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!