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10 Tips to Help You Cope with Anxiety and Fear

There has been a lot of uncertainty lately as the status quo has been called into question. People are concerned about the rights they have enjoyed for years being taken away. Benefits that many people depend on now seem to be uncertain. Blame for the state of affairs is being flung at both sides of the political arena while the government seems unstable and invested in “alternative truth.” At times it can be difficult to find something secure and stable to hang on to.

When our leaders model instability, conflict, and antagonism, it can create a mass consciousness of insecurity. This can then filter down to us on a personal level so that we, the people, begin to experience even more worry, fear, and anxiety about our day to day lives.
How can YOU cope when experiencing anxiety, worry, and fear?

Here are 10 tips to help you cope with your day-to-day fears and anxieties.

1. Take time out 

It’s impossible to think clearly when you’re flooded with fear or anxiety. The first thing to do is take time out so you can physically calm down.

Distract yourself from the worry for 15 minutes by walking around the block, making a cup of tea, reading the funnies or an engaging book, or soaking in a bath. Whatever you do – DON’T WATCH THE NEWS WHEN YOU’RE FEELING ANXIOUS!

2. Breathe through panic 

If your heart beat starts to race, or your palms start to sweat, the best thing is not to fight it.

Stay where you are and simply feel the panic without trying to distract yourself. Place the palm of your hand on your stomach and inhale deeply, hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly. Repeat this breathing pattern for several minutes or until you have calmed down. The goal is to help the mind get used to coping with panic, which takes the fear of fear away.

3. Face your fears 

Avoiding fears only makes them scarier. Whatever your fear, if you face it, it should start to fade. For instance, if you panic one day getting into an elevator, it’s best to get back into an elevator the next day. This helps to desensitize you from your fear.

4. Imagine the worst 

Try imagining the worst thing that can happen – perhaps it’s panicking and having a heart attack. Then try to think yourself into having a heart attack. It’s just not possible. The fear will run away the more you chase it.

5. Look at the evidence 

It sometimes helps to challenge fearful thoughts. For example, if you’re scared of getting trapped in an elevator and suffocating, ask yourself if you have ever heard of this happening to someone. Ask yourself what you would say to a friend who had a similar fear.

Another thing you can do is ask, “What can I do about this fear?” Often times you may find that there is something you can do about it. If there is, then do it! Taking control is a great way to lessen your fears.

6. Don’t try to be perfect 

Life is full of stresses, yet many of us feel that our lives must be perfect. Bad days and setbacks will always happen, and it’s important to remember that life is messy. Just do the best you can and accept that your best is “good enough!”

7. Visualize a happy place 

Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine a place of safety and calm. It could be a picture of you walking on a beautiful beach, or snuggled up in bed with the cat next to you, or a happy memory from childhood. Let the positive feelings soothe you until you feel more relaxed.

8. Talk about it 

Sharing fears takes away a lot of their scariness. Call a partner, friend or family member and share your fears with them. Sometimes just hearing yourself talk can help you process and release the fear.

If your fears aren’t going away, then talk with your doctor. Your doctor can refer you to a counselor or psychotherapist. (Hopefully they will do this before giving you a pill.) Or contact a hypnotherapist. Hypnotherapists are trained to help people cope with their anxiety and fears.

9. Go back to the basics 

Lots of people turn to alcohol or drugs in an effort to self-medicate their anxiety. This, however, only make matters worse. Simple, everyday things like a good night’s sleep, a wholesome meal, hanging out with a friend or loved one, and/or a walk are often the best cures for anxiety.

10. Reward yourself 

Finally, give yourself a treat. When you have taken that first step or have made that call you’ve been dreading, for example, reinforce your success by treating yourself to a massage, a country walk, a meal out, a book, a DVD, or whatever little gift makes you happy.

Anxiety or fear is a feeling we are having. It is not the totality of us, though sometimes it feels like that. Our bodies were actually made to process our feelings. The more we resist our fears or try to stuff them, the more they will persist – often times poking their ugly heads out at the most inconvenient times. Instead of trying to medicate or stuff your fears and anxieties, try one or more of these methods instead. You will be surprised how effective these tips can be.

If you are struggling with anxiety, worries, or fears, then you give Joy a call for a complimentary 30-minute consultations and find out how she can help you cope more effectively so you can master your fears. 415-819-8769 or email Joy today!

Adapted from NHS Choices
http://www.nhs.uk/pages/home.aspx
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