Learn Strategies To Immediately Deal With Symptoms
Educate yourself by learning strategies to immediately deal with anxiety symptoms. The National Institute of Anxiety and Stress has just made available free information that can help you reduce anxiety symptoms quickly, easily, and effectively.
This free information contains audio and workbook exercises that show you:
- how to stop intense anxiety using a simple three-step formula
- how to deal with anxiety symptoms quickly
- what to do when youre having a panic attack
Gradually Introduce Yourself To Anxiety
Dr. Potter recommends what she calls situational exposure. Identify certain social situations youre afraid of, and work your way up from easier to more difficult scenarios while practicing relaxation techniques so you can tolerate anxiety. For example, if you have a fear of large groups, and youve been mostly avoiding group activities, start by going out with a friend one on one, she explains. Then work your way up to going out with a small group of friends. Repeat as needed until you feel more comfortable before attempting to go to a restaurant, a bar or a party where there would be more people. You can also work on situational exposure with the support of a therapist, Dr. Potter says. Like cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy is a type of treatment a trained psychologist can provide.
Studies On Anxiety And Fear
A study published in the journal Science by researchers from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne does a good job summing up how the brain actually has to re-experience a fear in order to extinguish it. Here’s what the researchers did: They put rodents into a small box and gave them a mild shock and then took them out. Over a long period, the researchers returned the mice to the box but didn’t administer shocks. Initially, the mice froze, but with repeated exposure to the box, and no additional shocks, they eventually relaxed.
For humans repeated exposure to the event that created the trauma can help the anxiety subside. For example, the treatment for fear of flying is often exposure therapy that involves slowly and repeatedly being exposed to the object that is feared in a controlled environment.
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.
Read Also: Does Anxiety Make You Sweat
Social Anxiety Disorder: More Than Just Shyness
Are you afraid of being judged by others? Are you self-conscious in everyday social situations? Do you avoid meeting new people due to fear or anxiety? If you have been feeling this way for at least 6 months and these feelings make it hard for you to do everyday taskssuch as talking to people at work or schoolyou may have social anxiety disorder.
Social anxiety disorder is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. This fear can affect work, school, and other daily activities. It can even make it hard to make and keep friends. The good news is social anxiety disorder is treatable. Learn more about the symptoms of social anxiety disorder and how to find help.
Why Living With Fear Is The Solution
Living with fear is about not letting your fears take you over. Although they still exist, they dont overpower or paralyze you from taking action.
The truth is that you cant live in absence of all fear. Although some fears arent rational, many are. And some fear is healthy .
When you live with fear, you can:
- Differentiate the irrational fears from the rational ones,
- Detach yourself from emotions and act with intention despite your fears, and
- Have a healthy relationship with your fears.
Its not that you wont have any fears, just that you wont be held back by them.
Read Also: Why Do I Have Relationship Anxiety
Strategies To Overcome Fear And Anxiety
You know what its like to be afraid of something, whether it be thunderstorms, a trip to the dentist, a stranger at your door, or losing someone dear to you. Fear is a normal reaction that warns our bodies to be careful. Anxiety is a type of fear, dealing more with worry and the future, rather than fearing something that is present.
When fear and anxiety become a pattern in our lives, they become a problem. If your plugged drain in the kitchen sink is a problem, do you ignore it? Of course not. You call a plumber or try to fix it yourself. When fearfulness causes harm to your physical and mental stability, and you find yourself avoiding things that might create more fear, dont ignore it. When anxiety becomes a debilitating thing that leaves you cowering and sick, dont try to push it away.
Learn how to overcome fear and anxiety.
The following 6 steps may be your ticket to getting rid of fear and anxiety disorders in your life.
Check In With Yourself
When youre out in public and start feeling anxious, its easy to spiral and become fixated on everything that appears to be going wrong, even if youre the only one feeling that way. In the moment, you need to focus outside of yourself and remind yourself, This is probably anxiety. I cant read their mind. I do not know what theyre actually thinking of me, Dr. Potter says.
This is easier said than done, of course, so she suggests using a technique called five senses that can help you regain perspective and stay in the moment. Do a check-in with yourself of all of your five senses to get yourself more externally focused. Distract yourself from unpleasant internal sensations and negative thoughts, says Dr. Potter. Then you can try to refocus on: What are they actually saying to me? What else is going on right now? What can I see? What can I hear? What can I feel?
Read Also: How To Stop Anxiety Eating
Learn That Pain Brings Valuable Insight
There isnt one successful person in the world who hasnt had to overcome major obstacles. The most painful experiences can help refine what you want and what you dont want in life. Failure, disappointment, dead-ends these can all be used as a means of reflecting and saying, This didnt work. It wasnt the right fit. So what do I really want?
