Stress and anxiety have a role in our lives. They push us to make necessary changes, they make us aware when we are in danger, and motivate us to take action and free ourselves from danger. Danger can refer to any type of threat to our physical or emotional well-being, from not doing well on a project for work to losing a job. When we think about it this way, feelings of stress and anxiety are healthy and useful. In fact, without them, we may not act in our own best interest.
Stress and anxiety become unhealthy when they stop pushing us to act. This can either be because we are worried about things that are not under our control or that have not happened yet, or because we are immobilized by the stress and anxiety we feel, rather than being inspired to act. Whatever the reason, this worry and anxiety can cause a lot of stress on our minds and bodies, and affect our health.
Some suggestions on how to deal with your anxiety:
1. Look inside yourself. What is causing you to worry? Be specific. For some situations, you may be very aware of what it is and other times you may really have to think about it. A good way to sort out your feelings is by writing in a journal or talking with a friend.
2. Decide what action should be taken if necessary. Try to figure out what part of the situation is under your control. Examine the problem--is it real or are you blowing it out of proportion?
3. Come up with a plan that deals with the part of the problem that you have control over. Taking some action to protect yourself is a great way to direct nervous energy and provides comfort against your fears. This is a healthy response to realistic fears and worries.
4. Once you have done everything you can, just let it go. Life can be difficult and complicated and everything is easier said than done. Practice is important and can be very helpful with letting go of stress and anxiety. One way of doing this is by focusing on something else. You can also try some stress management techniques to help you feel more comfortable and grounded such as meditation, journaling, music, yoga, and exercise.