Taking Control Of Your Anxiety
It’s no fun having to deal with something that interferes with your life, no matter what it is. Having a flat tire, for instance, is a pain. But, it can be fixed in a relatively short amount of time. Not so with other things that interfere with your life. For instance, anxiety. Dealing with anxiety is not like having a flat tire. Anxiety is not something that can be easily or quickly fixed.
When you experience anxiety that cannot be controlled, the first thing you should do is seek medical assistance. This is going to help your doctor or other health care professional understand what you need to do in order to deal with the anxiety, and design the best possible treatment program.
But, taking control of anxiety takes more than a doctor’s intervention. You must also work to minimize the day-to-day impact anxiety is having on your life. It’s important to realize there are no magic cures for anxiety disorder. Your goal is to develop coping skills so you can live a normal life. Choosing to face the challenge of anxiety is the only way you are going to get better. But how do you do that?
Like many challenges in life, developing a plan with easy to follow steps often works out well. Here we’ll lay out a suggested plan that you can follow to get you started. After a time, you will want to see what works best for you in managing your anxiety related reactions. Let’s take a look.
Step 1 – The Cause
What is really causing the anxiety? Get out a pen and paper and describe the events leading up to the anxiety in detail. Science shows there is connection between your fingers and your brain as you write down your feelings and thoughts on paper. As you’re describing the problem, don’t be surprised how your perception may change as you vent. Don’t go back and correct or rewrite. Each word is valid at the moment you wrote it, even if your thoughts change completely.
Step 2 – The Validity
Once you’ve clearly defined your worry, determine how valid it is. Is this something that’s a real possibility, or is it more of a “this is what might happen” scenario? If you find that it’s a “what if” scenario, try to justify your fears. Pretend you have to convince someone else this is going to happen. You might find there isn’t really anything to worry about. Or, there may be a reason to be anxious. In either case, the next steps will help.
Step 3 – The Script
Come up with a “script” that allows you to take control of the situation. The script can be actual words or it can be a method of reacting to a situation. For example, when you’re anxious about dealing with a family situation, remember that you can control what you are going to say or how you are going to react. You understand the nature of the problem and how you would like it to be resolved, but you also have to be aware that all you really control is yourself. If you stick to your “script,” you have done your part. Everything beyond that is outside of your control. By going in prepared, you’ll maintain control over what you can – you.
Step 4 – The Release
If you feel you’ve done all you can do, then let it go. Create a mantra of sorts you can use to affirm that you’ve done everything you can and there is no longer a reason to hang onto the anxiety. That’s easier said than done at first, but give it a try. Once you take that first step forward, the next steps will follow, and will become easier each time.
Anxiety is real and it’s not something that simply goes away. How you approach it is what makes the difference, and that approach is all up to you.
*Disclaimer: Please note every effort has been made to include accurate information, but further research and the advice of a physician is highly recommended before starting any of the anxiety management ideas listed.