Remember, we are built to adapt. So embrace yourinner strength and use each experience as a tool to help you learn more about yourself and what you really must have in life. When youre facing a painful experience or feel ready to give into fear, picture someone you admire who faced adversity they wouldnt have achieved the success they now have without learning how to stop living in fear.
How To Stop Anxiety And Unwanted Thoughts
- Persistent, unwanted thoughts are common in all forms of anxiety
- With obsessive-compulsive disorder, unwanted thoughts are one of the primary symptoms
- Examples of the types of unwanted thoughts can vary considerably
- Its possible to use small, easy to implement strategies to reduce or stop unwanted thoughts
- When those smaller strategies do not work, a more comprehensive anxiety reduction strategy will be necessary
You May Like: What Is The Best Medicine For Anxiety And Panic Attacks
Learn More About Your Fear
This first step can be the hardest one, but its also absolutely necessary. You cant overcome a fear that remains hidden in the dusty regions of your subconscious. You must face it. When you turn your face toward a person, you see that person and learn what he looks like and how he is acting. When you turn toward your fear , you notice things about your fear that you didnt know before. This awareness helps you overcome it.
To help yourself face your fears and anxiety, try keeping a journal over a period of two or three weeks. Record any patterns you notice. Do your hands turn clammy and your stomach clenches when you hear the doorbell? Do you experience more symptoms of anxiety in the morning or the evening? What do you tend to do when your fears arise? Jot down anything that seems significant. Transferring your fear patterns and symptoms into writing can help demystify them. They are no longer so big and insurmountable.
Most importantly, learning all about your fear gives you an idea of how to counter it.
Our Anxiety Does Not Empty Tomorrow Of Its Sorrows But Only Empties Today Of Its Strengths ~charles H Spurgeon Theres Nothing Like A Real Health Emergency For Putting Insignificant Worries Into Perspective By The Time I Was Pregnant The Second Time I Had Left My Struggles With Anxiety Largely Behind Me Having Been To Therapy Years Earlier To Find Coping Mechanisms For Managing My Ever
Dont argue with a fool. .
One piece of advice for anxiety sufferers I read and hear often is to take a deep breath and reassure yourself that you are safe, your anxiety cant hurt you, and your fears are all in your head.
Anxiety is irrational, and no amount of rational thinking will banish unnecessary worry or anxious thoughts. In fact, trying to fight irrational thinking with logic can be counterproductive and lead you down the rabbit hole of self-doubt.
Instead, respond to irrational fears by accepting that there is a possibility that what you fear may come to pass, but also trust that if it does, you will have the tools to manage it.
Dont ask others to argue with a fool.
Mental illness is tough, and having support from friends and family is key to making it through unscathed to the other side.
Asking your friends and families to tell you why your fears are unfounded and your worries are irrational is not asking for helpits asking for validation.
Many of us suffering through anxiety believe that if we cant trust our own logical arguments for why everything is going to be okay, maybe someone else can make it okay for us.
This kind of behavior often serves to undermine your self-confidence and create codependent tendencies, since youre relying on others to manage your anxiety for you.
Find a more productive focal point.
A few years before my pregnancy, when I was first treated for anxiety, my therapist taught me a trick I carry with me to this day.
Don’t Miss: What Can I Do About My Anxiety
What Taking Control Of Your Life Really Means
Humans obsess over a lot of things that arent within their control and pay little attention to what they can control. And obsessing over uncontrollable things only makes things worse . Its a vicious cycle.
Taking control of your life is about taking control over how you process your thoughts and emotions. Thats where thought work comes into play .
You cant control other people, many of your circumstances or even the outcome of your efforts. What you can control is how you choose to process and respond to your thoughts, fears and worries.
The right strategies will help you:
- Become more self-aware of your fears and the thoughts behind them,
- Diminish emotional reactivity to your fears and worries,
- Detach from your fears, and
- Act intentionally despite your fears.
Ultimately, your thoughts are what determine how you live your life and how happy you are. Each thought creates a corresponding emotion, which then influences your decisions.
If you want to stop living in fear and instead be more courageous, its time to take control of your life through your thoughts.
Techniques To Reduce Unwanted Thoughts
Remember, all anxiety disorders can have unwanted thoughts. Those with social phobia often imagine disasters before and during social events. Those with PTSD often flashback to the event that caused them stress. Those with panic disorder are constantly thinking about their health, etc. All of these are types of unwanted thoughts, and affect those with all types of anxiety.
