Do you constantly feel out of control? That everything seems worse than it actually is? These feelings are distressing and are common symptoms of anxiety. Other clues to anxiety are:
- Feeling you are about to lose control and completely ‘lose it’;
- Wanting to “stop the world and get off”;
- Being continuously on edge and sensitive to everything;
- Having a general, all-pervading fear or feeling generally apprehensive, but not knowing why;
- Worrying constantly about everything, thoughts swirling round your head;
- “Nervous tummy”, sweating, palpitations, shortness of breath, rapid heart beat.
From time to time we may all experience some of the above symptoms, and whilst they can be very unpleasant, for most of us they are just a temporary, less enjoyable aspect of the normal ups and downs of life. However, if you find that these feelings won’t go away and that you don’t know how to deal with them, it could mean that you are suffering from anxiety. Anxiety is a cycle of fear and worry which is very stressful and often results in a desperate longing to run away from everything.
Take heart, anxiety can be overcome. By finding the root cause(s) and then challenging and changing the associated thoughts, beliefs and perceptions that surround the cause(s) peace of mind can be regained.
Reducing Levels of Anxiety
- Don’t try to push the anxiety away – it will only make it worse. Acknowledge the feeling and look at ways of dealing with it.
- Try to connect with what it is that is making you anxious. Give yourself the time and space to do this without any interruptions and just let the thoughts come. You will be surprised at how much you already know unconsciously. By allowing yourself this time and space, you are allowing thoughts, feelings, concerns and beliefs to come into the conscious mind, where you can deal with them on a conscious level.
- Talk to somebody you can trust – a friend, family member, work colleague or maybe a spiritual leader. It doesn’t matter who it is as long as you can trust them to listen and offer support. Talking helps us to consciously process things better because as we say it, we hear it and feel it on different levels. This often shines a different light on the situation.
- Build anti-anxiety coping methods into your life by learning yoga, mindfulness and/or breathing techniques, all of which are excellent ways of reducing and eliminating the condition.
- If neither of the above work for you then it is recommended that you seek professional help and advice. Persistent feelings of anxiety can sometimes lead to more debilitating conditions such as depression, low self-esteem and OCD and so it is important that the thoughts feelings and beliefs that are causing the anxiety are confronted and managed as quickly as possible.