Stop Running Away From Anxiety & It Will Run Away From You
If you didn’t know, anxiety is almost inevitable, you can’t avoid it, it’s the reaction that our body has to keep us safe. Anxiety has become common amongst almost everyone you meet nowadays and it has made many people uncomfortable and stressed over the span of their lives. Instead of shying away from anxiety, it’s best to see it for what it is.
How long do your anxious moments usually last? Sometimes it can be for seconds, hours, days but not usually for a whole year. The reason why you’re so afraid to be anxious again is that you’ve experienced it before. It’s not fun at all, and you're on your toes everywhere you go.
If you’ve experienced anxiety in the past then you know some of the effects that it can have on you like having a tight chest, breathing heavily, and having multiple butterflies in your stomach. Anxiety prevents you from getting work done and having genuine interactions with people who you see every day.
It’s not a good place to be in but all we can do is cope. Rapper Big Sean said, “In high school, I learned chemistry, biology, but not how to cope with anxiety.” It’s not all your fault why anxiety can be so hard to deal with.
No matter how old we get or how much wisdom we obtain overtime, there is no quick fix to getting rid of anxiety. It’s an experience that every human has to face whether they want to or not. At the end of the day, it makes you a stronger person and more self-aware, but it can make you nervous for future instances where it could appear again in your life.
So, what do you do when you see anxiety coming around the corner? Let’s look at a few methods that have helped me in the past and currently.
Organize Your Life Inside and Out
Take a look around your room right now, is it organized? Is it clean? Now, look at your life right now, is it organized? Is it clean? It’s hard to understand that our life outside of our body and inside of our body can mirror each other.
I will admit that my room is not the most organized but just making my bed every morning gives me less stress when doing schoolwork from home. It lets me know that I actually care about organization and that eventually, I want to do better for myself.
When it comes to anxiety, you need to remind yourself that you’ve beat it before or that it has faded away before. Have you ever had a situation where you were so anxious for something to happen and when it did, it wasn’t as bad as you thought?
Recently at work, I was asked to take down a rug for a customer. Being new to the job, I’m still not too comfortable with taking down a rug from a high pole in the air, so when this situation came about I was anxious. When it came time for me to take down the rug, I tried slowly and carefully and nothing happened, the rug wouldn’t come down. By the luck of the world, a coworker walked by and was able to help me. Just like that, it was over, I was anxious for a total of five minutes but in totality, those five minutes are just a minuscule of my time here on earth.
When you see anxiety trying to enter into your life again, remember that it’s not always as bad as you think it is and that it's possible to overcome.
Get your mind prepared for situations like this through meditation and journaling.
Meditation will help you have a clear mind throughout the day and will give you a reference point of what it's like to be at peace through adversity.
Journaling helps in the sense that when writing things that you are afraid will happen, once seeing them in writing, you will realize are not that bad. Don’t let anxiety stop you from living your life to the fullest, use it as motivation to overcome any obstacle that comes in your way.
Use a Lifeline
It’s ok to call your friends when feeling anxious, or when worrying about something that has yet to come. Your friends know you, they’ve witnessed you in situations where you thought your life was over.
Although your friends can do a great job of comforting you, they don’t necessarily have to tell you anything. They can be there to simply listen, often times we don’t realize how helpful a listening ear can be in any given situation.
Your friends would want you to the same for them, so don’t feel bad when doing it. If you feel like you’re annoying your friends with your problems then let them know, if they do think that you’re sharing too much then don’t take it personally. Understand that they’re human just like you and they can only listen and support you so much, eventually, you’re going to have to face the situation on your own terms anyways.
If you feel like you can’t talk to your friends, then it is best to invest in a licensed therapist. Therapy gets bad representation at times and if not used effectively then it can be. Going to a therapist with a goal set in mind and sharing that goal with your therapist can make things clear from the jump.
Also, they’re there to listen as well, therapists are some of the best listeners that you can find. This is their job and they’re taking it just as seriously as you are, they’ve dealt with people prior to you and have helped them to become better versions of themselves.
If you think that you can deal with your anxiety forever alone then you’re in for a bumpy ride in life. Anxiety does come and go but therapists are there to help you cope with it better. Don’t knock it until you try it.
Whenever you’re talking to somebody about your problems whether it’s your friends, family, or a therapist, be as honest as possible. Often times we make up things in our minds that make our thoughts even worse than they already are. Also, when you’re honest with these people, they can help you more efficiently too.
Taking it Head-On
Anxiety doesn’t last forever, remember this. You will have more anxious thoughts in your life and you will have more peaceful moments in your life. You need both of these feelings to make your life balanced and keep yourself grounded.
If you see anxiety at the corner of your eye then don’t run away from it, go towards it, take it head-on. Running away from it only causes more worry and you'll never be able to accept the fact that it’s coming after you.
When you see a fly buzzing around you, do you run away from it? No, you try your best to deal with it at that moment. You know that if you kill that fly now, then you will be able to continue with your work peacefully. Anxiety can feel like it’s much bigger than a small fly but it’s the same in the aspect of dealing with it.
No, it will not be as easy as crushing a fly with your hands but it is better than running away from it. The faster you deal with it, the faster it will go away. Don’t let anxious thoughts get the best of you, be strong, and don’t give it the satisfaction that it wants.
Anxiety is self-caused, there’s nobody who distributes it out, it’s all made up in our heads from our abilities of not knowing how to deal with a situation like it. Think about how much time you are saving yourself in the future when you deal with it in the present, in the future, you will be so thankful and much more productive.
As much as you want to avoid it, think about the amount of freedom you will have when it is taken care of. If things, do go from bad to worse then don’t beat yourself up, this is life taking its natural course. Problems that stem from anxiety don’t always come with a simple solution but they do come with many life lessons. So, when dealing with an anxious situation, remember that you are learning more about yourself, which will ultimately give you peace.
Viewing yourself as the protagonist in your life story will help you see anxiety as just a small part of life. Yes, it will keep coming but when being open to the experience it has to offer, you will become stronger and smarter. I’ll leave you with a quote from Dan Millman that says
“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.”