I should put a disclaimer that I’m in no way versed in the medical field on mental health issues but I got the opportunity to share this post and I thought it may help someone out there who’s going through something; such as struggling with anxiety as I know this is something that affects many lives, and to let you know that you’re not alone…
Anxiety tends to creep up on us over time. A little anxiety in our lives is normal and healthy; it’s part of our fight and flight response. Without it, our life would be in danger. But when it takes over and limits our life in some way, it’s time to make some changes. As well as making us unhappy, it is also associated with physical illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
- Bring It Into Your Awareness
The first step to dealing with anxiety is to bring it into your awareness. Some people are not aware they are anxious. They perceive anxiety as a series of problems that need to be fixed. They only tend to pick up on the wider problem when they spot a pattern. i.e. when one problem is fixed, they immediately begin worrying about something else. Realizing you’re suffering from anxiety is the first step to resolving it.
- Find The Stressors
The next step is to identify your triggers. Over the next week, keep a diary of your thoughts and feelings. Rate your anxiety out of 10. You can then look back over the week and try and see if patterns emerge. Are there times when you feel more anxious than others? Do certain people make you anxious? Does the problem lie with your job or an element of it?
Identifying the triggers and utilizing your coping skills, is a big step towards leading a calmer life. It’s not possible to remove anxiety completely. It’s there for a reason. But you can certainly keep it within acceptable limits and learn to cope in anxious situations.
- Be Kind To Yourself
Self-care is often seen as being selfish, but that’s just not true. You can still care for and be kind to others, but it’s important to take of yourself too. After all, if you’re stressed and depleted, you’re not going to have much to give to other people. So start with yourself. Find things that make you feel a little better. This may be a cup of stress-busting tea, or it may be taking ten minutes to do some yoga stretches. Whatever works for you.
Don’t add to the problems by piling on the pressure and setting unrealistic targets for yourself. No-one can do everything.
- Establish Boundaries
Often anxiety is caused by taking on too much and not establishing healthy boundaries. This is sometimes as a result of an inability to say no. People take your generous nature for granted. Don’t let them. Find a way to politely decline if you don’t want to do something or it’s too much. You don’t have to be rude, just firm and polite. Once you have done this a few times, it will become much easier. And it’s actually quite freeing.
- Stay Social
When you’re feeling stressed, sometimes there’s a temptation to hibernate and avoid others. However, this can make the problem worse. You become consumed with your worries. Try to reach out to people you’re close to. Explain how you’re feeling to your partner or close friends. Go out and socialize, even if you don’t feel like it. It will take your mind off the situation and help you to relax. As humans we all need social interaction; it is part of our make-up.
If at any point you feel as though you’re not able to deal with this alone, seek professional help. Your doctor can refer you to a therapist. A professional will help you to work through the issues and help you to lead a happier, less anxious life.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” – Socrates
“To find yourself, think for yourself” – Socrates