How Do You Let Go Of Anxiety
Think of a situation that upsets you.
Maybe you have a pile of unpaid bills. Maybe you have someone in your life that keeps showing up in ways you dont like. Maybe you dont like your appearance. Maybe youre not where you think you should be in life.
Now, can you touch this emotion? Can you see it? Can you draw it out and make it into a tangible object? No. Of course not.
Yet, this invisible force of limiting emotions will spin itself into limiting thoughts which transform into limiting beliefs which then inform us of our lack and undeservedness and any other myriad of nasty, yucky crapola.
Ask yourself if you can let this feeling go? Do you want to let this feeling go?
Often we berate ourselves by thinking we should know better.
We simply shouldnt feel a certain way because its childish.
Guess what? Everyone has feelings of guilt, shame, fear, anger and pride that come up at the most inopportune times.
Its the human condition.
Lets let go.
You Don’t Have To Be An Olympian To Prioritize Your Mental Health
Suzuki, who is the author of a book coming out this month called Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion, says instead of approaching anxiety as a negative emotion that must be suppressed, we should think of it as a superpower that motivates us to act. It helped our ancestors escape lions, she says. It’s that “quick hit of cortisol,” along with adrenaline, that helps a mother lift a car off her toddler.
Suzuki also suggests changing your “what if” list into a “to do” list. Your “what if” list is the list you make in your head about all the things that could go wrong like what if I can’t get on a plane to see my mom this winter? Instead of sitting there stewing, do something when you feel worried, says Suzuki. Start by making a list of actions you can take, for example, to ensure you stay connected with your far-flung family this winter: Host a video chat, write a letter, plan to take an online cooking class together.
The secret is deep breathing.
Wendy Suzuki, New York University neuroscientist
Anxiety Reflects Unrealistic Expectations
Jesus was careful to explain that those who belong to his kingdom will not have their best life now . Thats why Jesus said that each day has enough pain of its own. We dont have to add the bad things from the next day to it!
The good news is that we have the favor of God now so we will inherit heaven in the future. Furthermore, God is even in charge of bad things. Nothing escapes his direct involvement. And all the more, he loves us. He had his own Son, Jesus, punished and executed in our place so we could be with him forever. We can trust him.
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Learning To Let Go Of Past Hurts: 5 Ways To Move On
Weve all been hurt. You cant be an adult or teen alive today who hasnt experienced some kind of emotional pain.
It hurts. I get that.
But what you do with that hurt is probably more important than the hurt itself. Would you prefer to get back to being an active liver of life? Or do you prefer to ruminate endlessly about the past and something that cannot be changed?
In short, how do you let go of past hurts and move on? Lets find out
Blaming others for our hurt is what most of us start off doing. Somebody did something wrong, or they wronged us in some way that mattered to us. We want them to apologize. We want them to acknowledge what they did was wrong.
But blaming someone else for our hurt can backfire, as Holly Brown notes:
The problem with blaming others is that it can often leave you powerless. For example, you confront the person , and they say, No, I didnt, or worse, So what if I did?, then youre left with all this anger and hurt and no resolution.
All your feelings are legitimate. Its important to feel them fully, and then move on. Nursing your grievances indefinitely is a bad habit, because it hurts you more than it hurts them.
People who hold on to these past hurts often relive the pain over and over in their minds. Sometimes a person can even get stuck in this pain, in this hurt, in this blame.
The Art Of Not Taking Offence
A few years back I was at a meet for new mothers. It was my first time there, and all the conversations made it difficult to hear. I had asked someone in the crowd to repeat their childs name, which was, Wren, a pretty name, like the bird. Another mother overheard me and loudly mentioned to another person that people from the city werent worldly and had little knowledge of nature. I wondered what I possibly could have done to offend this woman. My thoughts spread like a wildfire.
I felt deeply angered by her comment. I proceeded to doubt myself, questioning if there was something I had said to the group that day which seemed silly or unintelligent. My next course of action was to start thinking of things to say to counteract her verbal attack a way of proving my knowledge. While all of these ideas bubbled up in my mind, I was completely silent. I felt a burning sensation brewing in my stomach and chest.
Getting lost in our worries and regrets only causes unnecessary suffering.
I tried to make the best of the meet after that, but couldnt help but feel irritated. I gave this person the cold shoulder the rest of the day and was upset with her. I was also angry with myself for not rising above the pettiness by choosing to snub her.
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Limiting Anxietys Impact On Your Leadership
Once you have a better sense of how you experience anxiety and how you can manage it daily, its time to turn to how it affects your leadership and management abilities.
Make good decisions
Anxiety can impair our judgment. It can cause us to focus on the wrong things, distort the facts, or rush to conclusions. Ideally, we could postpone critical decisions until were in a better frame of mind, but thats not always possible.
In anxious times its important to proactively set yourself up to make good choices. Much as you do when separating the possible from the probable, start by acknowledging that your emotions can make you an unreliable narrator and that you will likely be prone to negative thoughts. Lets say youre prepping for a speech and the last time you spoke to a group of a similar size, you felt that you bombed. You may even have a long-held belief that youre a terrible public speaker because a middle school recitation drew snickers. Ask yourself: Are you being objective? If youre not sure, check whether your memory is correct, perhaps by asking a colleague who was in the room for feedback.
