Anxiety is a sensation that we experience in response to being involved in situations that we perceive to be threatening or frightening. Our bodies have a survival instinct built into them called the fight or flight response that is the bodies way of preparing to fight the danger or to run away from it to safety. Coping with anxiety means finding ways to stop yourself from being overwhelmed by this response. Anxiety is the inappropriate activation of this response by us feeling threatened by situations that we should feel in total control over. During an anxiety attack your body is preparing as if it is faced with a life or death situation. Sometimes simply the stresses and strains of modern day living activate this response.
Understanding Your Anxiety
Anxiety is not an illness it is simply an inappropriate response to stimuli and it is something that can be unlearned. Coping with anxiety is easier if you understand your anxiety and know what is causing it. Is your anxiety related to anything specific such as places, people or situations? You can help identify the sources of your anxiety be keeping an anxiety journal. You use your anxiety journal to record your anxiety levels on a scale from 1 to 10 at various times throughout the day. As you record your anxiety levels make note of what things you have been doing at the time and how they make you feel. Make note of any situations that you have avoided because you thought they might make you anxious. Also make note of what you were thinking about at the time as maybe it’s your negative thinking that is causing your anxiety. Once you have been collecting data for a while you should read your journal and see if anything stands out as potential causes for your anxiety.
Tips for Coping With Anxiety
There are many things you can do to ease the stress in your life that is contributing towards your anxiety.
- Find yourself a relaxing hobby.
- Take up meditation, Tai Chi, Qi Gong or yoga.
- Make sure you are get enough sleep and aren’t suffering from insomnia.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
- Treat yourself to a massage or a reflexology treatment.
- Cut down on stimulants such as caffeine.
If you find it hard to relax by yourself then there are plenty of relaxation CD’s and hypnosis MP3 downloads that you can buy on the internet.
If you find yourself becoming preoccupied by your anxiety then try doing things that distract you from what’s going on inside your head. Become more aware of what’s going on in the world around you and pay attention to the details of the things you see. You want to absorb yourself in your surroundings to such an extent that you forget about your anxiety.