We all have times in our life where we get that familiar feeling known as ‘Anxiety’ creeping in. Job interviews, driving tests, big life changes and sometimes the smaller details in life can leave you feeling jittery, fearful, your heart pounding and your head swimming with fearful thoughts.
So how can you better handle times like this? I like to think of that feeling as prompting a question within me. Rather than allow it to take over me I acknowledge it’s there, press pause, step back and consider the feelings as a question ‘Do I NEED to be anxious about this’?
Of course sometimes the answer is yes. Anxiety is our body’s inbuilt alarm, there to alert us of potential danger and it is important to consider if there is danger in the situation whether it is physical, emotional or circumstantial.
When I see a spider suddenly crawl across the floor, my body freezes and I am filled with an instant anxious feeling. When I stop, press pause and look at the spider I can see it’s actually pretty harmless. It’s not going to hurt me, there is no danger. By using that anxious feeling as a question, I ask ‘do I need to be afraid’? and discover that in this situation the answer is no. In a different situation, if I was in the Amazon rainforest surrounded by bird eating tarantulas, the answer and my response would be very different!
For some people Anxiety takes over and becomes overwhelming and debilitating. This is known as an ‘Anxiety disorder’. If you identify with several of the statements below, it may be that you are suffering from an ‘Anxiety Disorder’ and It’s really important that you visit your GP or local counselling service for help and advice.
- I constantly feel worried, stressed and tense
- I am unable to take part in some daily activities because I am so anxious
- I avoid everyday situations because I am afraid
- I think bad things will happen if I don’t do things in a set way
- I am fearful of bad things happening all the time
My top tips for times when you feel anxious:
- When you get that jittery feeling – Stop, Press Pause and ask ‘Do I need to be Anxious’?
- Take control -Stop, Press Pause and ask yourself what you can control and change in the situation to alleviate the fear.
- View that anxious feeling as your friend – it can protect you from harm when you have control of it
If you feel like Anxiety is controlling you and you can’t take hold of it yourself then don’t be afraid to ask for help. Friends, relatives, your GP or local counselling service can all work with you to help you take back your power and to put Anxiety in its rightful place in your life.
Take care of yourself and others