Sometimes it’s hard to figure out why we get so anxious at certain times. We try to analyze why we became so overcome with fear but there doesn’t seem to be an explanation. Maybe the reason is because of something you remember happening before, maybe you’re just stressed about something else going on in your life. The reason may seem silly, but it’s a reason nonetheless.
So what if you can’t figure out why you’re anxious? You can speak to someone you trust; whether it be a family member, close friend, or maybe even a therapist. If you’re still not sure, focus your energy on practicing so you can get better. Even when you might know the reason for your anxiety, you still need to practice.
One of the things I do that is caustic in terms of anxiety, is thinking and worrying about things ahead of time. Maybe it’s a day before, a week before, or even several months; the negative what ifs enter my mind. I start obsessing about things going wrong before it’s even time for me to do them.
I know I kind of talked about this yesterday, so I apologize for any repetition. However, with anxiety, fear is so often repetitive that sometimes we need to use repetition in a more positive way to get back on track. We need to practice. The more we practice, the more we will trust in ourselves and trust that we will be okay.
Distraction is important to; to do something and think something positive instead of negative. It may not be easy but it can be done.
So continue to practice as often as possible and set goals for yourself.
“No longer lent your strength to that
which you wish to be free from”- Jewel, Life Uncommon
You’re obsessing. You keep concentrating on negative thoughts and fears and the more you think about them, the more real they seem. Stop. Do something else, think of something more positive. Work on getting through your anxiety instead of focusing on possible negative outcomes, watch T.V., go to work, work on homework, or read. Do something to get your mind off of the negative. Thinking about the negative what ifs make them more powerful; making fear take on a life of its own. You need to try your hardest to not only push the fear aside, but to remind it who’s boss. It may not be easy or happen right away, but it is essential. Next time you find yourself obsessing about something negative, do something else and think about something that is positive.
Whether you’ve been going through anxiety for a short or long period of time, you may have come to realize that not every method works the same for everyone. I can appreciate that and I know how it feels when a person suggests a way to get through something, and if it doesn’t work for you, that person gets upset; they may even say you don’t try anything. This can be hard to hear, especially when you HAVE been trying. I say this because although I am about to share the method that I use and have found helpful, I understand that it may not be the same for you. I merely recommend you try if possible. Here is what I have learned from someone who is very helpful in helping me get through my anxiety. Here is how to make the step by step process work in your best interest.
1. Take small, comfortable steps: No matter how small the steps are, they WILL help. You do not need to make giant leaps, but rather become comfortable with each small step until you are ready for the next.
2. Choose your own steps: While I recommend sharing them with a therapist or person you trust, the step should be one you choose- you need to be comfortable with it.
3. Remember this is a process. You probably will not overcome your anxiety overnight.
4. Be consistent: Practice often and you will get better.
5. When you don’t succeed, continue to practice.
6. When you do succeed, be happy! Continue to practice.
7. Know that you do not have to go through this alone. You CAN and should ask for help from those you know you can trust.
8. Know that you are not alone; others struggle too.
Example: Let us say you fear climbing a ladder. Step by step, day by day practice until you are ready to take another step. This does not mean no one can hold the ladder for you.
If you struggle with anxiety or panic attacks, you know that one of the best feelings is when you make progress and are able to do something you really wanted to. Even if it didn’t go perfectly, accomplishing a goal is a great thing and instead of posssibly focusing on what you could have done better (if anything), you should focus on what you did do; I know this may not be easy, but it’s essential. It’s essential for you to focus on the positive so you can build upon your self-esteem. You did it! You made progress!
This does not mean you can stop practicing. I know that I find this fact hard. Sometimes when you do something, you just want to tell yourself that you don’t need to practice. Trust me, that is most likely NOT true. We must continue to practice to gain more and more trust in ourselves.
Today I went to get my hair cut and as usual my stylist was very kind and understanding of my anxiety. She was unbelievably patient and all she asked was that I be comfortable. It may seem, at times, like you don’t have many people who are supportive in your struggle with anxiety. However, there are people that understand your plight or will at least be there for you when you need them.
I’d like to thank everyone that is there for me and I ask that anyone who reads this blog does the same. As you know, anxiety is not easy to deal with and having people there for you who truly care and try their hardest to make things easier for you really does help. So, please take some time to thank those in your life who help you with your struggles. I hope that anyone who is related to me or a friend of mine who is reading this knows how much I appreciate you! I am sure I have told you before, but I will make sure to let you know again. You really do mean a lot to me; more than words can describe!
Do you ever wake up really wanting to push through your anxiety and get through something only to find that you don’t seem like you can? As much as you want to be able to do that certain thing, you just feel you can’t. So you decide not to. However, you still have other things to do so you try to at least get through that. For some reason though, anxiety gets in your way again. You might even say to yourself, “This is the simplest thing in the world, why can’t I do it?” It’s not so much that you can’t but rather your fear is making you feel that way. So what do you do if you feel so overcome with anxiety? You can take a break; it’s alright. Don’t feel bad. Anxiety can be a powerful force. Just continue to try your hardest.
Sometimes we stumble. Sometimes we think we’re getting better and then we find ourselves in a position where we find that once again, fear is taking over; it seems to render us powerless. We gain all of this strength, all of this self-confidence, and then when we get stuck; we wonder if all is lost. All is NOT lost. Nobody is perfect and unfortunately, just because we begin to get better or make progress does not make us invincible. However, even if we feel ourselves begin to fall behind, it does not mean that we are starting over. We HAVE made progress and if we continue to practice, we will continue to make progress.
I am not saying that it will not be hard when we see ourselves struggle when we were beginning to feel like we were reaching our goal. In fact, feeling slightly upset about not being able to do something is a good sign in a way; it shows that we were happy to see ourselves getting better and it shows us just how much we want to succeed. We should not get so depressed, however, that we begin to give up. We need to continue to practice and to tell ourselves that we will be okay.
When going through anxiety, every single step you make towards overcoming your fears count. Whether it be practicing, writing about how you feel, discussing your feelings to someone you trust, or accomplishing something you weren’t sure you could, every bit is helpful. So be proud of what you accomplished.
There are some people that might not understand the importance of your progress. You may share with them the great news and they may find it trivial or say they expected more from you. Do not let this discourage you from telling those you love about your progress, but rather instead of depending on them for praise, be happy for yourself.
I am not an expert, but rather a fellow sufferer. I struggle with anxiety and I know how difficult it is. However, with practice and achieving progress step by step, you CAN get better.
Sometimes even though we really want to do something, our anxiety gets in the way. We begin to obsess on all the negatives and the more we obsess, the more anxiety takes its toll. However giving up is NEVER the answer. I am not saying that it is easy to say, “Well I feel terrified, but I’ll do it anyway”, because that’s not necessarily helpful or easy to do. What is a necessity however is to practice.
It may seem silly at first; practicing something that was once so easy for you or is easy for others. However, we must look beyond what is on the surface. practicing is NOT silly and either is suffering. Practicing gives us confidence; it helps to build us up to the point where we can say that we trust in ourselves and that we will be okay. So next time you feel you’ve failed because anxiety stopped you from doing something, remember that true failure would be to stop trying and to stop practicing. You can get through your anxiety as long as you continue to practice.