxiety is that it is highly treatable, as long as you have the right tools to treat it. Unfortunately, the majority of anxiety-sufferers, choose to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol instead of tackling the issues head-on. There are a whole number of reasons that lead one to having anxiety, including brain chemistry, personality, genetics, and most commonly, life events. Instead of avoiding the issues that are causing your anxiety, the best thing you can do is walk right through them. If you find yourself strangled by anxiety, here are a few tips to cope with the sometimes-crippling disorder…
Make a list. Pull out a paper and pencil and write down a list of the things that trigger anxious thoughts. Then, create two columns, one titled real vs. imagined. Annotate all the situations that truly have a reason to bring you anxiety. Maybe it’s an upcoming party where you are going to see an old friend you were at odds with. In the imagined column, write down what you are afraid of happening. If you imagine that the old friend will confront you and cause a scene, right that down. Once you see the list, you will realize that the worst things that can happen, may not be all that bad. If, in fact, your old friend confronts you, well, be prepared for how you will respond. You can take control of this with preparation. And if there is something that you have no control over, like the negativity that you mother-in-law exhibits, then accept the fact that you cannot change who she is. This will open up energy that can be used toward bettering yourself and tending to your own issues.
A dear friend with a great sense of humor would say “I am smart enough to make my way out of a card board box.”
He had tremendous stress in multiple different areas of his life.
He would also so “face your fears and the death of your fear will be certain.”
This is not always true but the thought could help you get through a tough situation.
Praying is the best approach.
My friend would say that he could put his mind on a beach in Hawaii when faced with difficult people or a situation. He had never been to Hawaii, photos can be helpful.
2. Train yourself to relax. Believe it or not, anxiety isn’t only in the mind and it actually takes a major toll on the physical body. The good news is that we have the capability of training our bodies to get on board with a relaxing regimen. When we get anxious, we have a tendency to hold our breath, which only makes matters worse. When you find yourself in the throws of anxiety, count out ten to fifteen deep breaths. By focusing on your breath, you are freeing up space in your mind, ridding the bad, anxious thoughts.
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