Anxiety exists as a way to inspire and protect us. Think about how you feel when you know a hurricane is coming. You may feel anxious, but you use those feelings to clean up around your yard, board up your windows and get your supplies together in case of a power outage. Once you created a plan and executed it you will likely feel prepared and better about weathering the storm – decreasing anxiety.
Anxious Feelings Begin
Some people feel that at the first sign of discomfort something must be wrong with them and that the feelings are unhealthy. Ideally, a person should accept and utilize these feelings to take care of the problem. The key is once there is a solution your brain should turn off the anxiety because you don’t need it anymore. Think about being anxious about a big test and how that anxiety may encourage you to study and get a good night’s sleep. Once you take the test, you sigh with relief. As this example shows, people use and reduce their anxiety naturally. However, if you find that you still feel anxious there are things you can do.
The biggest thing you can do to manage your anxiety is to work on your self-talk. Sometimes after we have created a solution, we still feel anxious because we worry that we didn’t find the best solution. Remind yourself, you do not have to have the best solution! Another idea for managing anxiety is to create a plan for a solution that has small, manageable steps which will provide little success along the way. It also may be time for a reality check. You can’t change the path of the hurricane, so what can you do? You have to remind yourself that you created a plan and now there is no reason to worry. We have control of our thoughts, so do not let repeated or unnecessary thoughts take up space in your head – they are not paying rent! This requires you to be aware and make the effort to learn to let the thoughts go. It may be the reverse of what you doing – you are allowing the worrying thoughts to stay there, try to let them go instead.
There are many other techniques that you can do to help reduce anxious thoughts. In some situations, you may have to schedule a time to worry. Let’s say you have a presentation in two months. You may have to continue to remind yourself, “The presentation is not for two months, I will start worrying about it a week before.” What will be accomplished by worrying for seven weeks? If you have a lot of different things on your mind and you do not have a solution, plan for a time during your day that you can spend “worrying” and then use the time to come up with a plan. Take a designated amount of time during the day when it is convenient and use it as your time to “worry” and hopefully use it for solutions. This saves you from randomly thinking about things without having the focus to work on a plan.
I can help you work through these techniques and others to help you take control of your mind. I also can help you determine if your anxiety is working towards helping you or if it has gotten to the point where it is no longer a benefit and is become consuming. We can work through what is making you anxious and improve your mood and overall health. Anxiety is treatable!