It's the holidays again, and I've found that this is a good time of year to not only say thanks but actively practice gratitude to help my anxiety. I've learned that gratitude can be a very powerful emotion and can actually help reduce stress and lessen the symptoms of anxiety that I experience.
Anxiety Videos – Treating Anxiety
Recently, I received news that someone I am close to is very sick. I think one of the most difficult anxiety triggers that I may be confronted with is when someone I care about is ill.
I've learned throughout my life, and in having coped with anxiety for many years, that many of the simplest pleasures in life can be the most helpful for my anxiety. Therefore, taking the time to appreciate simple pleasures is an instrumental part of my life and my ability to cope with anxiety.
A key strategy that I have found helpful for my anxiety has been journaling. Whether I am in the middle of an unexpected stressful situation or have encountered something that has triggered my anxiety, journaling helps to reduce my anxiety symptoms.
Mindfulness can be a helpful tool for coping with anxiety. Mindfulness is something I have become more familiar with and increasingly utilized over the years as I have practiced it as a strategy for managing my anxiety.
Throughout the years, I've developed coping strategies that are helpful for my anxiety. But, I also realize that to effectively cope with the anxiety that might be triggered out of nowhere, I need to give myself a chance to heal from painful memories of the past.
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.
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.