COVID has filled many lives with anxiety. When is COVID going to end? When can I go out? What’s going to happen when I go out?
Each human on this planet feels anxious from time to time. After all, anxiety is a part of our biological makeup, and everyone will experience it throughout the course of their lives. Some form of anxiety is normal and even essential for us. It’s like our body’s natural alarm system to help us avoid danger and make the right decisions.
However, if this anxiety exceeds a healthy limit, it can make our lives harder than it needs to be. Knowing how to cope with anxiety is essential for us to live healthy lives.
Symptoms of anxiety
Before we head over to solving the problem, we have to first identify what anxiety means and how to know when it’s getting problematic.
Excessive worrying: You constantly worry about how your future will turn out. This form of worry has been ongoing for a long time, such as weeks or even months.
Overthinking: You overanalyze the situation and worry too much about the outcomes of your situation. You automatically think that the worst will happen.
Indecisiveness: Because of your constant fear, you cannot easily make decisions and often leave things midway.
Difficulty concentrating: It is difficult for you to focus on your work because of the persistent thoughts of You feel physically and mentally drained.
Physical issues: Legs shaking, heavy breathing, frustration, breathing difficulties, palpitations, sweaty palms, tightness in chest and dizziness, etc.
Understanding our anxiety and coming up with effective ways to cope with it is essential for us to live stress-free lives. Let’s take a look at a few approaches that can help us cope with anxiety better.
Be Attentive and Observe yourself.
Anxiety is a very convincing liar. It often blows problems out of proportion and presents them as bigger than they are in reality. This means that what you’re worried about may not be as important or dangerous as you’re thinking it to be.
One of the most effective ways with which you can minimize your anxiety is to observe yourself when you’re having distressing thoughts. Take a step back and see what your thinking is doing to you.
The moment you become aware of your thinking and the impact your thoughts are having on you, you will have the power to stop yourself from going in that direction.
Question your thinking
You have nothing to fear but fear itself. The problem with excessive anxiety is that it’s mostly never accurate—the majority of the thoughts that are worrying you are not in accordance with reality. Try to sit down and rationally question the validity of your fears.
Ask yourself questions like
- How am I so sure that things will happen exactly as I think?
- Where is the evidence to back up these claims in my mind?
- Am I just jumping to conclusions?
- What practical things can I do to make my situation better?
- Will this problem even matter in a couple of months/years?
This helps you see whether what you’re worried about is even that important or accurate to worry in the first place? You can also write your thoughts down to make the maximum use of your rationality. Doing this will help you see that most of your worries are exaggerated, irrational, and even absurd in some cases.
Know your triggers
All of us have some specific problems that activate our anxiety. Whether it’s financial problems, family matters, stress at work, toxic people, health concerns, or anything, such specific triggers can cause anxiety in us on a daily basis.
You have to identify these triggers and see what leads you towards anxiety in the first place. Anticipating a problem beforehand will help you effectively deal with it by taking the shock out of it. By becoming aware of your stressors, you can come up with effective plans to avoid or deal with them better.
Being inactive and not sharing your problems with others will only increase your anxieties and concerns. If you stay isolated and don’t share what’s bothering you with others, your anxious thoughts will only multiply and make your situation worse.
Socializing and hanging out is an excellent way to feel relaxed and get the burden off of your shoulders by sharing with loved ones. It will help you decompress and come up with better ways to cope with your concerns.
Get involved in healthy activities
Fear can often push us in a corner and stop us from taking part in activities. This can cause further anxiety because we are now alone with our fears and biased thinking. We need to engage ourselves and keep occupied.
See how much free time you spend alone and start putting your time into a hobby or even start practicing a new skill. Play your favorite video games, read books, or even hang out with your friends, so your mind stays occupied.
Take care of your health
Your physical health and diet have a direct impact on your mental health. Identify the harmful habits that negatively impact your health and take action to improve yourself. Quit caffeine, substance abuse, excessive sugar, and other things that negatively impact your health. Consider making some healthy dietary changes.
Pay attention to your routine and sleeping schedules. Also, try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Exercising is an excellent way to stay fit and relieve tension in both your mind and body. Even a few minutes of a daily walk can show you positive results.
You can also try relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation. It might take you some time, but these mind-body approaches will help you ease your mind in the long run and develop more positive ways to cope with your stress.
Excessive anxiety can have a negative impact on our overall state. Using the strategies above will help you understand that most of your fears are illogical and exaggerated, and that merely changing your lifestyle and the way you think can have profound impacts on your wellbeing and help you live a relatively stress-free life.