5 Methods That Make It Easier To Cope With Anxiety
Anxiety is an issue that has just recently gotten more attention regarding the severity of the effects it can have on a person. Anxiety is a tricky condition due to the fact that it affects people on a sliding scale. This scale can be anything as mild anxiety on the low end, to consuming anxiety that can lead to debilitating issues like panic attacks on the far end. Anxiety can literally infiltrate every aspect of your life. From personal to professional, anxiety issues can be devastating and can get worse if left unaddressed.
Many people are hesitant to treat their anxiety issues and often downplay the effect it is having on their lives. People are often hesitant to be labeled with anxiety and tell themselves that they are simply worrying too much and that the issue will go away. However, anxiety can affect your life negatively in a variety of ways. It can prevent you from completing tasks at your job, cause issues in personal relationships or keep you from achieving your life goals. Anxiety can even go so far as to make people wary of leaving their house.
However, no matter what level of anxiety you may be suffering from, it can be treated. There are surefire steps you can take to receive some level of relief with your anxiety. Below are some tried-and-true approaches that you can take to work towards receiving relief from your anxiety.
1. Think Positive Thoughts
You may be thinking that this sounds too simple to provide any relief or that it is a very cliché recommendation. However, studies have proved time and time again that simply keeping your thoughts and mindset positive can help heal everything from mental issues such as anxiety to physical ailments. Anxiety typically has a root in some type of negative thoughts. These thoughts can stem from issues in personal relationships, professional setbacks or any small bump in the road. However, when people with anxiety meet these roadblocks, they often tend to fester in that negativity. This can create a cycle that can amplify anxiety to an even higher degree.
The Institute of Psychology at King's College London recommends training your mind to think positively if you struggle from actual negative thoughts due to anxiety. This can be done by taking small steps such as spending time with people who are generally positive, using the ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ method to train your mind to look on the positive side of things, or writing in a positivity journal or blog.
2. Be More Accepting
Unfortunately, when you struggle with anxiety, you have a legitimate fear of anxiety itself. This can often put you in a cycle of fearing anxiety, which causes even more anxiety. The Department of Psychology at Boston University examined the effect of simply accepting one's anxiety. Try taking a few moments to allow yourself to feel the anxiety and to truly pay attention to the feelings you are having, both physically and mentally. People with anxiety often try to hide it. However, by being accepting that you are suffering from a real condition and taking stock of what you are experiencing, you are better equipped to fight the possibility of becoming overwhelmed with anxiety.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Excited!
The feelings of anxiety actually align closely with the feelings that come with excitement. When you think about it, being anxious about a job interview comes with things light tightening of your stomach, jitters and a rush of adrenaline. Imagine if you were standing in line approaching the door to enter a huge concert put on by your favorite music artist. The feelings are incredibly similar. Psychologists say that it’s all about how you frame those physical and mental feelings. When you become anxious, tell yourself you’re excited - that's more effective than trying to force yourself to calm down.
Professor Alison Wood Brooks led a study at the Wharton School that measured the results of having people with anxiety reframe their feelings of anxiety as feelings of excitement. The study worked with students that were asked to take a timed math test. One portion of the group was shown messages that encouraged them to get excited during the test. The other group was shown messages encouraging them to stay calm. Those that received the messages encouraging excitement did about 8% better than those that received the calming messages. Focusing on excitement also goes back to the first point of trying to remain in a positive headspace.
4. Give Up a Little Control
Anxiety often goes hand-in-hand with the desire to control things in a highly focused manner. We are all saddled with heavy workloads, personal relationship issues and a myriad of additional commitments that can leave us feeling like we will never be able to accomplish it all. People with anxiety often tend to try and control every aspect of life. Relinquishing a bit of control and focusing on enjoying life is a great way to combat anxiety and focus on living in the moment.
5. Talk More, Worry Less
Most people suffering from anxiety would find benefit in speaking to someone about the issues they are dealing with. If you are struggling with anxiety, no matter what level, reaching out to someone can only help the situation. If you don't feel comfortable reaching out to a counselor yet, there are a variety of professional online support groups that can give you an outlet.
As mentioned above, anxiety affects people in a variety of levels. Whether you have mild, moderate or extreme anxiety, there are incredible resources out there to help you learn the tools to manage anxiety.
Have you ever experienced anxiety or do you know a loved one who is struggling? If so, how has anxiety affected your life? Do you feel that positive thoughts could help combat anxiety? We would love to hear your thoughts on the methods mentioned above and regarding anxiety in general!
Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation by your doctor. Your health is important to us!