Anxiety is something that has always been around, but in our present life it has taken on a new formidable form, most people of all ages and now anxious about something, that is OK until the anxiety stops you living your life.
A little nervous energy, or butterflies in our tummy is sometimes a nice feeling, can even be exciting and encouraging us to try harder or achieve a little more, but it is usually fleeting. At times like a first date, or going for an interview, trying something new, can be doorways to new experiences and even a new chapter in your life.
COVID for many people has amplified the anxiety they are feeling into a huge monster within themself that becomes a daily battle that they feel they are losing, especially as the pandenic shows none or very few signs of deminishing. Life as was know for many has changed forever. However, this does not mean that it has to be a bad change, much of that depends on you.
Let’s just step back for a moment and as the Billy Joel song says, “The good old days, weren’t as good as they seem.” Many people are clinging onto what use to be, getting back to how things were, the time has changed, this pandemic has caused some changes to come faster than thought, but were things so wonderful before?
There are always other ways to do things, this is how progress happens, we can drag our feet, be pulled along screeming, or we can choose to look for a new normality.
Stress comes from outside factors, often known as stressors, but anxiety comes from within and we have the control, even when we do not think we have. They are our thoughts, beliefs, habits and attitudes, by giving up personal accountability you also give up your control. The mist descends and you seem to be battling your way through and anxiety then turns to fear and builds further into phobias, all of which restrict how you can live your life.
Learning your internal and external control is a way to enhance your life and live as you want to. There are no answers, not the politician, the medics or the scientists have a global solution, many are working on projects, but there is no magic wand, lotion, potion or pill that will make a difference at the moment. There is you, doing what is best for you and the people closest to you with informed decisions takes the anxiety away.
All gadets have an off button and you do not need to be listening to news and updates 24 hrs, 7 days a week. Finding a routine that makes you feel safe and living now – not waiting til this is all over, or hiding away so it does not get me. Now is all we are guaranteed, life can and is going on, but lettinng go of your overwhelm and exagerated thoughts will make life a lot easier for you and all those around you.
Understand your anxiety:
Try keeping a diary of what you are doing and how you feel at different times to help identify what’s affecting you and what you need to take action on.
Make time for your worries:
If your worry feels overwhelming and takes over your day, setting specific “worry time” to go through your concerns each day can help you to focus on other things.
Face the things you want to avoid:
It’s easy to avoid situations, or rely on habits that make us feel safer, but these can keep anxiety going. By slowly building up time in worrying situations, anxious feelings will gradually reduce and you will see these situations are OK.
Challenge your anxious thoughts:
Tackling unhelpful thoughts is one of the best things we can do to feel less anxious. Watch the video to find out more.
Shift your focus:
Some people find relaxation, mindfulness or breathing exercises helpful. They reduce tension and focus our awareness on the present moment.
Get to grips with the problem:
When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it can help to use a problem-solving technique to identify some solutions. This can make the challenges you’re facing feel more manageable.
No matter what or who is making you feel anxious the feeling will not go away by ignoring it, or burying it. You have to take action and take control, remember it is all internal. Your thoughts, your beliefs, your habits, and your attitudes, take back the control, and then you can move forward.
For now take care and be kind to yourself.
If you want to know more about Linda Sage
Caring for the Caregiver Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1974635651
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