What is anxiety?
In very simple terms, anxiety is excessive worry. It is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
Worry is a universal human trait; it is present in everyone. However, in people who are overly anxious, the worry can go to great lengths. In extreme situations, it can cause social anxiety disorder, which can manifest itself in various physical ways. At such times, methods such as hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy or other methods may need to be used for the treatment. However, methods of self-help for anxiety can be used and to help you snuff out a full-blown anxiety attack before it assumes monstrous proportions.
Stop Building Extreme Case Scenarios
Most people who worry out of proportion to what the situation warrants actually worry about extreme case situations. They may take a small thing and blow it out of proportion. If they see a single mosquito, they will think that they will suffer from malaria. This is just an example of how their thinking works.
Remember that it is only the rarest of situations in which things go to the extreme limit. You have to rationalize things. You have to understand that there are various ways in which a particular thing can happen and most solutions are always convenient. If you are basing your worry on what you have seen in movies and read in books, you are only inviting depression and panic attacks to be your long-term companions.
Don’t be Judgmental about Yourself
A lot of people build impressions about themselves – often negative – and then live their whole lives within it. They build notions such as, "Oh, I am too dull; I can't make anyone happy" or "I am too old, I cannot do this or that". This causes a lot of worry when particular situations arise. The effect of projecting one impression onto others makes the situation worse. If a person thinks he or she is a bad conversationalist, for example, they would not like to attend social events.
You need to control anxious thoughts, especially those that relate to your 'perceived' weaknesses. What you term as weaknesses are probably present in a lot of people out there.
Personalization and Generalization
Two things that compound worry are personalization and generalization. Personalization is the habit of directing the causes of every problem toward oneself. For example, if a thing does not pan out the way it should, these people would think, "I am surely responsible in some way!" Generalization is the habit of applying the result of one incident on all other similar ones. "I scored badly in this exam. I can never do any exam right." The problem with personalization and generalization is that it makes the person constantly blame the self.
One of the solutions for coping with worry is to remove self from the picture and then evaluate things. This can surely be done through self-help, but if the situation is too drastic, therapies such as hypnosis can help put a right perspective on things.
Self-help for anxiety works if used in the right measure and the right time. Since self-help for anxiety comes from within, it is one of the most effective measures for curbing the problem.
Seeking a certfied counselor or therapist to help you navigate your anxiety is a smart move. Often we may think to ourselves, "I don't need help." or "I'm a strong person."
What we often neglect to see or acknowledge is the inner strength that it takes to battle anxiety. You are not weak if you seek help. You are stronger for having realized that you may need help.
So many battle anxiety, depression and so much more. Don't carry that weight alone. You can feel better. You are strong. You are more than your anxiety.
If you feel that you are in crisis and not sure where to turn, call 988.
988 is now active across the United States. This new, shorter phone number will make it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services. (Please note, the previous 1-800-273-TALK (8255) number will continue to function indefinitely.)
If you are a Veteran in crisis, dial 988 and then press 1.