Are you in the midst of a fast paced lifestyle, struggling with racing thoughts and sleepless nights? If all consuming fear makes you feel hyper vigilant and as if your mind is constantly on red alert, join the crowd. There has been a 1000% increase in the diagnosis of anxiety over the past 30 years.
Beginning early on, we all experience periods of anxiety, and these can recur periodically throughout our lives. Think about separation anxiety when young children start kindergarten, physical and social changes that occur in middle school, peer pressure and potential dangerous behavior throughout high school, the first time living away from home in college. And as adults we’re constantly worried about something--family, terrorism, work, natural disasters, finances, health.
Whereas a certain amount of stress is a natural motivator, more severe anxiety can interfere with your life. If you’re wondering what you can do to reduce anxiety, here are some ideas to help you restore balance:
Free yourself from negative feelings. Although you can't necessarily change the situations you encounter, you can change how you handle them. Face uncertainty with a positive attitude or reframe a pessimistic reaction into a more neutral or optimistic one. By learning more about constructive responses to difficulties, you will have access to a wider variety of resources and strategies.
Take control of what is within your reach. And have the wisdom to know the difference between what you can manage and what you can't. Recognize that you don't have to do it all alone. Ask for help when you need it. Sometimes consulting a psychiatrist about anti-anxiety medication and having a series of cognitive behavioral therapy sessions.
Stay in the moment. Anxiety can make you feel bad about yourself. Don't beat yourself up about the mistakes you've made. Keep in mind that you are human and no one is perfect. Being worried about the past or fearful about the future can keep you stuck. Rather than feeling discouraged and giving up, try something different. You deserve a second chance.
Rely on your own instincts. Although it's great to get support from others when you're frustrated, recognize your hidden internal strength. Trust yourself as you look inside for answers. Emotional discomfort can be a welcome opportunity. It serves as an invitation to grow and leads to greater self understanding.
Spend time relaxing and rejuvenating. Take better care of your body through exercise, healthy nutrition and proper rest as you develop stress relievers. Practice techniques of deep breathing, relaxation or your own form of meditation. Attend to your mind and your spirit. And set aside quiet time to do what it is that brings you pleasure.
Do you want to make life simpler and get back to basics? Look at your lifestyle and the choices you're making. Step back and determine the real stressors. Then consider your options and decide what to change. Take it slow as change is hard. And add up all your small victories. When you make mistakes, learn from them, laugh about them, move on and leave anxiety behind.