To give you a brief overview of last week’s discussion, I started telling you about my personal experience with anxiety; the symptoms that I’ve had and how I have discovered that it was in fact anxiety, that I was experiencing.
The medication that the doctor prescribed to me took away unwanted symptoms of anxiety, as well as all positive emotions from me. Everything became ‘neutral’. And I didn’t want to give up all of those positive emotions in my life. I had to explore if being in a happy state naturally was a possibility.
I started searching for ways to find self-improvement and fulfillment, I started reading about cognitive behavioral therapy, and it wasn’t long before I came across several luminaries who changed my life. These incredible teachers became mentors for me, such as Napoleon Hill, Tony Robbins, Aaron Beck, Jim Rohn, and many more. I have learned so much from these people that have impacted my life positively, and I will definitely be sharing the knowledge I learned from them with you throughout our relationship.
Right now I would like to share some priceless information regarding anxiety that I have learned that has personally helped me to overcome it.
When we have an anxiety disorder, we are constantly thinking and focusing on what could go wrong. We are stacking our worried thoughts one on top of another. In reality, oftentimes, our thinking and focusing on what could go wrong is what is causing us to have an anxiety.
We are worried about our kids, our families, ourselves, our jobs, about our future, etc. We are worried about everything so much, that our worries turn into fears.
Most of us have deep inner fears: fear of being alone, fear of not being good enough, fear of not being loved, fear of not having enough money, fear that our relationships are not what they should be, fear of what the future will bring to us… I’m sure you can relate to this list and add on to it. These fears start eating us from the inside out, like a little monster that is sitting inside of our body. And it is torturing us.
A lot of these inner fears you have acquired throughout your lifetime, and a lot of them are there since early childhood, as you watched your parents or someone else. These fears might be hiding inside of you for years, and then something triggers you, and all of a sudden that fear comes out and takes control over you. Some people go to severe anxiety, panic attacks, and unfortunately, some even get heart attacks. And if you’re not aware of this process, what is happening and where did it come from; it will make your life miserable.
Most of the time, we are projecting into the future, something that hasn’t happened yet in the present, certain event, our surroundings or our future state of mind—and we make ourselves and our closest ones as well, miserable in the process. Even though there is absolutely no grounds for this!
Thankfully, hope is not lost! There are three drug-free methods that I have learned about to help you get rid of your anxiety:
- Method 1:
The first method is to ‘realize’ and recognize your fear. Identify it. Acknowledge it. What is it? Is it a real fear, or something that is just sitting inside of you? If it’s real, chances are it’s something that has happened a long time ago. Remember that history doesn’t repeat itself. Your past does not equal your future.
You are not your family. You are not your parents. You are not your ex. You are You!
You have accomplished so many things in your life. Acknowledge your accomplishments, write them down in your journal or diary. You are working on yourself to become better and learning new things. And I know this just by the fact that you are here reading this. You are a person of action. Don’t underestimate yourself, don’t feel small. Call that fear out for what it is. It is just a little lie—and nothing more!
- Method 2:
As humans, we all have a tendency to concentrate on what’s wrong. But in order to truly be happy and free, we have to notice what’s good, what’s right. If you look around right now, regardless of where you are, regardless of the weather, your physical state, your state of mind or anything else, you can find something positive you can concentrate on or something negative to concentrate on.
Here is an exercise to help us to get rid of our negativity. To get started, just take out a piece of paper or pull out your journal and write down everything that you can think of what’s good, what’s right, what do you appreciate that surrounds you, what are you excited about, what are you looking forward to or anything else you can think of.
Write down what is great, what is magnificent in your life. You might say: I don’t have anything to be happy about or anything magnificent in my life.
Yes, you do! We all do. It’s just that some of us notice it and some of us don’t. Every day people are losing their closest ones. Every day someone finds out that they or their closest ones are terminally ill. But if those things did not happen to you today, then you do have something to be grateful for.
You do have something to be happy about. Just think about it. Do you have a family, kids, pets, friends, great neighbor? What about someone you have met, something that happened the other day, something you own, an event you went to, an event you will go to, weather, etc., anything that invoked positive emotions in yourself. Just keep writing things down, anything you can think of.
Everyone has something to be happy about. We just need to get out of our own way that we are used to, finding what’s wrong, and acknowledge those things that we can be grateful for. What’s wrong is always available; but so is what’s right!
- Method 3:
Pretend it’s one year from now. And imagine your ideal outcome in the future in each area of your life, and think about how you would like it to be. Focus on yourself and imagine that everything has gone right for you, everything you have ever dreamt about: family, relationships, job, money, health and everything else.
Imagine yourself, your surroundings, your ideal body, your ideal financial state . See how healthy and how energetic you are. Feel your inner peace, happiness, excitement and fulfillment. Spend 10-20 minutes visualizing. The more you practice this visualization, the faster you will access that happiness state and surroundings that you dream about.
There are numerous proven benefits of visualization. To name just a few, the most relevant for our discussion are:
- Overcoming fear
- Building self confidence
- Mood booster
- Relief and control pain
- Health benefits
- Developing new skills
- Achieving goals
- Changing/improving your focus
- Overcoming limiting beliefs
These three methods will break the pattern of anxiety. Without anxiety in your life, you can achieve everything you want to achieve.
Unfortunately, once you start feeling severely anxious, it is very hard to calmly start practicing exercises above. And as an immediate solution, I would suggest 2 things:
- You can always do breathing exercises to interrupt your anxious state. As you know breathing exercises is a core part for yoga, meditation and so much more. There are many different types of breathing exercises that will benefit you. One of my favorites is 4-7-8 Technique. It will only take a few minutes to do and definitely will reduce your anxiety state, if not completely eliminate it.
- Contrast shower. Once you start feeling severe anxiety, you need to get in the shower (of course if it’s available:)), and start alternating between hot and cold water. Below are some of the proven benefits of contrast shower: – Boost energy and immune system – Alleviate anxiety and depression – Promote muscle recovery
As I mentioned earlier:
At no shape or form I am saying that anxiety is not serious or doesn’t need medical attention. But my personal belief now, after what I went through, is that most of the people with mild forms of anxiety can treat it themselves, and/or significantly improve their lives.
Please always remember that you cannot control everything in life, but you can control how you feel about certain things and events. You can’t control the outside world, but you can always control your inside world, at all times. You control what things mean to you. The meaning you assign to different events in your life is your reality. You can make your life amazing and be happy and fulfilled—and this is the ultimate purpose of our lives!
P.S. Remember, if you have an idea for an article topic, feel free to share it with me. I would love to be able to help you. If you haven’t yet, remember to subscribe your email below to get notified when new articles come out.