While it may be perfectly normal to be anxious, there are times when it can be too much and beyond your control. It manifests in various forms such as phobia for certain things, health anxiety, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and panic attacks.
If you have been having episodes of panic attacks or social anxiety, the best thing to do would be to ask for help, contact the Clarity Clinic.
Outlined below are a few tips on how to handle anxiety.
1. Take Deep Breaths
Anxiety triggers a ‘fight or flight‘ response which is characterized by an increased heart rate and adrenaline rush. This is only the body’s way of trying to protect you from a threatening situation by releasing more energy in readiness to move faster or fight. Although this response may come in handy when in danger, it isn’t entirely necessary when leaving for the supermarket or school, for example. That said, you need to learn how to manage his situation by helping the body calm down, and back to its state of equilibrium. Taking deep long breaths can help calm your body and nerves. Inhale the maximum amount of air your lungs can accommodate, then exhale slowly. Repeat these two to three times until you’ve calmed down.
2. Question your Thoughts
As mentioned earlier, there are times when you will get anxious over a small matter or even nothing at all. Anxiety, however, tends to make us question any decision we make, as well as cloud our thinking. A good example of this is getting overly anxious just because your boss sends you a message or email. Your mind will try to prove you did something wrong, while your will power says otherwise. In such an instance, you need to question every thought you have. Do not accept the notion before evaluating it first. Accepting the first thought that comes to your mind will trigger a flight response, which might not be necessary at that moment.
3. Test your Fears
Anxiety makes you question every decision you make or even worse, make a negative prediction on something yet to happen. Failing to go to work simply because your employer will fire you, is an excellent example of a negative forecast. Before you can act on a thought, test it out first. Ask yourself, ‘what if I am wrong?’
4. Don’t Play The ‘Avoidance’ Game
Many people will create a whole manner of stories, and excuses to avoid doing what is required of them. Many will do this simply because they are afraid anxiety will kick in. One will avoid getting behind the wheel because he/she fears to get into an accident, while another will fail to attend the general meeting because he/she might be asked a question. Playing the avoidance game only makes your life harder and miserable. Facing your worst fears head-on can however help regain confidence and have your life back. If anxiety tries to kick in when facing a problem, brush the thought aside and soldier on. It is by facing your fears that physical and psychological anxiety starts to fade giving you the strength you need to tackle it. If anxious about driving, try driving in areas with less traffic. Try driving around the neighborhood, then to one junction and the next. Before you know it, you will be driving at the city center without the worry of getting into an accident creeping in.
5. Learn to Accept Anxiety
While uncomfortable, anxiety is a normal emotion triggered when the body senses danger. We all get anxious sometimes. This however doesn’t mean we should let it control the outcome. Knowing that you are in control and learning to accept anxiety is however the first step to coping with it. Anxiety is just like other emotions, there are times when you will be happy, others sad, and sometimes flat. Accept the fact that you are anxious and move on. If it however lingers on longer than it should, it might then be time to seek professional help and support.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)