Ever sat in front of the TV eating a tub of ice cream? Okay, how…
How are you doing today? There are so many pressures in this world it is hard sometimes to not feel overwhelmed. Anxiety is increasing hugely in our society. So if you are feeling tense and worried, you are certainly not alone.
How you cope with worry and feeling anxious is very individual. Some people worry a lot about everything, from forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning, to being late for work or filing in their tax return on time. Many people worry about relationships, having enough money to live on or what the future might bring. Anxiety, whatever its source, can completely throw you off balance, and even become a preoccupation.
But anxiety is something you can learn to cope with, and alleviate by sharing your feelings.
It is a bit like having a dangerous animal trapped inside you, clawing at you from within. Release the cage door and let anxiety go.
Most people tend to bottle up their anxious feelings, but a listening ear who can help put that anxiety in perspective can be genuinely therapeutic.
One woman who was in an almost constant state of anxiety as a result of a violent stalker was persuaded to speak to a therapist about how she felt. For the first time, she articulated how the threat from the stalker had effected her. Her first therapy session had a dramatic and positive impact on how she viewed her experience and she realised for the first time that her fears were entirely rational. Talking to a professional who helped her put her anxiety in context dramatically improved how she coped.
Many people attest that regular exercise can also have enormously beneficial effects on coping with anxiety, as does yoga. A long walk in a park or the countryside or a run can improve your mood.
It may help to recognise the difference between debilitating anxiety and day to day worry.
If your anxiety is effecting you physically, for example causing headaches, making you feel faint, dizzy or sick or stopping you eating, or is hampering your ability to carry out day to day tasks then your level of anxiety is probably severe.
Seek out that listening ear so you don’t have to cope with these feelings alone.
On reflection, you might discover that you are coping with anxiety better than you think. Most people worry every day about something and can feel unsettled.
But sometimes worry can act as a mental memo to deal with something unpleasant or annoying, like remembering to pay the electricity bill. Try not to let anxiety about being anxious spiral into a source of anxiety in itself.
One bright young man was diagnosed at University with anxiety disorder. The diagnosis became a source of anxiety itself and he worried about getting a job, fearing his anxiety would mean he could not cope. But he found himself, in his first job, in a high-pressure and demanding office environment. Far from crumbling as disasters struck the organisation he coped with them magnificently and proved himself calm and focused as flak flew. He found he even enjoyed the manic environment, and his boss praised his coolness under pressure.
Hearing from his boss that, far from being anxious, he was calm under pressure was not only a surprise but became a source of strength.
His ability to cope made him realise that he could deal with practically anything and led to a rapid recovery, with guidance from a therapist.
So if you are anxious, acknowledge you are not alone. Life is a source of anxiety but help yourself through it by recognising the source of your anxiety, sharing your worries and taking steps to change your circumstances if necessary We all deserve peace of mind.