Treating Anxiety

Staying grounded is important to anxiety management because anxiety affects everyone at some point. I once read something that said that we experience anxiety because of focusing on memories or worrying about things that have not yet happened. I know that, for myself, this tends to be true. I have often found myself worrying about things I need to do the next day, or going through "what ifs," second-guessing social interactions due to my social anxiety, or stuck in thoughts about things that have happened in the past.
Have you ever noticed that movement, whether through running, walking, or yoga, reduces your anxiety? Exercise is known to improve our health, but I've benefitted immensely, particularly from yoga in times of stress. For me, yoga is the perfect synthesis of meditation and exercise.
In recent years, I have become very interested in learning more about how what I eat affects my mood and mental health. More specifically, I have found it helpful to learn about how diet can affect anxiety.
Let's face it -- anxiety does not exactly go hand-in-hand with confidence, high self-esteem, and security. I have always found that when I am anxious, I feel less confident, and vice-versa. Now that I reflect on when I was younger, any lack of confidence and insecurity I felt were often associated with my anxiety.
How often have you tried to lean into your anxiety? If you're like me, you've probably tried at one time or another to avoid anxiety as much as you possibly could. Unfortunately, trying to avoid anxiety tends to perpetuate it rather than relieving it. This conundrum has perplexed me many times in my own life, and I'm guessing you've experienced the same challenge.
How do we cultivate hope when feeling anxious? This question has been occupying me a lot in the last few weeks because in many ways, anxiety seems to act contrary to hope. Typically when we feel anxious, we're anticipating some future event that we are worried about or afraid of. By contrast, hope is defined as a positive expectation about some future event occuring.
As an anxious person, I have found that decision-making with anxiety can be very challenging. As a matter of fact, decision-making can seem like a daunting task, regardless of how major or minor the decision may be.
Years ago, I learned about the benefit of using meditation to cope with anxiety, but I did not really give it much thought. That was until I realized that I was already often doing it when I was experiencing tremendous anxiety. Meditation has been an incredibly beneficial tool in my anxiety-coping toolbox. You may find that it is valuable for you and that it helps you in several ways.
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.
I've been thinking a lot the past few weeks about how to cultivate anxiety tolerance. With the beginning of my Ph.D. program on the horizon, I've been grappling with questions about how I'll handle a range of situations. I am worried about moving, succeeding in the program, making friends, and a random assortment of other questions that seem to pop up unasked throughout the day.