Anxiety and fear are two very common emotions, and there is certainly no harm in experiencing either, or both, frequently. Feeling anxious or fearful is a perfectly normal emotional response to trouble or danger, but problems can arise when our brains begin to alert us to trouble even when there is no threat. This is also a perfectly common and normal way for our brains to behave if we’ve suffered a past trauma, have a phobia, or if there is a family history of anxiety, but when left untreated, it can quickly begin to take over our lives.
Common signs and symptoms of anxiety:
While anxiety can manifest itself in myriad ways, some of the most common symptoms are sweaty palms and/or shaking hands, thoughts that race through our brains, shallow or quick breathing, butterflies in the stomach and difficulty concentrating, to name but a few.
If you suffer from attacks of anxiety that are (sometimes or frequently) controlling your life, then these tips for coping with it may help you. However, please note that seeking professional help is always recommended, and is often one of the best ways of ensuring that you deal with your problems in a safe and sensible manner in a caring environment.
- Don’t try to ignore your anxiety
Ignoring your anxiety can often cause it to intensify, and only when you’ve truly acknowledged it, can you begin to best address it.
- Express your feelings by writing them down
Most find this to be a powerful and simple tool for helping to combat fears and anxiety, and if you’re struggling to concentrate or fall asleep, then this can be extremely effective.
- Let someone else listen to your fears
Choose a friend, family member or even close colleague whom you feel will listen to you without being judgmental and talk to them about how you’re feeling. A problem shared really can be a problem halved, and once we say things out loud, they often seem less ridiculous or frightening.
- Work out your problems, literally!
It has long been known that exercise can be a great healer, and while the physical activity may be a fantastic distraction, the endorphins released should also help you to feel more positive about things in general.
- Get back to nature
Nature in general can have a hugely calming effect, so taking time out of your schedule to truly appreciate the world around you and the wonders of nature, can help you to connect with the natural world and see the bigger picture.
How do you know when it’s time to seek professional help for your anxiety?
There is no one answer for every individual, but if you’re feeling increasingly anxious or fearful every day and it’s beginning to get in the way of how you live and function as a person, then you may well benefit from speaking to a trained counselor. Remember that the sooner you do seek help, the sooner you could get back to your old self and begin living the life you truly deserve.
If anxiety is taking over, one important step towards an anxiety free life, is to acknowledge that you need help and to find a trusted counselor to work with. Once this step has been taken, you’ll soon be ready to stride towards a brighter, happier and fearless life!