There are so many people that suffer from anxiety. There are even more who are anxious but take it as a “normal” part of their life. It does not need to be this way. Would you not prefer a less difficult version of your life than the one that comes with endless challenges and no way out?
Think of anxiety as a separate entity within you. Its goal is to stop you from being happy and at peace. It is a devious parasite that resorts to telling you lies about what is going on around you or what may occur. It bases those lies on a slight truth and then runs away with your fears and insecurities. The voice of anxiety focuses on extremes, absolutes, and negatives. It refuses for you to consider positive or even neutral outcomes because that kind of thinking is its antidote. Reality checks are anxiety’s worst fear. If you worry about something happening, anxiety does NOT want you to think about positive outcomes. If you started to think about the reality of things being potentially positive, you disrupt the anxiety cycle.
Ask yourself what kind of life you really want to live. The answer to this question will determine not only your path but will call out your determination to transform your life. Know that life without this unhealthy anxiety is actually possible – especially for you!
Here are four questions to consider:
- Has anxiety been disruptive to your life?
- Is anxiety ever wrong about the outcomes of situations?
- Do you want to regain control of your life?
- Do you have past experiences that show that you are competent, adaptive and successful?
If you answered “yes” to all four questions, then you are at the beginning of transforming your life. Here are four skills to start with:
- Anxiety wants you to itself. Let trusted people know what is going on and that you would like their support when you are feeling anxious. You will be surprised at how helpful people are and how many of us can relate to what you are going through.
- Calming your body when you are anxious, disrupts the physiological anxiety cycle. Think about where in your body you feel anxious, and practice relaxing those areas.
- If anxiety is encouraging you to NOT do something, do it anyways. Not trying only “confirms” that it would have been bad anyway. Trying at least gives you evidence of actual outcomes. For example, greet someone in the elevator if you usually are too self-conscious to do so.
- Think about what, in your past, encouraged you to become anxious. This is a vital part of overcoming anxiety. Something occurred that was meant to be a circumstantial lesson that you took on as a life lesson. Deal with the fire starter to put out all future fires.
If you need help, please reach out. Your happiness depends on it. For more information, go to www.newhistory.ca.
Be kind to yourself and others.
Geoff Ayi-Bonte MA RCC
Registered Clinical Counsellor