Everyone becomes anxious or worried from time to time, but when these feelings begin to continually affect your day to day life, they can become detrimental to both your mental and physical health. While you cannot avoid these feelings, there are ways to control anxiety and worry so they do not interfere with your daily schedule.
Trying to avoid feeling anxious or worried is futile and will only act to prolong the feelings and make them more chronic. Both anxiety and worry need not be viewed as negative feelings as they can motivate us to take much-needed action. They only become harmful when they consume us. We must, therefore, learn to effectively control these feelings so when they do arise, we have a plan of attack and need not fear them.
So how does one clear those constant pessimistic thoughts that can interfere with daily life? The key is identifying what causes you anxiety or worry, how much is too much, and what ways are there to quickly appease those feelings.
Let us explore the best ways to control your anxiety and worry.
Identifying if Your Worries are Valid
The first step to controlling your worries is to identify if they are legitimate. You must ask yourself if your fears are rational, are you overgeneralizing a situation, or are you exaggerating what could go wrong? Most problems we dwell on are much more detrimental in our minds than they actually are in reality. With each worry that pops up, you must remember to focus on the evidence at hand and not jump to wild conclusions. What are the actual chances that your worry will result in a catastrophic conclusion?
You must treat each worry separately and realize the outcome will not always be the same. You may fail a single test or not meet a deadline this time but that doesn’t mean this will always be the case. Just because you perceive something as worrisome doesn’t necessarily mean it is.
Preparation Instead of Prevention
Many things in life we cannot control, therefore we need to learn how to prepare for situations rather than try to magically prevent things from happening. Many things you cannot avoid like getting sick, paying bills, and death. Dwelling on things such as this only causes stress and prolongs the grief they cause.
For worries we can solve, preparing a plan to deal with them when they arise will help to prevent us feeling anxious about them. By brainstorming solutions for various situations ahead of time, you will fear them less as you will gain the confidence that you can deal with many things that come your way. Don’t try to stop the rain, bring an umbrella. Don’t lock yourself in a bubble in the fear of getting sick, have medication on hand to quickly cure or soothe ailments if they occur.
Live in the Present
It is important to never dwell on the past nor worry about the future. Wishing we could have prevented or changed something that has occurred will change nothing and won’t help you to reach a solution to fixing the problem. Feeling overly anxious about something that is going to occur or that may occur will only prolong the stress of the situation which may not even happen at all.
By dealing with events as they come, you limit the amount of worry and anxiety you feel. Continually worrying about a situation will not help you solve the problem any more effectively when it arrives and will only prove to make you less capable of dealing with a situation when it does occur. The key is to be aware of a potential problem, prepare for it, and then move on until it is time to actually deal with it if it even occurs at all.
Having positive thoughts are incredibly powerful in combating your fears and anxiety. Remaining positive allows you to realize that you can control your emotions and actions. Even if a fear does come true, putting a positive spin on things will allow the impact to be less detrimental.
We can often cause things to go bad if we believe a negative outcome is imminent. Our negative thoughts block us from coming up with solutions or management strategies to deal with situations when they arise.
Share Your Worries and Anxious Thoughts
Talking about our worries with a trusted family member or professional may allow you to get a fresh perspective. They may be able to affirm your fears and help give you advice that will aid you in dealing with a situation or they may help you realize that your fears are unwarranted and you can move on from them.
Simply sharing your worries with yourself by writing them down can help you focus on exactly what it is that you are anxious about. This will help you develop solutions as opposed to letting your mind wander freely to imagine a problem being much grander than it truly is.
Meditation and Exercise
Both meditation and exercise are extremely effective for lowering anxiety levels. Both take your mind away from your worries and help you focus on keeping your body and mind in a healthy state.
Developing the best solutions to situations requires your body and mind to be in tip-top shape. The longer you stay anxious or stressed, the more chance your body’s health with begin to decline. Exercise and meditation act as medication to prevent the anxiety and stress from reaching unsafe levels and avoids potential chronic anxiety conditions.