Managing anxiety for a happier life
How can anxiety be managed?
What is anxiety?
Anxiety affects about 10% of the population for periods of their life or in some cases for all of it.
It can also affect any of us in response to specific life events – we have a test, we have a serious argument, parents split up, uncertainty over money, someone dies.
It is a normal response to a perceived threat, and everyone experiences anxiety at some point, and possibly regularly.
What we’re going to talk about in this blog are ways to help you manage anxiety so it doesn’t get unmanageable and feel like it’s taking over your daily life.
How can you recognise anxiety?
You can have either or both physical and psychological symptoms.
In your body, you might experience things like – sweating more, hot flushes, pins and needles, panic attacks or nausea.
In your head, you might experience dread, constant worrying, racing thoughts, a feeling of being on edge.
There are lots of other ways you can feel anxiety too, so it’s best to talk to someone if you’re unsure.
What can you do about anxiety?
We have lots of lifestyle and self-help options that improve anxiety which we’ll focus on today. When it feels like anxiety is affecting your daily life and is getting out of hand, we can use therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and other talking therapies to help, and in some cases where it is becoming more severe, your doctor may look at medication too.
My specialism is the things we can do to help ourselves.
In the following, I’d like you to look out for the thing that feels like it will fit YOU. Not everything I say will be relevant for you, but in what I say, I think you will be able to walk away with something that will help you change your MIND in order to give you a better experience of life!
It sounds big, but it’s what I spend my time teaching because changing my own mind, and how I think, has completely changed my life.
What is resilience?
Resilience is often defined as our bounce-back ability. I define it as our ability to bounce back AND our realisation that we are the only one responsible for getting ourselves back up.
Now that can sound a bit harsh or isolating; that is not the intention. What accepting that ultimately we are the only one who can actually do the hard work of getting back up does is it keeps our agency – or to put it another way, it stops us giving our power away.
We can ask for help and take that help, and I want you to do that. It takes a village to get through this life, and I can promise you that you will want and need your friends many times over.
Nevertheless, your friends, your family, your coworkers can never actually live your life FOR you – they can be there, they can help with specific parts, and YOU will still have to do all the things in the end. You take your exams, you take your driving test, you go for the job interview, you ask someone to for a favour etc.
Whatever it is it takes resilience – living life creates vulnerability because LIVING your life means risking people saying no, I don’t want that, I don’t like the way you’ve done that, I don’t like you or want you. It’s built-in.
How can you manage vulnerability?
Understanding that life involves taking risks and that involves being willing to be vulnerable will put you in the driver’s seat of your life and give you freedom in a way that people who always look to someone else to solve their problems won’t experience.
Think about it – when have you taken a risk and had it work out, how did it make you feel? And when did you take a risk and have it not work out, and how did that make you feel?
Generally, the risk paying off leaves us feeling exhilarated. The risk of not paying off can feel crushing, but it can also feel like you tried and it can build your self-respect.
It’s managing this part of the reaction that I want to help with through these two tools.
The emotional bank account
What is it? It works exactly like any other bank account – you have to put in money to be able to withdraw it. With our resilience (our ability to get back up from life’s knocks), we have to put in good feelings in order to be able to fund difficult ones.
How do we use it?
- Notice what feels good
- Feel that feeling deliberately
- Bank that feeling
Big and small deposits are both valuable. How YOU choose to bank the feeling is up to you. You might write them down, you might have a Pinterest or Instagram account where you collect the good stuff, you might create voice notes for yourself.
I pin things to a board where I can see them from my desk, and I pin thank you notes to my fridge so that I can see them all the time. What could you and what do you already do? How can you CREATE more good feelings?
We need to take care of all aspects of who we are:
We create good feelings by doing things that look after and inspire us at each of these levels. So start asking questions.
HOW do I like to move my body? I like to box and do yoga.
WHAT feels good? Time with my friends, time just NOT being traditionally purposeful, so reading a book, watching films, and creating art for example.
WHO am I with when I feel at my best? Get really good at realising which people lift you up and in exactly what way.
WHERE do I like to be and what do I need in my environment to be happy?
Feeling good is the key to resilience. Become a joy-hunter. It will become a superpower because your joy will help you through the really tough bits of life.
Finally, the more we can understand that what we think creates what we feel the easier life will be.
This is your invitation to feel better, in the way that feels just right for you – whether that’s through Reiki Healing, Life Coaching, Bach Flower Essences, Retreats, Meditation or Yoga classes. Learn to love the life you have and build the life you want. Book a free call with me, Joanne, to discover what would best suit you.