“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” - Dr. Wayne Dyer
What’s All This Anxiety About Anyway?
Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Feeling anxious, just like feeling sad, is a part of life and at certain times can even be helpful.
What Causes Anxiety?
One of the main culprits of increased anxiety is stress. Stress from work, relationships, finances, big life changes, even an exciting event like a wedding can trigger anxious feelings. Sometimes, these feelings can get very intense and affect how we feel about ourselves and can even affect our health. Let’s use an example of relationship stress. You’ve been arguing with your mate for months now and you’re unsure of your future together. You find yourself taking labored sighs throughout the day because of the heaviness and sadness of this situation and the endless worry of how this will all turn out. You may even find you have a hard time focusing because you are worried about what’s to come. Or, let’s take a work example. You’ve noticed layoffs at your company recently and you don’t feel as secure in your position as you used to feel. You start to get anxious about what you’ll do if you get laid off. You may even worry about how you will pay your bills or find a new job. Feeling uncertain or unsure of what will happen in these types of situations naturally causes us to feel anxious.
I’m Anxious…Now What?
The great news is that there are many things you can do to offset the normal feelings of worry, apprehension, anxiousness, etc. The most important thing you can do is to accept how you feel. Arguing or denying your feelings is one of the most unloving things you do to yourself. And oddly enough, sometimes the moment you accept how you feel, the intensity of the feeling lessens. With acceptance, a space is actually created between your deeper self and the temporal feeling so you can see your feelings and thoughts objectively. You become the observer of the feeling instead of the sufferer of the feeling. So, the next time you feel anxious or worried, accept it and see what happens to that feeling when you do. Remember, feelings come from your thoughts about a situation or a person. It’s what you do with the feeling that makes all the difference.
During times of uncertainty and stress, it’s extremely important to take care of yourself. Once you’ve accepted your feelings about a situation or person, try one of these steps to ease the effects of anxiety on your mind, body and spirit:
Take slow, deep breaths. There’s something about bringing in and releasing oxygen that reconnects us to our source, which offers peace and relaxation. You can also use this as a meditation practice. Meditation is a wonderful way to calm the mind and the emotions.
Get some rest. Our minds can go a mile a minute and this can deplete our energy reserves and weaken our immune systems. Let the problem or source of anxiety go for just an hour by closing your eyes and resting.
Call a friend or family member and share what’s bothering you. Explain the situation and how you feel about the situation without judging. Observe any new feelings or thoughts as you share how you feel.
Journal your feelings. When you write down how you feel, you give yourself permission to be vulnerable and honest, at least with yourself. After journaling, decide to release the problem for the next 24 hours. Observe what happens.
Avoid anxiety causing triggers like caffeine and alcohol. These can also mask important feelings, so take a break, even if only for one day, and see what changes.
Do something you love. Garden, take a brisk walk in nature, paint, write, or go out with friends. Doing something you love changes your focus and can change how you feel about a person or situation. By doing what we love, we get connected to what is truly important in our lives.
Ask questions. Why do I feel this way? What’s bothering me? Are these thoughts really true? This is a great self-discovery practice you can use for any thoughts or feelings that arise.
Get some exercise. Cardiovascular exercise is a great way to cope with anxious feelings. Even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing, it will feel so good after you get a good sweat.
Get help. Sometimes, anxiety becomes more than just a temporary manageable feeling. If you feel increased anxiety and nothing you try reduces those feelings or the anxiety is interfering with your life, it’s okay to ask for help. Talking with a professional can really help you get to the root of the anxiety so that you can learn effective long-term strategies to cope and thrive.
Try Louise Hay’s powerful Trusting Life Affirmation:
Life loves me.
I trust things to be wonderful.
I observe with joy as Life abundantly supports and cares for me.
I know that only good awaits me at every turn.
All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good.
Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe.
One important point to remember: Our thoughts trigger emotions and our emotions trigger a signal to us that something has to be addressed within. If you are experiencing anxiety around your current job, relationship, or with an upcoming event, take the time to ask questions and invite the answers to come. Anxiety, like fear, can be wonderful catalyst in opening doors to something greater.
The information contained in this article not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease and is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, supplement, exercise or other health program.
Where To Start
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