Anxiety is a human emotion we all share, and it’s important to remember that you are not the only one who suffers, or has suffered, from it. It’s important to keep in mind that anxiety, at low and moderate levels, isn’t destructive, and in fact, can be beneficial. It keeps us aware, can be a catalyst for change, motivates us, and gives us the desire to perform well. Anxiety is not a issue if you know how to manage and cope with it so you can continue to be productive and have a fulfilling life.
Clients often ask me how they can completely eliminate their anxiety. The truth is, you can never really get rid of anxiety and it’s inevitable that you may experience it or stress in the future, but that’s ok! It’s common and natural to have occasional stress and anxiety, and when you feel it coming on, there are things you can do to prevent it from taking over or becoming too overwhelming (keep reading for tips and tools). As I mentioned above, anxiety can be useful. It can increase our awareness, help us concentrate on important tasks, and motivate us to work better and harder. You may be wondering, “Am I always going to have to face anxiety?” The short answer is most likely yes. There is an important difference between healthy levels of anxiety and increased, unhealthy levels of anxiety that can prevent us from reaching our highest potential. The good news is, there are things you can do to take control of your anxiety and reduce the intensity, shorten the duration, and prevent it from consuming you.
Tips for Preventing Panic Attacks
Anxiety is a problem when it takes control of our thoughts and behaviors, and when it interferes with daily life. It’s possible and imperative to stop anxiety from escalating into chronic, persistent worry. While may not have ultimate control over our emotions, but are able to control our behaviors and thoughts which help shape the way we respond emotionally. Remember, you are in control and can prevent anxiety from becoming too overwhelming. Here are some ways to help reduce the affect of stress and anxiety so you can find inner peace and serenity:
- Look for early warning signs: Recognize the physical and emotional cues (shallow breathing, stomach knots, nausea, sweating, fear, irritability, shaking, etc.)
- It’s bearable: You will live through this and the world isn’t going to end. You can cope with your anxiety and you are in control. It’s a natural, common emotion and you are not alone. What you are feeling will pass and won’t last forever.
- Do your coping skills: As soon as you recognize the symptoms, do things to help you relax such as breathing exercises, meditation, painting, exercise, listen to music, dancing, gardening, take a walk, or anything else that you find calming. Say to yourself out loud: “I am experiencing a human emotion. I am in control. I am ok. I am safe.”
- Accept yourself: It’s important to accept who we are, even if we tend to be stressed out or anxious. Don’t be too hard on yourself for the emotions you are experiencing. Dwelling on your anxiety or stress could make you feel worse and intensify and prolong the emotions. Everyone feels stressed or anxious occasionally. It is important to not judge yourself for experiencing or feeling any uncomfortable emotions. Give yourself permission to feel all of your emotions and focus on a solution-oriented approach to moving getting through it, rather than only focusing on the emotional pain.
Dr. Heather Violante, founder of Serenity Lane, uses CBT methods, which focus on controlling your thoughts and behaviors. You’ll learn to manage your anxiety and modify your relationship with anxiety so you can live a productive life. If your stress and anxiety is becoming overwhelming, she can help guide you so you can take control and find inner peace and serenity.