It is normal for everyone to experience anxiety on occasion, but when anxiety becomes a part of your daily experience; it takes a toll both physically and emotionally. Here are signs that anxiety has consumed your daily life followed by practical ways to effectively manage yourself and keep anxiety at bay.
Signs of Over Anxiousness
- Difficulty falling asleep nightly because your mind won’t “turn off.” Instead of drifting off into sweet slumber, you take your problems and “to do” lists to bed with you.
- Ruminating thoughts. You can’t stop your mind from replaying a disappointing or helpless situation or occurrence over and over and over again.
- Constant worry. You find that you obsess about what could possibly go wrong. This is a preoccupation of future dangers or threats.
- Hypervigilance. You are acutely aware of what is going on around you so that you can predict and be prepared for anything negative or unexpected.
- Perfectionism. The need to be the best, do the best, and have the best is perfectionism. This is a relentless drive for excellence that has no promise of peace.
- You need a drink or use drugs/substances to relax.
- You find yourself overly concerned with other people’s thoughts, feelings, and expectation for you.
Strategies for Minimizing Anxiety
- Exercise. Maintain a regular exercise plan. Choose activities that you find enjoyable, as well as, a variety to keep it from becoming boring. Walking several days during the week is soothing and calming as your senses are stimulated by what you see, smell, and hear. Exercise will help you better manage stress and minimize the effects it has on your body.
- Balance your time. All work and no play make you dull. It will also make it difficult to shut down from work when you do need to sleep. Does your schedule reflect your priorities? Do you see commitment not only to your work, but to yourself, to God, to your family and others who are important to you?
- Learn to implement activities that help you calm, relax, and distract. Break the cycle of ruminations and worry by giving your mind, body, and time to soothing activities like listening to music, taking a hot shower or bath, doing a soduko, taking deep cleansing breaths, going to coffee with a friend, or meditating on a favorite scripture passage or verse.
- Know your limits. Learn to communicate what you will and will not do openly and honestly to others. Don’t feel compelled to justify your limits or that other’s must approve them.
- Recognize what you can and cannot control. This is very freeing. Learning to let go of what you can’t change gives you freedom to focus on what you can. Charles Spurgeon said, “Anxiety for the things of tomorrow only robs today of its strength.”
- Be thankful. Often when we have been caught up in anxiety, we are consumed with negative thinking. Take time to recognize and show gratitude. This will help you feel more connected to those in your life who are important to you.
At VCC Counseling, it is our goal to help you discover a healthier and happier life. We have a team of professional therapists that can guide and coach you. Give us a call today.