Think you have anxiety - Read this
It is okay to feel overwhelmed and confused from time to time. We live very different lives from our parents. Competition, aspirations and ambitions are high. We feel stressed, concerned about the future and it is normal. Sometimes you don’t want to be around people, take some alone time, do something just for you, indulgence is small doses actually can be healthy.
Anxiety is supposed to be the body’s natural response to stress. It’s a normal and healthy emotion.
But what if you always feel anxious? That co-worker that always snapping at people, that restless friend who can’t sit straight who you feel is always on-edge, your mom complaining that even though she goes to bed in time every night she just cannot fall sleep.
Irritability, Restlessness, Sleep difficulties, problem concentrating, constant state of worry are all symptoms of anxiety. When you start feeling anxious all the time you need to know its not at a healthy level anymore.
There are a few things you can do to help with your anxiety-
- Deep Breathing - I know it sounds like a cliché, but deep breathing switches the brain trigger to relaxation mode from a fight or flight mode. Try taking deep breaths a few times and you will feel a difference.
- Relabel what’s happening – The human mind though a wonderful fascinating tool, is also primed to look for threats and figure out ways to avoid them and survive in this world. However, a mind primed in anxiety will label too many situations as “threat” and then find faulty ways to cope with this threat. You then feel surrounded and surrender to this negativity. One way of coping with this is to recognise how this labelling of “threat” happens and then to try and relabel it, an e.g. of relabelling can be when you think “I am a failure” try relabelling it as “I learnt something from this attempt”.
- Fact check yourself – recognising how and when you label situations as threat is one step. But your mind has already started trying to solve this problem, unfortunately since it sees the situation as harmful it will lead you down the road of doubting yourself and finding ways to avoid involving yourself further in the situation. You may have often had these thoughts where you constantly felt like you won’t be able to perform or you are not doing well. Here acknowledging your achievements and objectively assessing your hard work will lead you out of this negative spiral.
- Say no to caffeine and sugar – While these foods like Hot Coco, coffee and chocolate are the go to foods when you are anxious, studies suggest sugar and caffeine just add to your anxiety.
- Watch a funny video - Probably the easiest thing to do on this list, Since I love animals I usually watch videos of pandas doing random things. Laughter really is the best medicine; studies show that laughter can actually reduce anxiety even more than exercise.
- Talk to someone – Anxiety and depression are great isolators; they not only make you doubt yourself but also the people around you. You may think your friends have busy lives and don’t want to hear from you. But take an objective look at the people around you, if you would want to hear from them if they were having problems, strong chances are so would they. Remember you can always call or text a friend, and share what you are feeling. Sometimes saying things out loud can actually help you see things clearly or maybe you just might get a different perspective. If you still feel overwhelmed you can always seek a professional’s help.