It’s a psychological disorder
Too often, many of us let feelings of anxiety creep into our lives, and the results leave us debilitated. But what is anxiety, really, and why does it happen?
In essence, it is the anticipation of a negative outcome, and the anticipation that the negative outcome is beyond management. It is an energy-sucking condition that can greatly impact lives of people who suffer from it. It can be abolished from our lives completely and we need to be aware of how much a toll it can take on us.
It damages our health as well as the quality of life. When we worry, we are not present. How many days, even years, are we spending not being present?
The inevitable health effects of anxiety
One of my clients has suffered significant health problems from her work-related stress. With so much to keep track of at work, she envisioned the worst possible outcome for every scenario so as to be prepared for it if it happens. She suffered from performance anxiety — a gnawing fear that she won’t be able to handle her workload.
She consistently enlisted the aid of others. She trusts them more than she does herself and expects that she will not cope without their help. Anxiety is a vicious cycle that turns worrying about making mistakes into actually making them.
She had dinner with her husband, but thoughts of work clouded her ability to have real conversations with him as she couldn’t deal with anxiety. She was worried at all times and it made her sick. She was sweating, had pounding headaches, stomach aches, and experiences waves of nausea.
The psychological symptoms of anxiety
Another client, a brilliant PhD, was worrying himself into a mediocre life. He avoided conflict at all costs. He feared conflict to the point where he agreed with everyone on all matters. He was brought up to be respectful of his elders and authority figures. He was reprimanded any time he had a conflicting point of view.
When he grew up, he eternally agreed on everything, avoiding any potential arguments like fire. He sacrificed his own opinions, his own values and his autonomy in order to have peace.
As a result, he approached everything half-heartedly, and with zero passion. When he did have a difference of opinion and felt conflict, he feared to voice his opinion.
Fortunately, we can challenge this state of mind and deal with anxiety.
2 strategies to use against anxiety
1. Use visualisations.
You can use regular visualisations to counteract the constant negative thoughts that affect your daily life. Imagine really great outcomes instead of negative ones when you think about a new project or making an important decision. It will help to ‘rewire’ your brain and you will have more optimistic attitude.
2. Tackle negative visions.
Imagine a negative outcome and then picture yourself handling it flawlessly and effectively. Think about what you would do to bounce back from the disaster and how you can implement a strategy that would allow you to recover with relative ease.
Dealing with anxiety
Being anxious can make life very difficult. However, by implementing small changes and making them a habit, you can get rid of the burdening negative thoughts and stress that makes every day more and more difficult. Understand that the change begins inside you so you can deal with anxiety once and for all.
Do you suffer from anxiety? How do you deal with it? Leave your opinion in the comments!