How often do you think of anxiety as your friend? This may sound like a strange question, but I believe the way we relate to anxiety plays a significant role in how we experience it. Cultivating a positive relationship with anxiety can be an important part of recovery, but it's also really difficult to do.
Using a trust test for anxiety helps you decide whether you should trust what your anxiety tells you. Often, anxiety comes on too quickly for us to do much about it, and we easily get swept up by the intensity of our anxiety. Whether we know it or not, this happens in part because we implicitly accept that our anxiety is trustworthy and only shares true information.
Anxiety from change occurs often, but it can be even more challenging to cope with when you deal with chronic anxiety. Just recently, I started a new endeavor. Since I have become very mindful of my anxiety, I have also become aware of when my anxiety symptoms worsen and it becomes difficult for me to function. This is something I noticed when I started this new undertaking. I began having a hard time sleeping, and my stomach was constantly in knots. I had panic attacks and I was feeling emotionally exhausted. I have noticed this anxiety often happens when I try something new.
You can cultivate a positive outlook without also creating expectations that cause anxiety. Have you ever felt so worried about something that you couldn't focus on your family, friends, or work? For me, the answer is certainly yes -- especially when I'm thinking about something I really want to happen. I've found myself thinking a lot about expectations, specifically how my expectations increase my anxiety and make it harder for me to focus on the present. For graduate school, I have a lot of expectations for myself, involving grades, developing research, and cultivating relationships. And although in some ways it is beneficial to have expectations, ultimately, they engender a narrow perspective that ignores a host of positive outcomes.
What is anticipatory anxiety? If you’re struggling with anxiety over the anticipation of an upcoming situation, you’re experiencing anticipatory anxiety and you're not alone. Most of us face anxiety about future events at some point or another. Sometimes it’s mild and other times it may feel downright debilitating. I’ll share with you some key steps I take to cope with anticipatory anxiety.
Limiting beliefs and thoughts are often at the root of social anxiety. If we trust these limiting beliefs, we give our thoughts undue power. Cognitive restructuring is one technique used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat social anxiety.
Nearly all of us with anxiety disorders have a specific fear or phobia that sends our anxiety into overdrive. For some people, it may be a fear of public speaking. For others, the specific fear or phobia may be the subway or dentist appointments. Whatever it is, the fear sends our hearts racing and this specific fear or phobia makes managing our everyday levels of anxiety that much harder.
Everyone gets overwhelmed. We all have times when life is stressful or we’ve signed up for--or been given--more than we can easily handle. For those of us with anxiety, however, feeling overwhelmed can quickly transform into outright terror. But you can battle the anxiety that comes from feeling overwhelmed with these stress relief tips.
Anxiety is a constant companion that catastrophizes everything and makes even the smallest worries seem insurmountable. So what happens when a major event or trauma arises? How do we manage anxiety levels that – in the face of actual disaster – quickly could become crippling?
Managing our anxiety about terrorist attacks is hard. It's so abhorrent and baffling that it's difficult to get our minds around it. It's extremely upsetting. Terrorist attacks in Western countries like France and the United States are a very recent phenomenon. Here in the West, we're still adjusting to the fact that terrorism has become part of our experience, too. It's no longer something that only happens in far-away places that we've never heard of, or know very little about. As we're managing our own anxiety about terrorist attacks, we're also having to learn how to discuss war and terrorism with our children.