There are interesting and effective strategies that can reduce the frequency of your unwanted thoughts. They include:
Don’t Miss: How To Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety
Resource: First Responder Series Anxiety Attacks Course
Everything we’ve talked about today can be found in detail in our first responder series course for Anxiety Attacks. Available now for 25% off the regular course price with the coupon code: mayday
Learn how to make your own personal Bach flowers blend
Know how to stop the fear of an anxiety attack
And get our guided SOS Tapping Sessions to help you stop an anxiety attack in its tracks.
What Taking Control Of Your Life Looks Like
When negative events punch you in the gut, you can
- crawl into a hole of denial and push people away
- ignore a looming financial problem or
- blame your ex-spouse for everything.
Or you could
- deal with your emotions and allow others to help you
- face your financial problems head-on by spending less and even selling your home or
- take responsibility for your part in the dissolution of your marriage, learn from it and let go of resentment and shame.
Let me be clear: this isnt necessarily easy and it doesnt mean that you wont ever worry or stress over life events. But taking control of your mindset is what will enable you to not get stuck in fear, worry and stress no matter whats going on in life. And it will help you to recover more quickly .
What t I want you to know is that you have the power to choose to be courageous. Courage is nothing more than acting despite your fears . Its a choice.
And I want you to start making that choice for yourself NOW so that you can stop living in fear and instead move beyond it.
Recommended Reading: Does Anxiety Cause Breathing Problems
Do Fear And Anxiety Keep You From Dealing With Unavoidable Situations And Emotions These Expert Tips Will Help You Overcome A Paralyzing Pattern Of Behavior
It is human nature to avoid emotions that scare us. Who wants to walk directly into what promises to be a painful experience? Except that by continually avoiding looking at the boogeyman within, you become hostage to the monster. Typically this involves hiding from any potential stressor that might cause upset and engaging in endless distractions. Alas, you are also hiding from potential challenges that can lead to growth and joy. Plus, you cant hide forever from fear. Its going to strike, despite your best efforts to suppress it. And it is likely that it will strike at a time when you most need emotional equanimity.
The good news is that once you face your fearand give the boogeyman airrather than shove it into a distant compartment of your brain, it begins losing the ability to rule you and dictate your decisions.
Tool #: Challenge And Ask What If
This confidence-building activity works especially well for overcoming fear, worry and anxiety arising from a big change or action that youre contemplating .
It can also help with impostor syndrome .
Heres what to do:
Step 1: Name the Fear
Again, you must be clear about whats going on within you to tackle it. Get out a notebook and take a few minutes to write down what you fear, why you fear it and what thoughts and emotions are swirling around within.
Writing everything down will organize your thoughts, bring more self-awareness around whats going on and help you to label your feelings .
Step 2: Ask What Could Go Right, While Considering The Risk of Doing Nothing
When it comes to taking action and making changes, human beings tend to focus primarily on the negative potential outcomes and the risk of taking action instead of what could go right or the risk of doing nothing. And that tends to feed fear, worry and anxiety.
So that you dont get caught up in the negative and dont forget to consider the risk of doing nothing:
- Identify the best that could happen. Be specific about this.
- Identify the negative consequences of not acting. Be sure to think about the long-term repercussions of doing nothing and allowing things to go on as-is.
Step 3: Challenge Your Doubts, Worries and Fears
Although many doubts, worries and fears are rational, often theyre not .
Challenge them as if youre doing it on behalf of your best friend. What would you tell them?
Step 4: Ask What If
Recommended Reading: What Do Anxiety Meds Feel Like
Fear Vs Anxiety: Finding Help
In general, professionals treat anxiety disorders with a combination of psychotherapy, medications, and self-help. In many cases, psychotherapy is recommended as the first treatment, with medications recommended if psychotherapy doesnt work on its own.
Self-help includes little things you do every day to take care of yourself, like eating well, staying active, getting enough sleep, and watching your use of alcohol and drugs. These strategies can have a big impact on your long-term well-being.
At Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital, we offer comprehensive treatment for a variety of adult psychiatric problems, including anxiety. Were dedicated to providing all the tools you need to take control of your unique mental state, and our programs include:
- Individual counseling
Recognize That Life Happens For You
Life doesnt happen to you, it happens for you, as Tony Robbins says. Truly understanding and accepting this concept is the first step to fulfillment. When you put an end to the blame game and start becoming the master of your own destiny, endless possibilities open up to you. And when you see the world as a place of opportunity, not obstacles, you dont let fear control you.
The reason for determining the source of your anxiety isnt to give you an excuse to keep living in fear. Its to help you assert power over those fears so that they no longer control you. Once you identify the source, you can change your story and change your mindset. The first step is recognizing that you have a choice. You can blame outside forces for your emotions and continue to feel out of control. Or you can take charge of your life and learn how to stop living in fear.
Also Check: What Does Anxiety Stomach Pain Feel Like