Do you find that you are anxious all the time or have panic attacks? If the answer is yes, it may be time to start thinking about getting your anxiety under control. Anxiety is the body’s way of responding to “danger”. In modern life there is not a lot of danger. But our bodies are conditioned to run away or flee at a moments notice if a tiger or wild animal is chasing us.
We developed this as a means of survival in prehistoric times. In the present day, tigers are not chasing us, but our mind does not know this when it thinks we are in danger. Some thoughts you could have when you are experiencing anxiety can include. “ I am in danger right now.” “ I can’t cope with this.” I know that the worst thing is going to happen.” Your body will also react to the danger by increasing your heart rate, breathing can become faster, your stomach can become upset, and your muscles can become tense.
One of the first things that I suggest that people do is to identify what is triggering your anxiety. Is a certain person in your life making you anxious? Is a place or thing triggering the anxiety? Do you worry what is going to happen in the future?
The next thing to think about is by avoiding any of your triggers for anxiety you are actually causing yourself to have more anxiety by avoiding these triggers. So now is the time to think about doing things differently. Make a plan to start exposing yourself to some of the people and situations you normally avoid. If you are avoiding large crowds or stores, go out shopping during slow times. You can slowly build up to shopping during peak times. You can use some coping skills such as deep breathing and speaking positively to yourself to get you through the feelings of anxiety. Ask yourself, Am I overreacting to the situation? What is the worst thing that can happen? If this is something that you have a ongoing problem with, contacting a therapist to help is a good idea. Together we can figure out a plan to get your life back on track.