Living with anxiety is tough. It can make the simplest of tasks seem particularly daunting and the world look like a frightening place. If you’ve ever suffered from anxiety, you know all too well that gut-wrenching feeling that keeps you up at night and the constant fear that accompanies you by day.
Anxiety can strike at any moment and the reasons behind it may not always be clear. Earlier this year, I suffered from bouts of anxiety. Luckily, I forced myself to get to the root of my pain so that I could more easily manage my stress. It took some time to work through it but I can say that I am slowly beginning to feel like myself again.
My Tips for Managing Anxiety
- Think of the song ‘Just around the riverbend’ – Remember Disney’s Pocahontas? In the song ‘Just around the Riverbend’, she dreams of what’s to come. The exciting thing about life is that anything can happen. Tomorrow just might be your greatest day. Instead of fearing the unknown, look forward and embrace each new day. You never know what’s waiting just around the riverbend for you.
- Tell yourself that ‘This too shall pass’ – When feeling overwhelmed, remember that this too shall pass. Tomorrow will be a new day and your troubles won’t seem so bad. And if it does, be patient and allow yourself time to heal.
- Imagine your mentor is with you – There’s a trick I discovered when experiencing intense anxiety. It was to picture a loved one (who has passed away) to be here with me, holding my hand and telling me that everything is going to be okay. Strangely, I felt so much calmer afterwards. When you’re feeling anxious and alone, just picture your mentor right there with you, to guide you, comfort and shield you from the storm.
- Remember that your health is important – We can’t help what happens to us or what other people say and do, but we can help how we react to things. I know it isn’t easy but you need to remember that some things aren’t worth putting your health in jeopardy for. I can tell you now that the person who hurt me or anybody that hurts me for that matter doesn’t deserve my tears nor my pain, anger or frustration. When you’re in pain, remind yourself that your number one priority is your health (emotional and physical), not X or Y. Take care of you; you’re the most important person you’ve got.
- Don’t forget to get busy – One of the best ways to keep your mind off things is to make sure you’re constantly doing other things. Work on your career goals and bettering yourself, keeping busy as much as possible, and the rest will work itself out.
- Take it one step at a time – When feeling overwhelmed, take it a step at a time. Let’s imagine that you have a really important interview to go to. Naturally, you’ll be nervous. Instead of letting the nerve get the best of you, just deal with it step by step. First, concentrate on just getting dressed. Don’t think about the interview itself. Work on getting ready and making yourself as presentable as possible. Once that’s done, you can worry about getting there. But don’t worry about finding the address until you’re there. What we tend to do when we’re anxious is think about every single steps ahead of time and worry about everything going wrong. So by doing it this way, you only worry about the present moment and minimise stress.
- Don’t feel bad – Sometimes we feel anxious when we don’t know where we’re headed in life or we haven’t achieved enough of what we wanted to achieve. When that happens, you should acknowledge your accomplishments thus far and recognise that there’s still more to do but instead of looking at it from a pessimistic point of view, embrace the journey. Like I’ve said time and time again, it’s the journey and not the destination that counts.
- Know who you are – And lastly, be proud of who you are. Get to know yourself if you have yet to discover who you are, know your likes and dislikes, and what your core values are. When you accept yourself for who you are, you also become more one with yourself and this will make the anxiety go away. Increased confidence = decreased levels of anxiety.
Thanks for reading. I hope this helps and you start to feel like yourself again.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert on health. This is simply me sharing my experiences with you and tips that hopefully will aid you to cope better with anxiety.