One of the most common things I am seeing among my clients and those around me right now is anxiety. Now anxiety is kind of the new "buzz word", but what is anxiety really? It is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Anxiety can be a disorder as well, where a person can have excessive uneasiness and worry. It can be a compulsive behavior and can accelerate to panic and anxiety attacks. But today I'm talking to those of us who experience occasional anxiety. We all experience anxiety at different levels, in different circumstances, and at different times. That is normal for all of us. Because we are human and we all experience fear, worry, stress, & overwhelm, we will all experience anxiety.
So why is anxiety such a problem for so many people right now? Some of it is because we are living in a time of uncertainty and we worry about the future. Many of us feel fear and stress over Covid-19, riots, fires, the uncertainty of the future, earthquakes etc. All of those things can be scary. But the reason we feel scared is because we let our fearful thoughts and worried thoughts become prevalent in our minds and lives.
So why are some people so fearful and anxious with Covid-19 and other uncertainty and others are not? What makes the difference?
We can't control Covid, earthquakes, the weather, people, the government, those who are rioting, etc. Those are things no matter how hard we try, we just can't control. But most of us would really like to! For some of us we think:
"What is happening to our world?"
"Everything is out of control."
"I am afraid of what the government is doing."
"What if I get corona?"
"Why won't people wear masks?
"Why are people wearing masks?
"What if the rioters come into my neighborhood?"
"Why if I lose my job?"
"What if I can't start school?"
"What if this ruins my plans for the future?"
See how all these thoughts make us feel fear and anxiety? And the more you think about these thoughts and spin in worry, the higher your anxiety goes. Many people are living in anxiety everyday. But anxiety is a feeling that is created by our thinking.
So what do some people do to stay calm and neutral and not spin in anxious and worrisome thinking? They choose to think thoughts like:
"I will be smart and follow guidelines, but I refuse to let Corona rule my life."
"Today, everything is fine and I am am choosing to feel peaceful."
"While a few things in the world are in turmoil, I can find many things in my life that are just fine."
"The government is doing what they think is best, even though I might not agree, I can be civil and try and be part of the solution."
"While people can die from Corona, the percentage of people that get corona vs. those who die is extremely minimal. The chances are incredibly slim that I would die from it."
"I respect people who want to protest, but I myself want to explore my own beliefs, serve others around me and contribute to solutions, not create more problems."
One set of thoughts can create fear. And one set of thoughts can create calm. You are the creator of it all, so you can decide how you want to feel.
So what do you do when you are feeling anxious? For many people, they try to avoid or resist, or run from the anxiety. They turn on Netflix, go to the fridge, turn to alcohol, or anything that will "make" them feel better. But all that does is cover it up. Which many times only makes it worse after the Netflix series ends or the food binging stops.
Here are some tips to help if you are feeling anxious:
Pay attention to your thinking. Is what you are thinking creating stress or peace?
Acknowledge that what you are feeling is worry, or fear, or anxiety.
Notice what anxiety feels like in your body.
Don't ignore it or try to run from it.
Just notice it's there and where it manifests itself in your body.
Big long deep breaths.
Pay attention to your thoughts as you breathe.
Remind yourself that you are just feeling an emotion and it won't kill you.
As you do this, you will find that most of the time it will dissipate.
Don't be fearful of anxiety. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you! It means you are human and you are feeling an emotion.
If you want more information or are experiencing anxiety and would like some help, please email me at Tiffany@directyourlifecoaching.com or go to my website at directyourlifecoaching.com and contact me. Also, if you love this post and know someone who could benefit from it, please share! I would love to help as many people as possible!!