Anxiety is a common condition. It might not feel like it right now, but anxiety isn’t something you have to live with. By doing nothing different – nothing will change. However, if you are ready to get your life back then it’s time to do something different. After all, how can you expect different results from doing the same things over and over?
If that story sounds familiar, and you’d like help to cure your anxiety then here is an overview of the conditions along with some practical tips you can try today.
What is Anxiety?
The NHS England definition of anxiety is “a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.” Like any health condition, there are many different causes as well as severity levels associated with anxiety.
It could be that your anxiety is preventing you from being able to speak confidently in public. For others, it may affect every aspect of their lives. Given 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer from a mental health condition, anxiety is very common. The good news is that you don’t have to put up with it. Cue my helpful steps!
Identify Your Anxiety Triggers
First up, if you haven’t yet it’s time to identify the key things that increase your anxiety. Most triggers are related to stress, fear, and past trauma. Before you can banish your stressors, you must clearly identify when they are most likely to occur.
This could be anything from a fear of public speaking to feeling anxious when you allow your schedule to get overbooked. When you are having a difficult time identifying your triggers, start journaling about your life and daily activities as anxiety rises. It will help you identify patterns that lead to your increased stress level.
Now that you have identified what your key triggers are, it’s time to take a proactive approach to minimize the likelihood of an anxiety flare-up. When finances leave you feeling stressed, it’s time to cut your expenses and create a cash cushion. Assuming that, being overbooked is the problem, schedule non-negotiable “me time” into your weekly schedule. If you tend to procrastinate which leads to deadline anxiety, it’s time to stop procrastinating.
Face Your Fear
On the assumption that your anxiety is fear-based you can start taking baby steps toward facing your fear. When public speaking makes you uncomfortable take an online course on public speaking. You can also read books on how to be a better public speaker, and join a local Toastmasters group to provide you with more practice opportunities. You could even start giving speeches to small groups of friends and family.
For this example, learning tips and tricks will help to boost your confidence making you feel less stressed about speaking. Whatever your fear may be, the key is in taking incremental steps to get you to your goal. You can even work with a therapist on facing your fear which could be extremely beneficial reaching your goals in the future.
Consider Feeling Vs Fact
Supposing that you are prone to worry, negative thought patterns, and playing out every worst-case scenario, shift your thought patterns to feeling vs. fact and fear vs. fact. Many of us convince ourselves that worrying is proactive, but there is a point at which worry becomes more disruptive than beneficial. While you may naturally gravitate toward all that can go wrong, there are unlimited ways in which things can go far better than expected. When you find yourself caught in a worry cycle, ask yourself “what is true right now?”
It may also help to consider things you have worried about in the last few months that ended up working out just fine. The things you wasted valuable time worrying about. Or for every worst-case scenario, consider a best-case scenario to create a healthier pathway in your brain.
Short-term, chronic stress and anxiety rob us of the present moment. By replaying stressors, past trauma, or worrying about all that could go wrong next you zap the joy out of your life. However, the only real moment in time is the one you are in right now. There are a variety of ways you can return to the present moment.
Start by focusing on the things around you. The beautiful green of the trees outside your window, the fluffy fur of your dog, the loved one you are talking with. Or, who at the moment doesn’t have your full attention. Deep breathing and meditation are also another way to practice mindfulness. Click here now for your free mindfulness meditation.
Elevate Your Daily Routine
Without realising it you may have established a variety of unhealthy daily habits. This might include staying up too late, eating too much sugar or fast food, drinking too much coffee or energy drinks, skipping your workouts, or over committing in both your personal and professional life.
Unhealthy habits like these lead to physical and emotional imbalances and these imbalances contribute to anxiety-causing stress. One by one, start to replace less than healthy habits with a healthier alternative. For example, stocking your fridge, freezer, and pantry with healthy snacks, food, and beverages.
Also, invest more time in pampering, self-care and in time doing activities you enjoy. With each positive change, you make your stress will start to melt away.
Need More Help For Your Anxiety?
I hope the above steps have helped you understand your anxiety and point you in the right direction of how to overcome it. If you’d like any further help or advice, I have worked as a life coach for 25 years. I work in Norwich and London to help my clients change the way they feel and think about many issues, including their anxiety.
If you are not based in either of these locations, I’m also pleased to be able to offer remote consultations too. Please click here to get in touch and I will get back to you shortly. If you’ve found this post helpful, be sure to ‘follow’ this blog as I post regular content of various aspects of wellbeing as a whole.