Imagine that every time you go out in crowded places you feel this panic starting to arise. When you are surrounded by a lot of people like on a bus, you start to feel hot and uneasy. To prevent this from happening you start avoiding a lot of places, situations, and people that make you feel fear, terror, or panic even when you need to engage with them.
What you need to know is that anxiety is more common than people think. At least 1 out of 14 people in the world have anxiety disorders. Anxiety can cause adverse effects in one’s life leading to depression, school dropouts, and suicide plus relationship breakdown.
A lot of people do not take anxiety seriously because they think it’s a weakness that someone just has to take care of. Most people do not know what anxiety is really about. They therefore fail to differentiate between normal anxiety and anxiety disorders.
On the spectrum of anxiety, there is normal anxiety on one end and abnormal anxiety on the other. Normal anxiety is fear, doubt, or sweating that you feel before doing a task like public speaking, dancing, etc. Despite, its occurrence, your task is not affected.
Abnormal anxiety impairs your functioning in that in case of an attack you can not do anything. On the extreme end of the spectrum, it becomes a disorder.
People with anxiety disorder worry about everything that goes on in their lives and also have symptoms such as restlessness, fear, lack of concentration when doing tasks, and worry. Anxiety disorders come in five different forms that are
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
- Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
- Panic Disorder.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) …
But despite which type of anxiety you have there are always ways to deal with it.
Symptoms of anxiety
- Feeling helpless
- A sense of impending panic, danger or doom
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling nervous
- Obsessively thinking and worrying about the panic trigger
Without further ado, here are ways to curb anxiety
How to deal with anxiety
1. Feel you are in control of your life.
People who feel in control of their lives have better mental health. Those that do not have control over their lives normally have an anxiety disorder. For example, when you realize that you take a lot of time to decide about what to do and then nothing actually gets done at all, the only way to overcome such a situation is becoming pragmatic. It is okay if you do it badly.
There is a quote by writer G.K Chesterton that everything worth doing is worth doing badly the first time. This helps to speed up decision-making and makes you perform the action very quickly. Therefore doing the action badly for the first time creates courage to be able to do better in other coming activities.
2. Forgive yourself.
Normally people with anxiety think about what they are doing wrong and this affects their mental health. Your high school teacher kept telling you that whatever you did was wrong without acknowledging any good thing you did.
This sucked out self confidence from you in whatever you did and ended up messing up a lot of things. The only way to overcome this situation is by forgiving yourself for any past mistakes that happened.
This will later give you compassion for yourself and help you to heal.
3. Having a purpose and meaning in life.
Doctor Victor Franco once said that for people who think they have nothing to live for or nothing more to expect in life, the solution is getting them to realize that life is still expecting something from them.
Regardless of the work you do, you can only be satisfied when you know that someone or something depends on what you give.
Doing something with someone else or a goal in your mind will help cope with your anxiety say volunteering to give food and supplies to the poor and needy who really need the help, can improve your mental health.
4. Avoid negative thought patterns.
Cultivate positive thoughts in your mind. What stimulates anxieties are negative thoughts in our minds. One negative thought begets another that leads to another. Before you know it, you are sunk in worries that incite anxieties. positive thoughts give you peace of mind, hope, and confidence that the best-case scenario is on its way.
Avoid negative people who discourage you from finishing your tasks. Surround, yourself with people that inspire and cheer you up.
5. Focused breathing.
In the event of an anxiety attack, most people become breathless or fail to breathe normally. This increases the intensity of the anxiety and stress. To alleviate the anxiety, practice focused and controlled breathing.
Count from one to ten and on each count breathe in deeply and then out. Lengthen your exhale. This releases built-up tension and stress. You can also count one to four while inhaling. Hold your breath and count one to four then breathe out while counting one to four again.
This involves the use of essential oils whose scents have relaxing and soothing properties when inhaled. Aromatherapy helps you relax and releases built-up tension and stress to alleviate anxiety.
This therapy can help to activate the sensors of the body and help it relax which can improve mental health.
This is the most common solution given to people that are going through anxiety.
The kind of exercise may depend on the person’s ability and health. Some may prefer to just simply walk in the park for 15 minutes where it’s quiet and peaceful. Others just prefer to jog around. But doing any exercise that makes your body relax definitely improves your mental health. I for one prefer to lift weights or boxing in case of high tension or stress in my body. Exercise is very good for your mental and emotional stability.
8. Write your thoughts down.
Write down things that are bothering you. In situations of stress, anxiety, worrying, or high tension, writing down what is on your mind is a great way to lift them off your head.
Writing slows down brain arousal and puts you in a calm mood to think through things from a positive view of possibility. It is also a great way to help you fall asleep very fast.
9. Join social groups
Most people experiencing anxiety disorders seem to have the fear of being in crowds because it makes them uneasy or even stimulates panic. They like to isolate themselves from other people.
A great way of overcoming such a disorder is joining social groups like the choir, support groups, sports clubs, etc. This will help to remove the fear and improve your mental health.
Take an example, back in high school when some students had the fear of talking to girls. When they joined social clubs in school, the interaction gradually took away the fear making them confident talking to girls.
Interest yourself in how to make good friends.
10. Talking to therapists.
Anxiety is common amongst most people in the world indiscriminative of the rich and the poor. The most common way in which people cope with the anxiety problem is through talking to therapists.
For example, Canadian singer Zayn Malik of one direction suffered from anxiety, he always felt panic and fear when he was on stage. It became worse when he started going solo. This was affected his career until he sought the assistance of a therapist that helped him to deal with his anxiety.
11. Take time off.
Anxiety can cause a major setback on people’s careers, affect their productivity and performance if not dealt with.
Selena Gomez, back in 2016 had to put a stop to her music career because she was dealing with mental illness. Suffering from anxiety and experiencing panic attacks and fear, she realized that taking time off would be good for her to regain her mojo and come back stronger.
12. Accept the anxiety.
Most people consider anxiety disorders as dark passenger that has come to make their lives a living hell. But once you learn to accept that anxiety is something that you are experiencing, you will be able to deal with it and avoid the adverse effects it brings.
Take an example of actor Robert Pattinson, he suffered from anxiety for the most part of his life but instead of resisting and denying it, he allowed it to move through him and came to terms with it. He understood that anxiety was something that cannot be kicked out in people. With that attitude, he was able to progress despite it.
Conclusion. Anxiety is something many of us experience in life. However, we all experience it to different extents. To some, it’s minimum, to others average and others experience it extremely. No matter the extent, it’s something we all hate to have. Fortunately, we can use the above to alleviate it and take control of the situation.