Understand the difference between fear and anxiety. If you’re anxious, chances are very good that you’re OK. As someone said, “I know worrying works, because 99% of the things I worry about never happen.” I know that figure’s about right in my life.
As anxiety is physical, emotional and spiritual, so is the solution:
Physically, a strong body equals a strong mind. If you’re getting plenty of sleep, plenty of good food, plenty of liquid and plenty of exercise, you cortical functioning is increased. Treat your brain nicely and it will reward you. Remember the mnemonic HALT? Never get too Hungry, too Angry, too Lonely or too Tired.
As yourself “Am I in danger right now?” Some say, “Yes, I’m in danger of getting a divorce, of losing my house, of not getting this job,” but that’s not danger, that’s anxiety. We’re talking physical danger here. If you’re not physically in danger, than that’s your anxiety talking.
Learn how your body drives your mind, and not the other way around. When you perceive threat, your body switches from the Parasympathetic Nervous System to the Sympathetic Nervous System. Yeah, I know sympathetic sounds good, but in this case it’s bad, because continued sympathetic domination of the nervous system leads to all sorts of physical and emotional problems including cancer, heart disease, depression and substance abuse.
On a spiritual level, make peace with your anxiety. I am convinced that the more we can look these uninvited guests in the eye, with patience and curiosity, and the more we learn to spot their wisdom as well as their mischief, the less grip they will have on us. Only when we experience our emotions as both potential stumbling blocks and wise guides–not either/or–can we begin to live more fully in the present and move into the future with courage, clarity, humor, and hope.
If you or a loved one needs help with how to be less anxious, contact Jeff at (941) 586-0929