Fighting the Anxiety
Anxiety. What exactly is it? Why do some people feel it more often than others? How can you control it when you feel it taking over your life?
Anxiety can manifest itself in different ways: whether it be through negative self thoughts, the inability to focus on the task at hand, feelings of constant fear, or even through the desire to crawl out of your own body and escape reality. No matter how your anxiety presents itself, I am sure it most often leads to self doubt, lack of confidence, withdrawal from society, and essentially self-sabotage.
For some people, anxiety is triggered by specific situations. For example, when speaking in public. For others, that feeling of worry can emanate from nothing in particular; rather, there is just a constant sensation of angst and uneasiness that something bad is bound to happen. If you can relate to this on any level just know that you are not alone. I feel it too. As I am sure millions of others do on a day- to day basis.
When dealing with this anxiety, we must ask ourselves a few things,
- “What exactly are we afraid of?”
- “Is this thing, whatever it may be, something that we can actually manage and handle?”
- “Will this thing matter in a week…a month.. Or even next year?”
- “Will these feelings of anxiety and fear just make the situation worse?”.
Many times we become anxious about things that we cannot control. In this case, it is important to acknowledge this fact, and tell ourselves that no amount of worry will change the given outcome. Thus, we must accept life as it comes to us. Learning to accept things for what they are can help relieve anxiety by forcing ourselves to realize that life will go on no matter what we do, and we can either worry about what is to come, or embrace the experience as a learning opportunity and face the situation head-on.
It is also common for us to become anxious about things that we fear we are incapable of handling on our own. Sometimes we become conditioned to think we are weaker than we actually are, causing perpetual feelings of worry because we fear that we cannot deal with the obstacles that come our way. Many times these things or situations aren't really that scary, rather, we just fail to engage in constructive thought processes that build poise, courage, and certitude.
Self confidence is a huge part in conquering anxiety. I agree that it can be hard to tell yourself that you are capable of doing something when deep down you feel nothing but uncertainty and fear of failure. Despite these feelings, we must train our brains to switch these negative thoughts into self-empowering beliefs. We must tell ourselves that we are capable of handling the situation at hand, and that even if we falter, we are strong enough to pick ourselves back up and move forward. Further, accepting the fact that failure is better than not trying at all, can greatly help overcome one’s anxious feelings and fear of defeat.
The anxiety that we feel from day to day may never completely go away. But I think it is important to try and control/alleviate the anxiety as much as possible so that it does not prevent us from enjoying life and from doing things we wish we could. So whenever you get that anxious feeling, I encourage you to take a deep breath, count to ten, and try to train your brain to turn any negative feelings or thoughts into ones that are positive and efficacious.