Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Advice & Tips on Dealing with Anxiety

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to share a few tips on dealing with anxiety. People deal with all types of anxiety, some people do not want to admit they suffer from anxiety. Personally, I believe it relieves stress when you are able to accept and deal with any anxiety issues you may be experiencing.

Whether anxiety rarely rears its ugly head in your life or is a frequent, unwelcome visitor, you can benefit from the following suggestions for overcoming or relieving stress, anxiety and worry. Choose the strategies you think will work for you, and give them a shot! Remember, there is no one "cure" for anxiety, but the more coping skills you have, the better you will be able to eliminate its impact on your life.

Special Note from Fibro Viv:

Of course, these cannot replace the help of a qualified therapist - if you feel you are unable to deal with your anxiety on your own, take that important step and give one a call.

With Yourself

* Get to the real root of your feelings. If you feel extremely anxious about work, for example, chances are thin that your stress will simply disappear on its own. You may have to dig deep to find what is bothering you - could it be a fear of failure, unhappiness in your current position, or too much pressure? Once you find the cause of the problem, you can take constructive steps to alleviate it.

* Practice positive self-talk. Anxiety is often a vicious circle and eliminating (or at least cutting down) the negative thoughts that start the chain is sometimes enough to get you out of the trap.

* Keep things in perspective. Think back to other times that you felt this anxious - did they always warrant such a strong reaction? This is not to beat yourself up about the past, but to realize that you have and can again survive situations that you thought were too much too handle.

* Reminder: Worrying does not change anything. Only constructive action can bring about results. And there are some things we just can't control. Remember the old mantra, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference"? Whether you believe in an almighty maker or not, this little prayer carries a powerful message and a worthy goal.

* Be in tune with yourself. Know when you are beginning to feel anxious and have strategies to avoid a full-blown attack.

* Evaluate your self-confidence. Anxiety can often stem from feelings of inadequacy. If you discover you could boost your self-esteem, take active steps to do so - there are some great books on the subject.

* Forgive yourself. Anxious does not equal weak. Everyone gets stressed, and it's not your fault if you can't handle it sometimes. It is, however, your responsibility to take steps to change. Believe that things CAN get better. Because they can!

* Take small steps. If, for example, you are anxious at the mere thought of speaking in front of a group and you have to do a presentation, try practicing first in front of the mirror, then with one friend/family member, and work your way up to a larger group of friends. During the entire process, visualize yourself doing it in front of a larger group. Build your way up.Sometimes just being around a big crowd of people can be overwhelming for people that suffer from chronic illnesses. You can and will be able to improve any personal bubble you might be experiencing.

* Talk to a professional. Don't be afraid to seek help from a medical doctor or a therapist (look in your local phone book for a list of therapists in your area who may help you).

* Talk to a loved one, a close friend, and share your experience. You will find you are not alone!

* Educate yourself.

When you are with Others

* Get it out. Talk to friends, family or someone you know is a good listener. If you aren't close enough to anyone, consider joining a support group or even a hobby club to meet like-minded people.

* Give someone the squeeze. Physical affection and touch are great stress-relievers. If you don't have a partner, friend or family member that you feel comfortable touching, even a pet can do the trick.

* Learn to put your foot down. Sometimes you just have to say no, for your own sake. It may surprise people at first, but being pulled in a million directions is a major contributor to stress.

* Ask for help. That may mean asking your kids to help in the house, or a friend to support you in stressful situations.

Day-to-Day Habits

* Keep a journal. Use it to vent your feelings, but don't leave it at that - write the positive side of every experience (even if the only thing you can find is "developing inner strength"), and brainstorm ways you can work towards eliminating some of the stresses you feel.

* Shake that body! Exercise is a great stress reliever, whether it's smashing a tennis ball, bowling or doing stretching exercises at home. The body and mind are strongly connected, and neglecting either will have negative consequences. You may want to take up yoga or meditation. Listen to music, it is uplifting!

* Eat your veggies. Take a look at your diet - are you getting all the essential minerals and vitamins? Make sure you keep your blood sugar level stable and cut down on nasty habits (smoking, over-eating); you may think that they are comforting you and helping you deal with stress, but it's actually the opposite.

* Let go and laugh. When you feel stress building, seek out the things that make you laugh - a funny movie, a joke, a favorite website, a goofy friend.

* Pamper yourself - you're worth it. Make a list of things that relax you and make you feel good - a bubble bath, a movie, a magazine, playing a game, going for a walk, a certain CD, comfy clothes, watching a certain sport. Keep the list handy for the next time you feel the stress building. Don't use these activities to avoid difficult situations, but they may calm you enough to be able to handle them better.

* Connect with nature. Whether it's taking a stroll in the park and looking at the trees or going on a weekend hike in the mountains, getting out in the great outdoors can be calming and strengthening at the same time.

* Avoid anxiety triggers. If there are unhealthy people or places in your life, consider decreasing their role. If however, you are anxious about situations that are not damaging and are in fact useful/necessary (ie. talking to your boss about a new idea, or traveling in a car), you should form a solid plan to deal with these feelings.

* Create comfort zones/times. To avoid stress from building up, have scheduled times for you to unwind (before bed is a good time, so your mind is at rest and you can get a good night's sleep). The comforting activity should be something you enjoy; something you know will make you feel good. The comfort zone is a place where you can escape and unwind - it could be a corner of your living room or a spot in the park.

I hope and pray everyone has a fatigue and pain free day. God Bless


Sue said...

Very useful and practical tips. Thank you!

Fibro Viv said...

Hello Sue,

Thank you for commenting and visiting my site. I look forward to adding new experiences and tips.

God Bless!