According to statistics released by the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect over 18% of the American population. Almost 40 million people between the ages of 18 and 54 suffer from some form of anxiety, which is characterized in mild cases by fatigue, sweating, and unwanted thoughts. In extreme cases, anxiety can cause excessive worry, a sensation of impending doom or death, an abnormal heartbeat, and even fainting.
The good news about anxiety is that, from a health perspective, it’s harmless- anxiety isn’t capable of actually harming the body. It is, however, an extremely frustrating, worrying, and stressful condition that can significantly impact day-to-day life.
The causes of anxiety are extremely varied and are generally specific to the individual that sufferers from it. Anxiety can be caused by stressful past events, as a side effect of a serious illness, or due to medication or controlled substances.
One of the most frustrating aspects of anxiety is that even when individuals that suffer from it are aware of the nature of the condition, anxiety and anxiety attacks can seem inevitable and impossible to halt once they begin.
There are many different solutions for dealing with anxiety, from herbal extracts to pharmaceutical medications, but behavioural therapy and mental exercises are the most effective in treating the causes before an attack occurs.
While there is a vast amount of support, information, and resources available both on and offline for managing anxiety, there are a number of key principles that, once understood, can make the process of dealing with anxiety far easier.
In this article, we’ll take a look at seven important principles that can make a huge difference when managing anxiety.
7 Anxiety Relief Tips You Need To Accept To Move Past Problematic Stress
1. The Only Person That Can End Your Anxiety is You
While having access to a wide support network and multiple resources is important in treating anxiety, it’s important to remember that, as anxiety is an internal psychological condition, the only person that can truly end anxiety is you.
Making the practices that you find most effective in minimizing your anxiety part of your everyday life and committing to implementing them as much as possible is essential to keeping anxiety gone for good.
Although pharmaceutical solutions or other substances may provide temporary relief from the symptoms of anxiety, these solutions are only “band-aid” fixes that don’t address the underlying causes of the condition.
Identifying and neutralizing the sources of stress in your life, whether external or psychological, is critical to remaining anxiety free. Only you are able to decide that you want to be free from anxiety, and only you can implement the techniques that eliminate it.
2. Past Events Only Affect Today If You Let Them
Anxiety attacks are frequently triggered by either stressful past experiences, or past anxiety attacks. Sometimes performing an activity that was integral to a past stressful experience can also trigger an anxiety attack, such as entering a hospital if suffering from anxiety caused by a medical condition. One of the most important things to remember when experiencing anxiety triggered by the past is that it only has as much power over you as you let it.
Practicing mindfulness or other forms of psychological techniques that focus on the present assist in centering your perception on the present, but it’s important to dismantle past events that trigger your anxiety and understand why they affect you in the way that they do. Understanding your past event triggers and disarming them is a powerful tool in minimizing the hold anxiety has on your life.
3. Internalizing Anxiety Won’t Make It Go Away
Individuals that suffer from anxiety often hide or internalize the condition and are afraid to seek assistance. Some hide the impact of anxiety on their lives due to work or family commitments, while others suffer from social anxiety that makes it difficult to seek help. Taking the step to share your experiences and feelings with others is the first step in dealing with anxiety and will ease the burden it has on your life.
The more you share your anxiety and the causes of it with others, the easier it will be to reduce the impact it has. Having an understanding support network that can assist you through anxiety attacks will minimize their symptoms and help you prevent them from occurring. Sharing with others the causes of your stress will also help you to address the root causes of anxiety.
4. Your Anxiety Is Not Your Fault
One of the most important things to keep in mind if you suffer from anxiety is that it isn’t your fault and that you’re not to blame. Although anxiety may make it seem as though the world is ending, it is, in reality, an extremely common condition that millions of other people deal with every day. Anxiety is the natural reaction of the body to stress, and, while it isn’t pleasant, is not something that is unique to you.
Stress affects everybody at some point in their lives- at this very minute, more than 77% of the population of the United States is experiencing stress in one form or another. Anxiety is neither your fault or the fault of anybody else- it’s a simple biological reaction that you have mental control over and can end when you choose to do so.
5. Perceiving Yourself as a Victim Doesn’t Help
Perceiving yourself as the victim of your anxiety won’t help to deal with it- in fact, it will probably make it worse. By categorizing anxiety as an external force that you are under attack from distances the root cause of the condition from you, making it impossible to deal with internally.
When experiencing anxiety, keep in mind that labelling yourself as a victim can form a psychological crutch that, while comforting, won’t help you make any progress towards living an anxiety-free life. Instead of perceiving yourself as a victim, instead choose to perceive yourself as responsible for your anxiety and capable of seizing control when an anxiety attack begins.
6. Things Aren’t as Bad as They Seem
No matter how intense the fear that occurs during an anxiety attack or prolonged bout of anxiety may seem, the reality of the situation is always far better. The biological response that stress-induced anxiety causes can be extremely worrying and occasionally can present in ways that may cause you to believe there is something wrong with your body, such as a fast heart rate.
When you suffer from an anxiety attack, you may feel as though you ‘can’t seem to get enough air, or need to keep yawning. While you may believe you’re not getting enough oxygen, the opposite is actually true- you’re inhaling far more oxygen than you need.
This cause you to feel lightheaded and dizzy not because you’re not breathing properly, but because you’re breathing too much. If you struggle with breathing problems due to anxiety, consider trying meditation breathing techniques such as pranayama.
7. An Anxiety Free Life Is Possible
Anxiety may be difficult to deal with, but it’s not permanent. Anxiety generally arises when stress levels become extremely high, so by incorporating stress management techniques into your lifestyle it’s possible to kick anxiety for good.
Anxiety Relief Tips Conclusion
Just understanding the biological processes that occur during anxiety can make a big difference in dealing with the symptoms of anxiety, so by arming yourself with information, resources and support, it’s possible to clear away anxiety for good and win your confidence back.