Everyone feels anxious at some point in their lives. Whether they are under a lot of stress at work, in a bad relationship, or simply having troubles dealing with their responsibilities, each of us has had a moment where we began to worry. This reaction is something that we all share on a day to day basis, but for some, it's not something that's normal or easy to get a handle on. For those, as well as the rest of us, we need to think about managing our anxiety instead of simply responding to it.
Isn't Anxiety Normal?
There are a lot of good reasons why we become anxious when under stress. For example, when we are put into a life threatening situation, the stress activates our flight or flight response so that we can protect ourselves or someone else. Anxiety helps us to realize when things area going the way they should be and when we need to start looking for other answers or solutions.
But not all anxiety is normal. Being worried is something we can rarely avoid, but being worried about things we can not control can often begin to control us as people. These kinds of worriers will often be paralyzed by fears of things that might happen, causing them to be unable to function in everyday society. This is 'bad' anxiety.
Instead of just thinking that you have to live with your anxiety levels - no matter how high or low they are - you can take three steps to begin to manage your stress levels and get on with your life.
Key #1: Find Out the Cause
Nailing down the cause of your anxiety shouldn't stress you out. In truth, there are probably hundreds of things that make you anxious on a daily basis. But to start to recognize the triggers for your anxiety reactions, you will need to make some sort of list of the things that you do feel worried about. Try to keep this list short, focusing on the things that make you worried right now at this particular moment. This will help you understand what you can and what you can not actually change in your life.
For example, if you notice that you are worried about the number of hours you are working each week, you can start to take steps to shorten your work time. If you notice that you are worried about that promotion you're up for at work, you might not be able to do anything about the decision that will be made.
Key #2: Daily Habits Make the Difference
In fact, it might be a good idea for you to write down the things that worry you each night before you go to bed. This can help you to sort of lay your fears to rest so that you can relax and recuperate from your day. It might also help you to figure out what you can and can not do in response.
Eating right and exercising have also been shown to be effective in the management of anxiety, as they help the body stay balanced. When you're malnourished and sedentary, it can be more difficult for your body to fight off the effects of stress. You will also want to make sure you are resting during the day and sleeping at night to further reduce your levels of anxiety.
Key #3: Know When to Ask for Help
When you find that your anxiety is beginning to affect the way you live, you need to start looking for professional help to assist you. This might take the form of a therapist or a psychiatrist. These professionals can help you figure out what steps you need to take to calm your life down and to help you get a handle on your anxiety.
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Grant Eckert is a writer for CareLink. CareLink is a leading provider of Community Support Services| Anxiety Treatment
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