With anxiety, I often feel as though I don't have a handle on my circumstances and surroundings. This sense of a lack of control over my environment causes my anxiety to jump into overdrive, to the point that I can't stop my racing or intrusive thoughts. One of the things I've found helpful is to have something to focus on.
Anxiety Videos – Treating Anxiety
One of the most important things that I have learned to recognize about my anxiety, and something that I often talk about in terms of coping, is what I do when my anxiety gets triggered. This has been important because I've learned ways to avoid or confront the triggers. And so, throughout this process, I've also learned how to recognize the anxiety symptoms that I most often experience.
It's hard to be happy when you struggle with anxiety. Anxiety, in and of itself, contradicts happiness. If you think about it, when you're happy, you're experiencing positive emotions. But when you're anxious, you're experiencing fear, uncertainty, worry, and doubt.
When I experience anxiety, one of the main symptoms I have is anticipatory anxiety, which is excessive worry about what will happen in the future. It is this symptom that keeps me up at night when I'm not sleeping well and often results in intrusive thoughts that interrupt my concentration when I'm trying to focus.
Anxiety, I've learned, is not only something I experience while under stress, but it is also something I experience in times that are not necessarily stressful, such as anxiety during traveling. Just recently, my family and I went on vacation, and I realized, before the trip, that travel anxiety is something that I often experience before traveling away from home.
I've learned that placing high expectations on myself has resulted in perfectionist standards that have caused anxiety. Throughout my life, I grew up with high expectations that I later on learned would contribute to my anxiety levels. Being more aware of this has helped me focus on how I can reduce the anxiety I feel because of these high standards.
We are right on the verge of Thanksgiving and the holiday season. It's such a great time to reflect, not only on the year overall but also on how my ability to cope with my anxiety has progressed. A helpful strategy that I've really taken the time to focus on this year has been practicing gratitude and how feeling thankful has helped me manage my anxiety levels.
Anxiety and self-confidence usually don't coincide with one another, in my experience. I've also found that it is important to find ways to boost my confidence. Otherwise, it is easy to allow my anxiety to overwhelm many aspects of my daily life.
I've heard a lot about self-sabotaging or being self-destructive when it comes to anxiety, but somewhere along the way, I've convinced myself that I don't do that. I've convinced myself that I don't do things that prevent me from taking advantage of an opportunity or being in line with my goals. Has this been a form of self-sabotage in and of itself? I honestly believe so. Because when I take the time to think about it, I can think of many times in my life when I've purposely taken actions -- or not taken actions -- that weren't consistent with things I have wanted for myself, and anxiety was behind it.
Moving abroad is no easy feat. Saying goodbye to your family and friends and dealing with the culture shock can be difficult. I moved to the United States when I was 19, and it was one of the hardest things I have done. The uncertainty of settling abroad was extremely anxiety-inducing for me. I'm soon moving to yet another country, and from what I've previously experienced, I now feel more confident moving abroad. In this blog post, I'll share some tips for coping with anxiety when moving abroad.