Five Suggestions For Overcoming Anxiety

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Unwanted, unrelieved anxiety is a pervasive problem in the modern world. It is normal, of course, in our mortal condition, to always have a low degree of anxiety. Many people wouldn’t achieve great works, if it weren’t for their anxiety about the prospect of ultimately dying alone and unknown, without a legacy to their names. How many great artists, writers, and humanitarians exist today because of anxiety? Psychologists say that people who accomplish the most are also some of the world’s most anxious individuals.

However, at times anxiety can become so pressing that it overwhelms us. At those times, instead of stimulating us to action, anxiety actually paralyses us with worry and indecision. The mental health profession even considers this kind anxiety of this kind to be a mental disorder, if it comes to dominate one’s life. This condition is known as generalised anxiety disorder.

Fortunately, there are a number of techniques you can use to cope with unwanted anxiety, whether it is due to temporary stress or part of a lifelong disorder. Overcoming anxiety is often possible even when you don’t have the money or time to see a therapist. Here are five ways to overcome anxiety on your own.

1. Keep yourself busy with projects that you enjoy and that demand your immediate attention. Idleness breeds despair. Take up a hobby such as gardening, bicycle riding, or building model aeroplanes–whatever suits your interests and temperament. You’ll become so absorbed in the task that you won’t have time to feel anxious.

2. Start your day with positive thoughts. For many anxiety sufferers, mornings can be the most depressing time of day. Nothing can seem bleaker than leaving the safety of the bed for the dangerous and uncertain world outside. Change this by saying five believable, positive affirmations. Tell yourself that your upcoming day will be good, productive, and free of anxiety.

3. Exercise. If you stick to an exercise regimen, it will give you a sense of physical well being, as well as one of accomplishment.

4. Talk to people you trust about your fears. Anxieties grow the longer they remain unacknowledged. When we are alone with our thoughts of too long, those thoughts change and become unrecognisable. We lose all sense of proportion. Make sure you find people with whom you are comfortable talking about intimate matters. A caring listener will not laugh at you because your fear seems ridiculous, and will not trivialize the magnitude of your feelings, even if they are irrational. It’s normal for people to have irrational fears.

5. Visualise positive outcomes to your problems. Many chronic worriers are in the habit of imagining the worst possible of whatever situation they happen to be in, no matter how unlikely. Instead of doing this, visualise yourself succeeding. This technique has been proven to work in sports, and it can work in daily life as well.

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