How to Overcome Anxiety
Did you know that you have a choice in all that you do and have complete control over how you feel? To some that may seem confusing and ridiculous, to other’s it makes a lot of sense, however you may be trapped by your own restrictive challenges due to the anxiety you carry around.
There are many different extremes to anxiety, and most people have suffered with it at some point in their life, however for others it can be hugely destructive to their every-day life. You may find that you go over past events repetitively, often getting flash backs and re-living the adrenaline rush or sensations in your body. You may find that your emotions switch as though you are there at that same time and place, reliving the memory of something.
Anxiety is driven by fear and triggered by the blueprint of past experiences which your body has learnt to process in a certain way. How often do you find yourself regurgitating the past? Do you feel stressed at the thought of doing something that would normally be simple in everyday life? Most importantly what has anxiety stopped you from doing?
If you have suffered from a traumatic event or an event that caused you stress and was difficult to process, your body and mind will have made a recorded memory of exactly what was happening in your body at the time. And in your every-day life, the smallest situations could cause exactly the same response but in completely different circumstances. For example when you’re at the work and under stress your body produces adrenaline, you then go into a panic attack or have sensations of anxiety.
There is no over-night fix to eliminating anxiety straight away, it took me a few years to undo some of the responses my body had to things that had happened in the past. The most important thing to remember is that you can work on changing how you feel, and anxiety is definitely not something you have to live with for the rest of your life.
Unless you can take responsibility for your life and your actions, you will find that you are putting up with this challenge for far longer than you need to. However it’s not going to be miracles over night, but baby steps taking you towards a bigger over-all goal.
Here are some tips on how to overcome anxiety challenges:
- Take responsibility for yourself and your life. Many people like to tell everyone their “story”, they use their story as something to hide behind, an excuse not to get out of bed in the morning, a reason they don’t go for a walk or socialise, the result of not achieving in life. Although I have the greatest empathy (as someone who has been there too), it’s not going to help you in the long term! Living your life as a victim means you are restricting opportunities and giving yourself limitations. By removing the very boundaries you put in place, you give yourself a chance for a happier future and not confined by the chains of anxiety.
- Meditation and relaxation are hugely fundamental to being in control of your own mind. If you are constantly worrying about the future and re-living the past, how can you ever be present and notice what is going on around you right now? Take some time to sink back inside yourself, play a nice recorded journey or some music if you don’t like the thought of silence. Notice any emotions or resistance and ask yourself why you feel a particular emotion or resistance. Ask your body questions and it will answer you, listen carefully.
- Write a journal; depending on the level of anxiety you have, writing a journal is a really good way of monitoring your behaviour. You will most likely be so engrossed in fear and the possibilities and eventualities of the future; you don’t even recognise your own behavioural patterns. Write down your feelings, notice when you don’t do something, but don’t beat yourself up about it. Just be aware of what comes up and set small achievable goals to overcome any obstacles you face in your daily life.
- Be aware that caffeine, sugar, alcohol, cigarettes and drugs can exaggerate anxiety. Although many people turn to these to suppress their emotions, they only cause you to feel worse because they stimulate blood sugar and adrenaline, creating a high, and then crash or slump. If you are particularly sensitive to feelings of anxiety, you will likely feel worse than you did before.
- Set small manageable goals for yourself. If you feel like you are constantly going backwards, or struggling uphill, decide that you will set yourself some mini targets to achieve, even if it’s getting out of bed in the morning or taking time to relax for a few minutes every day. The most important thing is that you build on your belief so you can move away from the struggle and live a fulfilling life.