Anxiety isn’t just trembling hands or shaky voices or clenched teeth. It can get the best of you sometimes and leave you fully paralyzed in a situation. It can take away from you the ability to think clearly or act sensibly. It can sometimes make you lose all the words that were on the tip of your tongue. It can make you avoid certain situations that should be faced, but you just keep holding them off because of the fact that they might trigger a certain kind of anxiety that you’ve been avoiding for a while.
Anxiety rips your happiness and your pleasure of the moment, for you can’t be in the moment any longer. When you are anxious, your mind is always somewhere else stressing over something. It’s the burglar of joy. It takes away the chance to enjoy and acknowledge the little details of the current moment.
When you are suffering from pangs of anxiety, your minds wander down dark roads when we feel in the shade ourselves. It makes us susceptible to filling in the blanks when we aren’t in a good place and believing things we don’t know to be absolutely certain. It makes you feel like you’re continuously in combat that you didn’t sign up. It is sprinting for a race when you have no idea when you will reach the finish line. It strips away your creativity because you don’t have a clear or rested mindset to create something and unleash your creativity any longer. It makes every single action feel like a heavy one because it’s accompanied by the burden of your stress.
How to Break Free from Anxiety
If you are an anxious person, you know anxiety can be ruthless and totally draining. It’s the thing that sends us to our rooms convinced we are on your own and insecure if everything will get better. Anxiety is a spiteful cycle, and if you’re not mindful of this, it can take over parts of your life, both mentally and physically.
If you have made the conscious decision to break free from your anxiety, here is our step-by-step help book for the same.
By Learning to Question Your Thoughts
Oftentimes each and every thought of yours does not deserve your attention. Learning to question the basis and soundness of your thoughts will help you to decide on the course of action to be taken. This will, in turn, assist you in resolving your anxious thoughts. By learning to take a moment and reflect on these questions, you are stopping these intrusive thoughts on their track and dismissing the ones that are not founded on facts. If you find something substantial, you can easily convert those thoughts into an action plan wherein working on the completed plan will help you resolve the anxiety that it is causing.
In a nutshell, if your anxious thoughts are something within your control that you can effortlessly resolve, then be mindful to take steps for the same. If it is beyond your power, make use of your coping mechanisms to readdress your thoughts to something more fruitful. The key is to use your logic to refute and invalidate your anxious thoughts.
Writing Your Thoughts and Feelings
By penning down your thoughts and feelings, you are essentially addressing your anxieties and everything that is troubling you. You are taking a moment to understand and come in terms with your qualms and worries.
Writing your feelings and emotions can take many forms. You essentially don’t have to be a pro at it. Let your pen wend effortlessly and dump all your thoughts into paper, even if they do not make a lot of sense. It can be scribbled lists, a jumbled list of all your feelings in one place. But the focus here is to bring your thoughts onto paper, you now know what is inside your troubling mind. This brings some order and restores some control over your thoughts. This makes it easier for you to process your thoughts and brings forth a feeling of organization. It will positively impact you by helping you unravel the snarled web of thoughts that develops in your mind. Journaling of any kind can thus be understood as a form of “mind dump” of anything and everything that has been causing you anxiety. Putting them on paper will make you feel light-headed and make you feel those thoughts are no longer taking up any space inside your head.
Not Dwelling on Intrusive Thoughts
If you are someone who struggles with an anxious mind, you tend to latch on to meddling and intrusive thoughts and allow it to drag you down into the worry spiral. As a substitute for lodging these thoughts and being a convict inside your own mind, learn to take exercise control of your mind and thoughts. You can strive to dismiss unpleasant thoughts the moment they enter your mind. Initially, the best way to do so is to keep yourself engaged and involved in an array of activities that involve great concentration. If you are into the idea, indulge in adult paint-by-numbers, reading, writing or even trying new recipes. Baking would be best as it requires precise measurements and attention to details.
When you are focused on the task at hand, it would be quite difficult to give your time and attention to intrusive thoughts. Sooner or later, you’ll scope a point where it becomes second nature to sack anxious thoughts without needing a mental distraction.
Reflecting About Your Feelings and What Causes Them
It goes without saying that emotional intelligence equates to a main part of efficiently managing anxiety. When you effectively understand your mental state by taking the needed time to reflect and ponder your feelings and the reasons why you feel that way. Once you have mastered that skill, it becomes quite easy to process the deeper roots of your thoughts and feelings and accept them for what they are.
