Yes, a large percentage of the public and many “spiritual people” are “dealing daily” are with anxiety. My question is, is anxiety another way of testing acceptance of all circumstances? Is being anxious an opportunity for growth? A chance for deeper understanding and breakthrough?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety is by far the most common mental health condition in the U.S., affecting an estimated 40 million people. 40 million people may sound like a lot, but if you’re struggling with anxiety, it often feels as if you’re alone in a losing battle with anxiety.
On the contrary, you have the power to take control of your anxiety and reclaim your life. Read these 10 tips on dealing with anxiety and check out the accompanying video to learn how.
Consider Medical Treatment
If you’ve spent years with your anxiety, it can seem like it’ll never get better. But the truth is that anxiety is one of the most treatable mental health conditions. It’s easy to think that you don’t need medication or therapy. And you know, you may be right.
But that’s a decision that you should make with the assistance of a medical professional. Be it your family doctor or a mental health professional, talk to someone about your anxiety and come up with a course of treatment. Life with anxiety doesn’t have to be a constant battle, you have choices. But in order to take the reigns of your life back, you’ll need to make the first move.
Understand That No Two Peoples’ Anxiety is Alike
Anxiety about…anxiety? Yes, it sounds strange, but in my experience, many people who live with anxiety tend to compare their experiences to the experiences of those around them. Ultimately, those who engage in this kind of thinking are doing a major disservice to themselves. Anxiety is a complicated condition and no two peoples’ experiences are the same. If you have panic attacks on a regular basis but your friend rarely has them, it doesn’t mean you’re weaker. It simply means that your anxiety manifests in a different fashion.
Foster Healthy Habits
Medication and talk therapy are two great resources that make handling anxiety easier. With that said, they’re far from the only factors that can positively influence your life.
Clean eating and exercise can have a massive impact on your mental health. Start introducing foods rich in zinc, magnesium, and omega-3 into your diet. In conjunction with regular exercise, which also releases endorphins, you’ll feel more energized and will think more clearly. This is yet another reason why we recommend discussing your anxiety with a medical professional. Your doctor can help you find a diet that best suits your mental and physical needs.
Find a Strong Support System
Growing up, I struggled with anxiety quite a bit. I always felt different and never sure where I belonged. Do I stand against the wall and watch, how do I make small chit-chat, who would want to play with me after school?
I was always filled with questions, uncertainty, anxiety and could never figure out where I fit in. Simply put, it was agonizing. Eventually, I learned what was possible by hanging out with some delightful neighbors and families and developed some lifelong friends. This support system shaped my outlook on life and gave me the tools I needed to live a full life where I ruled my anxiety — not the other way around.
Play ‘What If?’
A major part of working with anxiety involves what I like to call ‘What If’ scenarios. What if that person laughs at me? What if I start my presentation and forget all my research? What if I never live a full and happy life? What if I never get out of this rut?
It’s easy to drive yourself nuts with these hypotheticals. While most aren’t worth your time, sometimes it’s worth exploring how ridiculous some of these fears really are. Take a common anxiety of yours and explore it. Take, for example, a presentation. There are far worse things than forgetting one’s place in a presentation.
What if you do forget your place? Likely, your colleagues will understand and will be more than happy to give you a few moments to collect your thoughts. Then, you’d deliver the rest of your presentation and that would be that. It’s worth noting that I’m not trying to minimize anyone’s fears here. I understand that these anxieties can manifest in some nasty physical and emotional ways. But taking your tendency to ruminate and using it for good can reframe your fears and help you gain perspective.
Be Kind to Yourself
Self-talk is something many with anxiety have a hard time with. But to my friends out there struggling with anxiety, I have one simple request: Be kind to yourself. Start talking to yourself like you’d talk to a friend. It’ll take some getting used to, but once you’re in the hang of it, you’ll notice fewer instances of negative self-talk.
Keep an Anxiety Journal
One great habit that some psychologists recommend is to keep a journal to record your anxieties. Any time you start to feel anxious, jot down a quick description of the situation. Once you’ve collected several journal entries, look back and piece together patterns. Perhaps you get stressed at a particular time of day, for instance, or maybe certain situations trigger your anxiety.
These may sound like small factors, but understanding your anxious tendencies can help you learn to avoid or overcome certain anxieties.
Indulge in Self-Care
Each day, no matter how busy you are, take an hour and spend it doing something that makes you feel good. Whether you’re engaging in a hobby, taking some alone time, or spending time with loved ones, these small activities are prime examples of what experts call self-care. Not only can self-care help you handle anxiety, but it may even improve your physical well-being according to some experts. Of course, mediation and spending time alone is another opportunity to go deeper inside and experience our true selves. I find the more we are in touch with our true selves we are able to focus on creating what is possible in our lives and those around us. In mediation we get to see, feel, touch and sense the light that directs us to our whole complete and perfect selves.
Normalize Your Anxiety
Despite the fact that 18% of the population deals with anxiety of some kind, there’s still a massive stigma surrounding the mental health condition. If you’re feeling like an outcast due to your anxiety, talking about it with some degree of regularity can help. Open up to your family and friends and be willing to talk about your anxiety to others.
Who knows? You might even help a friend or family member who was too nervous to find treatment.
Don’t Let Your Anxiety Define You
Last but not least, it’s important that you understand that you’re more than your anxiety.
You’re someone’s child. You might be someone’s parent, or friend, or significant other, or boss, or any number of things. You’re so much more than your anxiety. Don’t let a medical condition define how you view yourself.
Dealing With Anxiety is Tough, But You’re Tougher
If you’re experiencing with anxiety, I hope this article can be of some help.
You’re a wonderful person who deserves a fantastic life filled with joy and magic. Please, let me play a role in helping you find that life.
Get in touch and let’s create what’s possible together using The Adler Method. I look forward to speaking with you and to learn more about your unique vision for your life!