Feeling anxious is a perfectly normal part of life. Feelings of anxiousness can be positive or negative. Anxiety can be help steer us ways from poor decisions, but those same feelings can also constrain us in negative ways. Whether these feelings of anxiety are helpful or not, it generally does not feel good. We tend to feel helpless to control our emotions, but this is far from true.
Techniques For Getting A Handle on Anxiety
1. Laugh more often. It is very hard to feel overly anxious while you are genuinely laughing. Think about some of the funniest, or strangest experience you have had in life. Watch a TV show or a movie that makes you laugh out loud. Find a way to laugh in situations.
2. Life is a Contact Sport. Eventually, we are all headed to the same place. None of the things you are worry about today will matter in the long term. It is not always easy, nor simple, to maintain a long-term perspective, but not much is truly worthy of true fear and anxiety.
3. Get positive. When we think stressful thoughts, we get stressed. And, although it may present a challenge, we have the ability to choose our thoughts. So, it makes sense to make them as positive as possible. Think back about your favorite memories. Make a list of the many positive things in your life; past and present.
4. Drop the news habit. I do not think I have intentionally watched a news program in over 10 years. But, you know what? I have not missed out on a single vital event. If it important enough, someone will bring it to my attention. Or, I may stumble across it online. I do not sit for hours in front of my TV or computer screen waiting for the next press-inflated hype. Get your head and mind into some book. Try visiting your local library and read a newspaper from the a century or two ago. The news has not changed. People are still complaining about the economy, taxes, politicians, and war. If the news is upsetting to you, you can choose to turn it off.
5. Begin the day positively. For most people, the mental wheels start turning as soon as their eyes open in the morning. I am not sure mine every really stop, but that’s another story and another post. 🙂 Start taking control of your thoughts immediately. Focus on the great things you are working on accomplishing. Think about all the wonderful people in your life. Remember your favorite childhood vacation.
6. Finish the day positively. End your day in the same way. While lying in bed, keep your mind focused on the positive. Drift off to sleep with pleasant thoughts in your head.
7. Attack issues that cause anxiety while they are still small, and head-on. Rather than upsetting yourself, and wasting a lot of mental and physical energy worrying, why not use that energy to forge a solution. Worrying has never cured anything. Worrying is a symptom. If you can resolve the situation, do it.
8. Move on. If there is little, or nothing you can really do about the situation, go do something else. Find a distraction. Some distractions are better than others. Drugs, tobacco, and alcohol are obviously poor choices which only make life more challenging in the long run. Watching TV or surfing the internet are kind of neutral, except for the news, and many “reality” shows. Reading, volunteering, or exercising are positive distraction.
Anxiety is a part of our everyday lives. But, we do not have to wallow in it. There are many, many ways to reduce or eliminate your anxious feelings. Try a few of these techniques the next time you feel worry ranking up. Combining a few of these tips can be especially helpful.
Life is meant to be lived, not bemoaned.
Change what you can.
Be kind to yourself.
Forget the rest.