How to Overcome Anxiety: Symptoms and Tips
Do you feel constantly worried or on edge, as if something bad is going to happen? Does your state of constant alert and threat not let you relax?
You may be suffering from anxiety. There are many types of anxiety; in some cases, it appears in front of stressful situations - like test or social anxiety - but in others it is a daily feeling that can be diagnosed as generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can obstruct our everyday life and relationships, and extended alertness can have physical consequences.
If you feel anxious without knowing why, or if you know there is no reason to feel anxious but still cannot control it, you may be looking for a rundown of your symptoms and some tips to cope with anxiety. Stay with us at oneHOWTO and learn how to overcome anxiety - and don't forget to share your tips and useful strategies in the comments section to help other readers!
In order to combat a disorder, first you have to know and understand what it is. Knowing exactly what is anxiety will help you identify your state and act upon your condition.
Anxiety is like a defense mechanism that is activated when our brain perceives a dangerous situation. Therefore, anxiety is the brain's way to warn and save us from danger; in general, it is not necessarily a negative or harmful feeling.
Anxiety is a tool for survival; understanding and accepting that is very important. Take into account that suppressing and denying negative emotions tends to get the opposite result. If you suspect you're starting to feel anxious, do not push that to the back of your mind.
Some commons symptoms of anxiety include:
- Sleep disturbance
- Weariness and fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle tension
Small tasks, when piled one in top of another, can become the source of anxiety; procrastination is often both a cause and a result of anxiety. However, you must keep in mind that not doing a task and having to remember it causes more anxiety than doing it at once.
Have you heard about the two minute rule? If a task does not require more than two minutes - answering an email, checking a receipt - it is best done immediately, because remembering it consumes more energy than doing it.
The accumulation of tasks will increase our anxiety. Do your best to get organized and keep your to-do lists up to date; you will eliminate much of the tension caused by anxiety. If your to-do list seems too long, split each task into two-minute sections.
Seeking quick solutions to overcome anxiety is not recommended. Smoking or drinking alcohol can give relief, but it will only be momentary. Instead of being beneficial, these substances actually do the opposite, making us feel even worse than we did before taking them.
Alcohol is a depressant; after drinking we will feel sadder. Tobacco, on the other hand, is a stimulant; eventually it will make us feel more nervous. Moreover, both have negative effects on our health as they are addictive substances.
Do not fear going to bed. Anxiety can often appear when its is time to go to bed, as it's a moment where we don't have external stimuli and our concerns invade our thoughts. However, lack of sleep makes anxiety much worse, as it makes reading situations more difficult.
Try to perform some short relaxation exercises to help you sleep; here you can learn how to choose the right meditation technique for you.
Do you know the word "assertiveness"?
Being assertive doesn't mean being selfish or pushy, which is what many people misunderstand it as. In fact, assertiveness is all about seeking balance between yourself and others. You have a right to your opinion, even if not everybody likes you.
Above all, don't try to hide your opinions or personality traits in order to do what you think will please others; suppressing yourself will damage your self-esteem, confidence and eventually cause more anxiety. Everybody worries about what others think of them to a certain extent, but people suffering from anxiety tend to spend more time thinking about it and going over conversations they have had, looking for hidden meanings.
Thinking too much about what others think of you and giving it too much weight will only create more tension and anxiety, and it will eventually limit what you dare to say or do, reducing your freedom and agency as an individual. Here you can learn how to increase your self-esteem in 10 steps; take a look!
Even if it seems obvious, a key step to overcome anxiety is to relax physically. Take care of your posture, drink water, stretch every once in a while and do mindful breathing.
Using good relaxation techniques will help you regain control of your body and so of your mind, reducing your anxiety, worry and sense of threat.
It is very difficult to overcome anxiety alone, especially in the case of generalized anxiety disorder. Surround yourself with family and friends, tell them about what you're going through and let them help you break down the motives behind your worry. If you are the friend, here you can learn how to help a loved one with anxiety.
Physical contact - a hug or kiss from a loved one - can be of great help for many people, as it's grounding and it boosts one's self-esteem. However, if you're not the one suffering from anxiety you must make sure it's okay to initiate it.
It's also a good idea to see a doctor about your anxiety; this way you can get an official diagnosis, tips on how to recognize a crisis, and help to treat your disorder if you have it.
Remember to take care of yourself and to not forget any aspects of your life besides your health: Rest, do activities that you like, pamper yourself, listen to music, watch something that makes you laugh, etc. If you love nature take walks outdoors, if you are passionate about reading then read, make crafts if you are creative. What better way to combat anxiety than to feel good and vital?
Our mood depends on the balance between the negative - concerns, problems, obligations - and the positive things each day presents. The better your mood, the lower your anxiety levels.
Remember that interacting with others will help you feel better. Talk, laugh, share the best of your day with others; never isolate yourself from the rest of the world because you're having a bad day.
What are your tips and advice on how to overcome anxiety? How do you talk about it with your loved ones? Tell us in the comments section!
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Overcome Anxiety: Symptoms and Tips, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.