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7 Common Ways You Deal With Anxiety That Are Actually Making It Worse

7 Common Ways You Deal With Anxiety That Are Actually Making It Worse

Hardwired into our physiological makeup, anxiety is a sensation that can warn us of danger and motivate us to take action. In today’s information-saturated, work-around-the-clock world, however, anxiety can rapidly spiral out of control. In its most intense form, anxiety can even induce a sort of paralysis.

Whether you are in knots over financial worries, an upcoming presentation, or an illness in the family, there are common ways people deal with anxiety that actually make it worse. Increase the odds your stress-busting routine will actually work by avoiding the following seven things:

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1. Spending money in an attempt to alleviate anxiety.

Anxiety is often tied to worry over scarcity of resources. Expending more resources, then, does not make sense as a coping strategy. Plus, anything you buy while you’re stressed will likely result in buyer’s remorse. When you’re anxious, your brain is focused on meeting the challenges right in front of you, not on long-term planning or moderation. When the bill hits your mailbox, your stress levels will climb right through the roof again.

2. Expecting other people to alleviate your anxiety.

Like any other emotion, what you feel is yours. Expecting or relying upon others to make you feel better, in this case calmer, puts undue strain on relationships. Over time, your relationships will suffer or break because of your unwillingness to deal with your own challenges.

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3. Focusing on the feeling, not the cause of it.

You’re anxious. Okay. So are lots of folks. The more important question is: why? All the deep breathing in the world won’t help if you don’t know why you are stressed in the first place.

4. Avoiding, rather than confronting your feelings.

If you are working through panic attacks, or stress that keeps you up at night, the word ‘fine’ should be banished from your vocabulary for a while. You are not fine. What you are is a person who is struggling with a sensation and working to find a way to manage it, and your life, better. Take a deep breath, and commit to the work.

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5. Beating yourself up for feeling anxious.

Do you know anyone who is perfect? No? The driven and ultrasuccessful often struggle with anxiety, but are among the demographics least likely to admit that they have a problem. Having a problem does not mean you cannot be successful; it means you have a problem. Take a deep breath, realize you’re human, that anxiety is the challenge before you, and keep moving forward.

6. Thinking of anxiety as a disease.

Anxiety is a normal human response. While there are degrees that can be clinically diagnosed, many treatment options focus on developing the individual’s ability to identify and manage anxiety-based reactions. Struggling with anxiety does not mean you have a disease or illness; it means you are facing a challenge.

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7. Obsessing over someone else’s zen.

Magazines, television, and the World Wide Web are filled with images of gurus contorted into yoga poses, celebrities who swear by days of silent meditation, and articles proclaiming how we are all doomed to die early, toxic deaths due to a million factors beyond our control. Close the books, look away from the celebrities, reach for the remote and turn the television off. Your version of calm and tranquility may, or may not, look like anyone else’s, and the path you take to get there will be unique. Those people have financial and relationship concerns, too, and how they truly relax may or may not be the image they present to the world. Find your own zen.

Searching for calm? Try these Ten Ways to Beat Stress and Anxiety.

Featured photo credit: Kai Schreiber via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 17, 2019

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

1. Spend Time with Positive People

If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.

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2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

3. Contribute to the Community

One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

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Some recommendations for you:

5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

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Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

8. Offer Compliments to Others

Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

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9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

10. Practice Self-Care

Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

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Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via unsplash.com

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