Dealing With Anxiety

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Dealing With Anxiety | Upgrade In Progress

Although anxiety is part of life, never let it control you.

- Paulo Coelho

Anxiety can be brought on in multiple ways.  Between job concerns, debts or financial difficulties, health concerns, and of course, the “news” in general, there is more than enough going on to cause anxiety for any one of us.  So, how do we deal with the anxiety that’s brought on by all of this?

I find anxiety comes in waves for me.  I may be going along fine for weeks or months, then boom, I feel stressed about something that didn’t register as a problem the day before.  The item causing my anxiety changes, but I know the feeling when it’s there.

I find my mind constantly drifting to whatever it is I’m worried about.  Once the thought is there it becomes this out of control end-of-days type of scenario.  Even if the item isn’t something that is actually happening to me I can’t help but to worry about it.

With everything that’s been going on lately, at home and in the world at large, I decided it’s time to take a hard look at my anxiety and find some ways to combat it, rather than just waiting for it to finally die down, which takes a long time for me.  Let’s get started looking at some ways to deal with anxiety.

Identify The Cause – Once you realize you’re experiencing anxiety stop and think about why.  What caused you to feel stress?  Maybe you said hello to a higher up at work and they didn’t respond back the way you expected.  Now you’re convinced you’ll be without a job by the end of the week.  Is this reality though?  Probably not.  Examine the root cause of your anxiety and put it into perspective.

Sigh – Seems funny at first, but think about it.  Sighing means you’ve realized there’s an issue and it needs to be dealt with.  Sighing also slows down your breathing, which if you’re experiencing elevated anxiety, is probably rapid and shallow.  Not ideal when you’re trying to calm yourself.  So, let out a sigh or two, and calm down with some deep breathing.

Move – Exercise, be it a walk or a full on weight lifting session, helps to get you out of your current mindset.  So get up, get your blood flowing and some endorphins pumping through your system.

Avoid caffeine – Trying to relax with a cup of coffee isn’t going to help when you’re experiencing anxiety.  The caffeine just adds to that jittery, tense, kind of sick feeling you’re experiencing.  Try relaxing with an herbal tea or other non-caffeinated beverage instead.  I know for me that holding that warm, steaming, cup of tea is just as calming as a hot cup of coffee.

We all experience anxiety at one point or another, some of us more than others.  We can’t let it control our day though.  Instead we need to address it, put it in perspective, and either let it go or find a way to deal with it.  The longer it remains an active thought the longer it will take to move past it.

What are your thoughts on ways to deal with anxiety?  Do you experience anxiety regularly or are you pretty relaxed when issues pop up?  Let’s hear it!

 

 

 

You’re Not Dreaming Big Enough

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You're Not Dreaming Big Enough | Upgrade In Progress

If we doubted our fears instead of doubting our dreams, imagine how much in life we’d accomplish.

- Joel Brown

I had a conversation recently with my husband about my current job and where I should be in a few years.  As we talked he told me I wasn’t aiming high enough.  I was happy just to continue to have a job, whereas he believed I can move further ahead if I just try.

For a split second I thought he was crazy.  I couldn’t move up to the level he was thinking, regardless of where I was.  Then I realized I was the one not thinking clearly.  Of course I could move up to that level.  It’s up to me to make it happen, but it could happen.

As I thought about this brand new opportunity I started to think about how other people approach their lives.  Do they see the world as full of possibilities or are they set in their little mindset?  My thought is that most of us are not dreaming big enough.

We say we want a better life but we limit ourselves as to how much “better” our life can be.  We are only limited by our own minds, but that can be a big hurdle to overcome.  Not all people are like this; luckily my husband isn’t one to be limited.  This is both a blessing and a curse for me.

We have had many conversations over the years where I say I want one thing and he questions my limiting statements.  He’s not mean or condescending, he simply doesn’t understand why I don’t set my sights higher.  When he brings it up I don’t have an answer for him.  Most of the time it’s because the bigger goal doesn’t occur to me as something I can achieve.

This is what separates and limits a lot of us.  Every situation is different, but most of us are only living up to part of our potential.  When you think about it, you realize what you’re doing.

Breaking out of this mindset isn’t easy, and you’ll probably have setbacks.  I’ve embraced the idea of moving further ahead in my current job, but it’s still a bit daunting.  It’s exciting too.

The idea that you can go after that bigger dream is fun.  Coming up with the idea is another story.  Most of us will have a hard time just coming up with that bigger dream.  I did.  I’m finding myself a bit lost as I look at other areas of my life where I’m probably limiting myself.

I think that’s part of it too though; realizing that you are putting limits on your own dreams.  Instead of thinking that those bigger dreams aren’t for you try this instead.  Think of a goal you have, now think of the goal that’s two steps ahead.  That’s the bigger dream.  Why can’t you achieve that one instead?  Is it something you want more?

Be honest with yourself.  Don’t dismiss it as too far out there.  Really give it a chance in your mind.  You may find that those bigger dreams aren’t that outrageous in the first place.

Are you going after the big dreams?  What’s stopping you, or did you not realize that you were holding yourself back in the first place?  Let’s hear it!

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