Anxiety is a constant struggle for many individuals. Anxiety is a normal feeling to have and learning how to combat this emotion can be a very helpful tool. I’m not saying after this blog you will know how to get rid of anxiety forever, but you will learn some tips on how to manage it.
There are many different sources of anxiety but most of them stem from similar issues:
1. Are you burdened with guilt? For example, a common cause of anxiety is when we feel our children perform inadequately. Every parent wants their child to succeed and live a fulfilling life. Sometimes when our children don’t max out to their highest potential, we place the blame on ourselves.
2. Are you emotionally dependent on others? Can you be happy even if your partner or children are in a fowl mood? When you depend on the moods of others you lose control over your own happiness.
3. Are you compelled to control others? Plans change, attitudes change, people change. Our world is constantly reshaping itself and we tend to feel content when we can control our surroundings. It is important to remember the only thing we can control is ourselves. We can through our own interactions and presence influence others, but the desire should not be to control them.
These are three of the many sources of anxiety. Even though you may not fall into one of these categories, it is not uncommon to see yourself acting or thinking in ways that foster anxiety in certain situations.
So, if anxiety is getting in my way of having a depth of peace and confidence in my life and relationships, what can I do to conquer anxiety?
1. Focus on changing yourself. Your anxiety is 100% your issue and needs to be addressed by you. Don’t cut corners. If you want to make a positive change you have to follow through.
2. Practice self-care. I know it is hard to focus on yourself once you have children. You want the best for them and put your own needs on the back burner. Take time for yourself to develop a regular sleep pattern, exercise, or read a good book, take time for what you have a passion for. You will be amazed how much developing a self-care routine will help you be your best and encourage others to have the strength to be their best.
3. Practice being assertive. If someone asks if you need help, don’t turn them down just so you can do it yourself. We tend to pull the whole “I am fine” or “I can do it myself” lines. Yes you probably can do it yourself, but these people care enough to help you so give them a chance. This is especially true in relation to allowing our children or spouse in. The relationship and what you communicate when you “do it myself” is more important than having it done “right.”
4. Simplify your life. We are busy all the time running around to different events. Don’t be afraid to say no the next time you are asked to be on a committee. Don’t stretch your time so thin that you have minimal chances to do activities you really enjoy. Simplifying also needs to be applied to the amount of time and energy spent on-line and with other technology. Be careful not to put more time and/or energy into electronics than to the face-to-face time with the people close to you.
If you try these strategies for growth in dealing with anxiety and the world around you for the next several months, you will not likely see changes right away but you will be amazed at how much better you can feel. Your anxiety will be reduced because most anxiety stems from little things that we cannot control. Don’t be afraid to give up some control because in the end you will find a happier you.