Of course, you need to ask the right people. Boyes suggests you find a trusted adviser with a decision-making style that differs from your own. If youre impulsive, consult someone who is methodical and conservative, for example.
Practice healthy communication
Anxiety And Depression: What Are The Possible Links
Although clearly not identical emotional states, mental health research suggests that depression and anxiety often coexist because they can be caused by the same or similar factors. According to an article published May 2020 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, those overlapping causes can include:
- Genetic Factors Genetic factors contribute to 40 percent of the predisposition to depressive and anxious symptoms, with 60 percent being attributed to environmental, noninherited factors. “Especially with anxiety, more so than depression, there often is some family history, and so therefore we think that there may be some genetic predisposition to this,” Connolly explains.
- Environmental Factors Also referred to as social factors, these include experiences like trauma or neglect in early childhood, and current stressors such as relationship difficulties, unemployment, social isolation, and physical illness. People who have post-traumatic stress disorder , an anxiety disorder, are particularly likely to also develop depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health .
- Pain Chronic pain, and particularly disabling pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome , low back pain, headaches, and nerve pain, are closely linked to psychological distress, including both anxiety and depression, notes Harvard Health. In fact, they say, research suggests that pain shares some biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression.
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Acknowledging And Accepting Your Emotions
A common coping mechanism for leaders is to push through stress, fatigue, and fear. But thats succeeding in spite of your emotions, when its far better to thrive because of your emotions. You have to learn to accept your anxiety even though this may seem uncomfortable or counterintuitive.
Label what youre feeling
Angela Neal-Barnett, an award-winning psychologist, expert on anxiety among African Americans, and author of Soothe Your Nerves, is a firm believer in being honest with yourself. When you name a feeling by saying to yourself Im anxious you can begin to address it. You can learn how anxiety informs your behavior and your decisions and what causes it to surge, which will equip you to manage it.
Adapted from The Anxious Achiever podcast episode The Anxiety of Being the OnlyPortraits by Yann Legendre
No one has to hear you say it. This is for you. Take the time to wallow in your thoughts. Let yourself experience the discomfort of fear and anxiety. Play out worst-case scenarios in your head. Allow your imagination to go wild with catastrophe. Cry. Grieve. But dont turn away. As Alice Boyes, a former clinical psychologist and author of The Anxiety Toolkit, says: The more you try to control your anxiety, the more it fights back.
Adapted from The Anxious Achiever podcast episode Managing the Stress and Uncertainty of CoronavirusPortraits by Yann Legendre
How To Deal With Fear And Anxiety
More info on this topic
In this section we address things you can do on your own to work with fear and anxiety. We do not cover the many valuable techniques and therapies available when working with professional psychologists or other providers. These are essential for those who have experienced trauma or are suffering from intense fear or anxiety.
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Carve Out The Same Time Every Day
To develop a habit, doing it at the same time every day will help it stick. Your internal clock will start to know when to work on it.
- Figure out what time of day works best for your schedule.
If you want to start working out, it might be best for you to set a time in the morning before your day starts.
Ive personally found working out later in the day a challenge. There are more things to distract me and a lot of things tend to come up later in the day.
But, if you enjoy doing things later in the day then just find a time that works best for you. The goal is to find the best time that helps you do it every day consistently.
Accept That Our New Normal May Be Abnormal
As much as we wish it away, the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay for a while, and we have to find ways to manage our risks and take care of our mental health for the long haul.
“For some of us, we are still searching for this magical moment when everything is going to come back to normal,” Malani says. “And, you know, unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.”
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Think About The People Around You
Take inventory of the people around you. Who is negative and always bringing you down? Who are the people associated with the past that youre trying to move away from? You may need to move away from these individuals to find more positive people who will empower you.
There are more than enough ways to meet new people, such as attending local meetups and conferences. Dont be shy. Get yourself out there and find a new group of friends and acquaintances who can help you move forward.
Are You Suffering From Anxiety
Take our 2-minute anxiety quiz to see if you may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment.
For example, the person who is immobilized at the thought of flying might, in an exposure therapy treatment, might begin by reading a story about a plane crash, and gradually work up to going to an airport without boarding a plane, then boarding a plane without taking off, then finally taking a short flight
With repeated exposure in a safe place, such as a therapists office, to the event that created the trauma, the anxiety level subsides.
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Why Is It So Hard To Stop Worrying
Constant worrying can take a heavy toll. It can keep you up at night and make you tense and edgy during the day. And even though you hate feeling like a nervous wreck, it can still be so difficult to stop. For most chronic worriers, the anxious thoughts are fueled by the beliefsboth negative and positivethat you hold about worrying:
Negative beliefs about worry. You may believe that your constant worrying is harmful, that its going to drive you crazy or affect your physical health. Or you may worry that youre going to lose all control over your worryingthat it will take over and never stop. While negative beliefs, or worrying about worrying, adds to your anxiety and keeps worry going, positive beliefs about worrying can be just as damaging.
Positive beliefs about worry. You may believe that your worrying helps you avoid bad things, prevents problems, prepares you for the worst, or leads to solutions. Maybe you tell yourself that if you keep worrying about a problem long enough, youll eventually be able to figure it out? Or perhaps youre convinced that worrying is a responsible thing to do or the only way to ensure you dont overlook something? Its tough to break the worry habit if you believe that your worrying serves a positive purpose. Once you realize that worrying is the problem, not the solution, you can regain control of your worried mind.