Compassionate Psychological Care
Just Do It! - Overcoming The Anxiety That Stops You From Becoming The You, You Want To Be
Every one of us has anxiety in our lives. For some of us it can be helpful and motivate us to get things done or to do a stellar job. For others, anxiety can be debilitating and stops us from being who we want to be. And it's then, we it becomes a barrier that we need to do something to stop our anxiety and starting living.
Anxiety is a part of all of us, and initially was evolutionarily advantageous - if we were worried and cautious we wouldn't eat dangerous/poisonous stuff or be eaten by other animals. And anxiety can still be advantageous and can help us make good decisions that keep us safe. Unfortunately, our anxiety can grow out of proportion to actual danger and begin to make us afraid of everything, and thus limit our lives. Here are some ways to manage your anxiety:
1. Recognize that the anxiety you are experience is just that - anxiety. It will pass and is just alerting you to the potential for danger. Sometimes just recognizing that the thought you're having is your Anxiety talking is enough to take a step back and reduce your anxiety.
2. After you've recognized your anxiety, and I know this might seem funny, but thank your Anxiety, "Thank you Anxiety for keeping me safe, but I don't need you right now." And then hook it onto a passing cloud and let it float away from you.
3. Utilize relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditating, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, listening to music, going to the gym or for yoga, reading a good book, or taking a walk. Spent 5-10 minutes doing something relaxing and then check back in with your anxiety. If you can let the anxiety pass and RIDE THE WAVE, you might notice that it is not as strong as it was.
4. Take a look at your Values - what is important to you. Is making new friends or building your support network worthwhile for you, then do things to make this happen. Is finding a significant other and going out there to date scary, absolutely, but if you value finding a partner than it becomes worth it to master your anxiety. There might be some situations that values-wise that do not greatly impact your goals and everyday life, and thus do not require you to work through. Pick what matters to you!
5. Do what makes your anxious anyway - Challenge Yourself! One of the most insidious things about anxiety is that it tricks you into continuing to not do things that make you anxious. When we avoid an anxiety provoking situation, it makes us feel less anxious and thus reinforces our avoidance of the situation, making us more likely to avoid this situation in the future.
There is no easy answer on how to overcome anxiety, but I hope that these 5 tips can help you start to identify how to stop letting anxiety keep you from being the you, you want to be.