Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life.
People often experience a general state of worry or fear before confronting something challenging such as a test, examination, recital, or interview. These feelings are easily justified and considered normal.
Anxiety is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to sleep or otherwise function. Generally speaking, anxiety occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what might be normally expected in a situation.
Learning to manage anxiety and remain in control of your mind and body is a skill that many of us never learned in all the days of schooling. However, it is a crucial skill that must be mastered if we are to grow as a person and completely experience life.
Two simple steps to gain control of anxiety:
- Get control of your physiology by engaging in deep breathing. Try breathing in for four seconds, then out for four seconds in a rhythmic fashion for 5-10 minutes. Once you are able to slow your heart rate down, the physical feelings of the anxiety will begin to be less intense and your senses will begin to return.
- Get control of your mind by telling it what to focus on and using positive statements. Your mind is going to want to wander and dwell upon the anxiety and basically seek to freak you out! You must direct its focus by telling it what to focus on. Then use some power statements like, “I’ve got this!” “I am going to be OK!” or “Stay focused and remain calm.”
Managing anxiety takes time and practice. Start by practicing with lower-level anxiety that you probably experience to some extent each day and then work up to stronger anxiety. Trust me, if you live long enough, you will be in a situation where you will greatly need to manage anxiety. So why not begin to practice today!
If you have any comments or questions regarding this article, please feel free to contact me via email at email@example.com. I am very appreciative of those that have responded in the past. I invite all of you to feel free to respond and share the articles with as many others as you see fit.
Chris Swenson is a licensed Couple and Family Therapist currently accepting new consumers at his private practice counseling office here in Sterling, CO (Rhino Wellness Center). To contact Chris, you can call 970-522-0796 or send him an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.