Identifying Your Triggers
There will never be a time when you can totally evade everything that triggers your anxiety, and you simply shouldn’t try to. Nevertheless, when you identify and recognize what your triggers are, you can prepare yourself to face them and make sure you know how to recover afterwards. For instance, if you suffer heightened anxiety in social situations, you can prepare beforehand and assume appropriate steps to lay down boundaries such as the time you’d be staying, limiting the regularity of social obligations, figuring out your escape plan and determining how you will recharge after the interactions.
Focus on the Things You can Change or Control
The origin of most anxious thoughts is a fright of the unidentified, unfamiliar and anything new. It is only human nature to shy away from situations and circumstances which are new to us and particularly outside of our control. If we have learnt one thing in life, it is that we can never escape them. We will have to face these circumstances to the best that we know. The key to managing your anxiety is not to avoid these feelings altogether. The most crucial point here is to shift our attention to what is important and accept it regardless of whether you are in control of them or not.
A need to regulate your surroundings and circumstances stems from past trauma that caused you to feel powerless. Thus, when you’re feeling helpless in a situation, focus on the things that are within your control. Question yourself whether something will go amiss if you were to relinquish control. Frequently, the answer to them would be no. It is just our anxiety lying to us and making us feel agonized.
Don’t Rely on Others to Lessen Your Anxiety
It is common to put the blame on others when you feel anxious. The simple fact is that you cannot count on someone else to make you feel better. If you want to feel good and less anxious, you have to work on it yourself without having to rely on someone acting a certain way. You have to realize that you are the only one who can effectively help manage your anxiety. No matter how others suit themselves, if you don’t help yourself, it is of no use. Ultimately, you have to learn to manage your anxiety independently. Of course, you can let others know what your expectations are of them so that they respect your boundaries. By clearly communicating, you can easily manage your anxiety.
In a nutshell, what you have to understand is that people will not always behave in a way that eases your anxiety, and you shouldn’t expect them to. It is no one’s responsibility but your own to manage your anxiety. Of course, it’s imperative to have a support system and to surround yourself with people who understand your mental health. But ultimately, it’s not their job to change their behaviour to accommodate you.
Learning to Put Your Needs Before Others’ Wants
Every now and then, anxiety is aggravated by the idea that you need to live up to everyone’s hopes and expectations. This is unmanageable and practically impossible. By setting healthy and apposite boundaries in every part of life—professional, romantic, family, you will be able to manage anxiety. When you constantly put others’ needs before your own needs, you create an environment in which anxiety thrives. Learning to say no or not right now is a great tool for practicing self-care.
Limiting Interactions with People who Intensify Negative Thoughts and Feelings
We all have people in our lives who seem to feed off of other people’s distress. We are not telling you to cut those people off entirely, but sometimes it’s necessary to limit how much interaction you have with them. If you walk away feeling drained, then it’s probably a relationship you want to limit your investment in.
Developing a Coping Process that Works for You
Healthy coping mechanisms are not the same for everyone. The key is finding something that works for you and being enthusiastic to adapt and adjust it as desired. What works in one situation may not work in another. It is always a good practice to start with breathing exercises. A fall-proof symptom of anxiety is increased heart rate and blood pressure. Practicing breathing exercises when you start to feel your heart rate pick up can help ease anxiety before it becomes uncontrollable. From there, you can try-out with other tools that may benefit you.
Treating Yourself with Kindness and Empathy
The final and most important tool on this list is to treat yourself with kindness. While you can’t hold others at fault for your anxiety, you also can’t blame yourself. You have to understand that anxiety is not a choice. Negative self-talk and placing unworkable expectations on yourself only serves to worsen your mental state. When you feel disappointed for not meeting anticipations or for having a lapse in mental health management, the last thing you need is to beat yourself up for it. In its place, repeat yourself that you are doing the best you can and that you’ve come a long way from where you started. The goal is not flawlessness; the goal is progress.
Frequently, anxiety is born purely from your thoughts that may not always be rational. It can stem from your fears and not necessarily your logic.
The Bottom Line
Remind yourself that not all thoughts are real and honest ones, to begin with. Thoughts lie at times; they can stem from your fears and not your logic.In order to take control of your anxiety, you have to honour it, feel it, and be able to recognize what makes you anxious. Be able to concede your fears, qualms, and the things that send you into undesirable head space. Don’t try to make-believe these things don’t exist or give too much weight to external forces. Believe that you’re not bad or wrong for feeling this way. Anxiety isn’t something that just evaporates into thin air, it’s something that dispels as we acquire how to steer it. Your clout is getting into a routine of conveying what you think, feel, and substantially do when faced with these anxious thoughts and feelings. Most importantly, breathe. You will get over this.