“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
Do you ever feel overwhelmed and anxious because you’re worried about what may or may not happen? It’s happened to all of us at one point or another. I believe we would all like to be able to predict or control our future or the outcome of a situation in some circumstances. This is completely normal.
I have gone through periods of anxiety overwhelm in my own life. Like many of you reading this, I have had periods in my life where I wasn’t sure how I would make it through. It seems that when “it rains, it pours” as they say. I have made it and so can you!
The most important thing is to not let the anxiety ruin your progress, your well being. I am not a doctor or licensed therapist, so the ideas and thoughts I’m about to give are from my own experience in dealing with anxiety.
To reduce anxiety:
- BREATHE – You must breathe. Many times when we’re stressed or feeling anxious we tend to breathe in a very shallow way. Pay attention to your breathing. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, take a minute to take a few deep breaths. Take a deep breath in from your diaphragm (slowly count to 5 as you breathe in), hold for a second or two and then let the breath out slowly (again, count to 5). Repeat this a few times and you should feel a little relief. Deep breathing has many benefits such as calming the nervous system, increasing circulation, increases oxygen to your heart, reduces muscle tension and so much more.
- FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE – Remember that there are things going well in your life. Focus on the positive things rather than the negative things. What you focus on is what you attract. Unhappiness cannot exist on it’s own, its due to thoughts.
- GET UP, GET DRESSED, GET OUT – If you’re having “one of those days” don’t fall into the trap of staying in your p.j.’s or forgoing the shower. Get up and get dressed. The better you feel about yourself and your appearance, the better you’ll feel about you! If you’re down it’s important to get out of the house, or the office, whatever is bringing you down. If you’re at the office, get out over lunch, even if you just take a walk around the block.
- EXERCISE – Any exercise is good, just get your body moving. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, visit the gym. Moving your body has more benefits that you realize: it’s good for your heart, it helps reduce blood pressure, it reduces stress, promotes brain health, has anti-aging benefits, improves oxygen flow, etc.
- CONNECT WITH NATURE – Go outside and appreciate nature. At the most basic sense, we are nature. Put your feet in the sand or the grass, lay and watch the clouds, watch the animals/birds, breathe in the fresh air. Take in all the wonderful things in the world outside.
If nothing seems to be working, it may be time to get help. Remember it’s a sign of strength to ask for help, no weakness! Living with anxiety and allowing it to control you can have long term effects on your health, your life and your overall well-being, so it’s important to face it. You can talk with close friends, family, counselors, therapists, etc. but please don’t keep it in.
Remember that you can control your thoughts, don’t let them control you!