Anxiety plagues us all in one way or another. Some of us get nervous in social situations, at work, or even when we are at home dealing with personal pressure from our family and friends. Anxiety takes on many forms, but it can manifest as exhaustion, worry, stress, and other debilitating physical forms.
Managing your anxiety is a deeply personal experience. Some people find that exercise works best for them, while others choose to problem solve or meditate. Some people can manage their anxiety with support from family, friends, or therapy, while others prefer to be alone to deal with these feelings.
Anxiety can affect how you engage with other people, your work, and your home life. It can impact how much sleep you are getting and how you see yourself. If you think that you may have untreated anxiety, consider talking to a professional. There are ways to minimize how much anxiety you are feeling while still being able to function in your daily life.
Here are five steps you might find helpful for managing your anxiety today:
- Learn your triggers. Do social situations make you anxious? Does getting up and heading into work fill you with dread? Do you fear letting other people down or not being good enough? While some of these feelings in small quantities are certainly normal, prolonged anxiety about these issues isn’t. Learn what makes you anxious in order to discover how you can minimise your anxiety in these situations.
- Explore your mind/body connection. Your anxiety isn’t just in your head, but your brain chemistry does play a large role in how you react and act in the world around you. Understand that anxiety is connected to your mind and to your body, and practice ways to ground yourself if you are experiencing an anxiety or panic attack. Oftentimes, learning how to calm your physical response to this event will allow your brain to calm down as well.
- Consider therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a way to retrain your brain to think thoughts that help you rather than hurt you. You might find that anxiety causes you to think a lot of negative things about yourself, when in fact, the opposite is true. You are strong, powerful, and capable, and sometimes your brain lies to you. Therapy can help rewire your thought patterns in a more positive way to help with your anxiety.
- Don’t let your anxiety motivate you. Anxiety is a thing many of us experience, but it shouldn’t be something you use in order to get things done. The anxiety response we feel is actually very hard on our bodies; it exhausts us, whether we know it or not. Give yourself time and space to finish projects, deal with social situations, or be by yourself in order to mitigate the effects anxiety has on you.
- Finally, don’t feel like you have to avoid stressful situations entirely. Stress happens in life, and avoiding it doesn’t make your anxiety go away. Avoidance can lead to isolation, which makes anxiety spike. Rather, find ways to positively deal with stressful situations so that you come out of them feeling successful.
You never have to deal with your anxiety by yourself- there are friends, family members, and professionals who are all ready to give you the support you need to manage your anxiety and thrive in your life. What are you waiting for?