Are you someone who is continually afraid and anxious? You may not even know what it is you are afraid and anxious about...you just know that you are. If you know what it is you’re anxious about, you struggle because you think you can’t do anything about it. Well, there are some things you can do about it, so read on.
Anxiety and Fear are Signs of the Times
These days there seem to be all kinds of things to be afraid of: crime, terrorism, disease, people from other countries, people from our own country, the government, weather, finances, the future, the past. The list just goes on and on. Wherever you go and whatever you do, there are things to be afraid of. Some people suffer because of it more than others, but it is pretty typical these days to suffer from anxiety and fear.
The 5 Ways to Fight Anxiety and Fear
Understand FEAR. This stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. This acronym is used in 12-step support groups commonly and applies to anything you see and perceive that is interpreted negatively without checking out the evidence. If someone gives you a dirty look out in public, you may conclude that they are angry at you or want to do you harm. You have no other information and are basing your reaction on one split second of information. The idea here is to check out your conclusions with someone who is impartial or can give you another point of view. By the way, this is hard to do on social media.
Stay in the Moment. The idea here is that most of what we are anxious and afraid of either hasn’t happened yet or has already happened and we can’t do anything to change it. When we stay in the moment we are dealing with present situation, and this can be accomplished by using mindfulness practices or simply reminding yourself by saying something like “Now...now...now” to bring yourself into present moment awareness.
Relaxation Techniques. These are probably the first best things to do on a regular basis to cope with anxiety and fear. Done on a regular basis, these can help bring your baseline level of anxiety down to a manageable level. Deep relaxing breathing, or just deep breathing is one good example of these.
Emotional Hygiene: These are methods of coping with anxiety and fear that can help to work them out of your system. These range from Tapping or the Emotional Freedom Technique, Cook’s Hook Up, all the way to Image Transformation Therapy (ImTT). Practiced on a regular basis along with relaxation techniques, these can also help bring your average level of anxiety down.
News Fasting: There is so much information out there on TV and on the internet that can get our anxiety levels worked up that it is helpful to limit the amount we take in to some manageable level so that we aren’t overwhelmed by it. Figure out how much you can take and are comfortable with, and try to limit your exposure accordingly. This can be very empowering and liberating, because it is something that is within our power to control.
If You Still Need Help with Anxiety and Fear
I’ve got about 10 years now of helping people overcome anxiety and fear. I’ve also had my struggles with this issue and can tell you there are so many ways to deal with this it’s only a matter of trying to help you figure out how best to overcome it and working with that to help you live a life that is free of continual terror and fright. Please give me a call at 512-374-0100 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also leave your information in the form below and I will get back to you so you can get a better idea if I might be able to help you in your quest to live a life that doesn’t keep you scared all the time.
About the author: Scott Kampschaefer, LCSW is a private practice therapist in Austin, Texas. He has an extensive background in working with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder at a clinic for older adults with these disorders in Austin. He now works with adults and adolescents of all ages in private practice.
Click here to learn more about how Scott can help you with anxiety.