Tips to handle your Anxiety
Unrelenting doubts and fears can sap your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your daily life. Here are some tips to handle your anxiety
Stay away from the self-help books. They can make your anxiety worse by giving you more to worry about.
Worrying is helpful only when you are thinking about things that you can control and when it spurs you to take action and solve a problem. But if you’re preoccupied with something that is beyong your control, “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a disorder.
You must train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more practical perspective.
Separate out the real risks and dangers that a situation presents and those your imagination is making worse. Ask yourself: Where can you take control of a situation? Where can you make changes? Then do what needs to be done.
Ask yourself: Is this a productive thought? Is it helping me get closer to my goal? If a worry pops into your head, start by asking yourself whether the problem is something you can actually solve. The following questions can help: Is the problem something you’re currently facing, rather than an imaginary what-if? If the problem is an imaginary what-if, how likely is it to happen? Is your concern realistic? Can you do something about the problem or prepare for it, or is it out of your control?
Productive, solvable worries are those you can take action on right away. For example, if you’re worried about your child’s studying you can go and talk to her teachers. Unproductive, unsolvable worries are those for which there is no corresponding action. “What if she fails?” or “What if cannot do well enough to get a medical seat?”
If the worry is solvable, start brainstorming. Make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of. Try not to get stuck on finding the perfect solution. Focus on the things you have the power to change, rather than the circumstances or realities beyond your control. After you’ve evaluated your options, make a plan of action. Once you have a plan and start doing something about the problem, you’ll feel much less worried.
If it’s just a negative thought you’re rehashing, then you must be able to postpone the worrying. If an anxious thought or worry comes into your head during the day, make a brief note of it on paper and postpone it to your worry period. Remind yourself that you’ll have time to think about it later, so there’s no need to worry about it right now. Save it for later and continue to go about your day.
Choose a set time and place for worrying. During your worry period, you can worry about whatever’s on your mind. Reflect on the worries you wrote down during the day. If the thoughts are still bothering you, allow yourself to worry about them, but only for the amount of time you’ve specified for your worry period.
Don’t try to ignore, fight, or control your worries. Instead, simply observe them as an outsider’s would, without reacting or judging. If the worries don’t seem important any more, cut your worry period short and enjoy the rest of your day.The rest of the day, however, must be for things other than worrying.
Tell yourself “I may have to tdo this now even though I don’t like to, may have to do things I don’t want, but I’ll do what I have to do now. At least I will have the security of having done something to ease the situation. Then I can look for something better later.”
If you don’t deal with the situtaion now, you may lose relationships, your self confidence, or your abilities. Try not to compound one stress by adding another.
But what is the situation you are in is not under your control? The inability to tolerate uncertainty plays a huge role in anxiety. In uncertain situations ssk yourself the following questions and write down your responses. See if you can come to an understanding of the disadvantages and problems of being intolerant of uncertainty.
- Is it possible to be certain about everything in life?
- What are the advantages of requiring certainty, versus the disadvantages? Or, how is needing certainty in life helpful and unhelpful?
- Do you tend to predict bad things will happen just because they are uncertain? Is this a reasonable thing to do? What is the likelihood of positive or neutral outcomes?
- Is it possible to live with the small chance that something negative may happen, given its likelihood is very low?
Focus on the one thing that you are doing well in one aspect of your life.
When you get anxious, you tend to hold your breath. Learn to relax. Pay attention to the way your body feels, the rhythm of your breathing, your ever-changing emotions, and the thoughts that drift across your mind. If you find yourself getting stuck on a particular thought, bring your attention back to the present moment. Do yoga, meditation, or get some exercise. Exercise is a terrific outlet for anxiety.
Divert yourself from the stressful situation. Work on a word puzzle or watch a movie instead. Surround yourself with people who make you relax ot feel cheerful as much as possible. Understand that there are people who make you tense and to worry more. Avoid such people as much as possible.
However, all these can only help if your anxiety is mild. If anxiety becomes severe you may require medication. So do not hesitate to see a psychaitrist.