ANXIETY: HOW TO NOT LET IT RULE YOUR LIFE
- Jun 01, 2021
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5 simple solutions to cope with anxiety
You’re getting ready to go to a party. You're happy because it's been a while since you've been out, but you’ve got a tight knot in your stomach. You feel nervous, a little stressed out. It's like something’s holding you back from being 100% happy, like something bad’s about to happen.
Who am I gonna talk to when I get there?
Are people gonna find me boring?
Are they going to ignore me?
When you get to the party, everyone seems to be having fun. Someone comes to talk to you. You feel uncomfortable right away. Your temperature rises. Your heart is beating fast. You’re having trouble following the conversation.
"He must think I’m weird," you think to yourself. You try to focus on acting normal, but your discomfort grows. He finally leaves and you find yourself alone.
This has been happening to you quite a lot lately.
Now, imagine that you’re in a crowded place. You feel like you’re losing control over your body. You feel really anxious. You’re hot, lightheaded, you even have trouble breathing in enough air.
You HATE feeling this way. To avoid feeling this when you’re around people you don’t know, you’ve been going out way less often. You avoid these situations. You stay home, you isolate yourself and, frankly, you don’t quite enjoy life the way you used to.
If you can see yourself in either one of these situations, you’re probably suffering from anxiety.
It’s much more common than you might think. Did you know that 47% of people say they are anxious, regardless of their income, education or language? That’s almost 1 out of 2 people who suffer or will suffer from anxiety in their lifetime. And, unfortunately, 60% of them don’t get professional help, either for financial reasons or because they don’t have insurance. (Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness ORG - Mental health by numbers, 2019)
The impact of anxiety on our daily lives
Anxiety can have a huge impact on self-confidence, self-esteem and interpersonal relationships. It affects us on a daily basis, causing difficulty sleeping or difficulty concentrating. It can even lead to serious problems like depression, psychological distress and suicidal thoughts.
Many think that anxiety is not a "real problem". Some people who suffer from anxiety tend to wonder if it’s just their personality. Others wonder if they are "crazy".
Anxiety is often downplayed or misunderstood.
Is it normal anxiety or an anxiety disorder?
It’s important to know the difference between normal anxiety and an anxiety disorder. It’s also important to differentiate between stress, fear and anxiety.
Anxiety is an emotion that can actually be helpful, and almost all humans experience anxiety at one point of life or another.
There are different forms of anxiety, but in all cases, its negative effects can be reduced.
How can we reduce anxiety?
Some tricks work better for some people than for others. That’s why it’s so important to try a few different strategies to see what works for YOU.
Practice is key! To see improvement, we have to work at it consistently, every day! It’s a tough process, but we promise, it pays off!
Here are some strategies you can try:
1. Remind yourself that perfection doesn’t exist (and that Rome wasn’t built in a day)
Are you the type to wait until you’re 100% ready before you start something?
Do you hesitate for a looooong time before making a decision?
Oh, we get you! But, to regain your self-confidence, you need to start daring again.
The first step is to let go of the illusion that you have to be perfect on the first try. Every goal, activity or challenge that is worth doing should be done imperfectly first. There is only one person who expects you to be perfect the first time around, and guess what: that's YOU!
Lower your expectations of yourself. Your only goal is to try! The more constructive experiences you let yourself have, the more you will get to know yourself and trust yourself. The anxiety you feel will eventually be transformed into excitement. Doesn’t that sound nice?
2. Surround yourself with positive energy
It’s so important to cultivate relationships with people who can support you, and to seek help from resources that can help you.
By the way, do you know why the Moon has more craters than the Earth?
Roughly the same number of meteorites hit the Earth as the Moon. Yet the Earth is protected by its atmosphere, while the Moon is not. That means meteorites directly reach the surface of the Moon and dig deep craters there, but on Earth, because they disintegrate when they go through the atmosphere, we usually only find small pebbles on the ground. No damage, no craters!
It's the same with you! When you’re surrounded by supportive people who are committed to helping you out, you create a protective atmosphere around you, and problems will have less of an impact on you.
3. Pay attention to how you speak to yourself
You know what bullies sound like, right?
Ever stop to check your self-talk and consider that you might be bullying yourself? If you had a friend who constantly put you down, who noticed and commented on all your little quirks or mistakes, you’d probably stop hanging out with that person. And that’s normal!
We know that negative comments hurt our self-confidence and self-esteem. Well, your own self-talk matters just as much, maybe even more.
Did you know that people with anxiety tend to be very hard on themselves?
4. Learn to forgive yourself
Forgive yourself for your mistakes and try to be as understanding, caring and respectful with yourself as you are with others.
Having a panic attack? That's okay, forgive yourself!
Want to talk to someone or go to an event, but you’re too anxious? That’s also fine! Tomorrow’s another day.
You really don't have to be motivated and perfect all the time.
5. Open yourself up to others
Helping others can give your healing process a huge boost.
It’s been proven that feeling like you’ve made a positive difference in someone’s life brings a tremendous sense of comfort. It starts with a single good deed towards another person.
Now, get to work!
Try out these strategies and notice how you feel.
If, despite these strategies, your anxiety continues to grow, please reach out for a consultation. Know that everyone has the right to be well and sometimes that requires professional help.