Embracing Calm: How to Stop Feeling Anxious About Anxiety
Anxiety is a natural emotion, a response to perceived threats or stressors. However, in today's fast-paced world, many of us find ourselves in a paradoxical situation: feeling anxious about feeling anxious. This meta-anxiety can amplify our distress feeding into the symptoms of anxiety, making it even harder to find calm and peace. But what if we could break this cycle?
Here's a guide on how to stop feeling anxious about anxiety itself.
1. Recognize the Cycle of Anxiety:
The first step to breaking any cycle is recognizing it. Understand that anxiety can feed on itself. When you start worrying about your worries, you're caught in a feedback loop. By acknowledging this, you can begin to distance yourself from the cycle and take steps to interrupt it.
Notice your thoughts and feelings when anxiety is present, when it increases and decreases. Start to do some research by getting curious about anxiety. This can help to change your relationship to anxiety.
2. Educate Yourself:
Understanding anxiety and its purpose can be a powerful tool in managing it. Dive into reputable sources and learn about the physiological and psychological aspects of anxiety. Recognizing that anxiety is a natural response – one that everyone experiences to some degree – can help normalize your feelings and reduce the fear of the emotion itself.
3. Grounding Techniques:
When you feel overwhelmed by anxiety, grounding exercises can help bring you back to the present moment. Techniques such as the "5-4-3-2-1" method, where you identify five things you can see, four you can touch, three you can hear, two you can smell, and one you can taste, can help divert your mind from spiraling thoughts and anchor you to the present.
4. Reframe Your Perspective:
Instead of viewing anxiety as an enemy, consider it a messenger. It's your body's way of telling you something important that you need to pay attention to. Maybe you're overworked, facing a challenging decision, or dealing with unresolved emotions. By addressing the root cause, you can respond to the message without being overwhelmed by the messenger.
5. Practice Acceptance:
Fighting anxiety can often intensify it. Instead, practice acceptance. This doesn't mean resigning yourself to a life of constant worry but rather acknowledging your feelings without judgment. By accepting your anxiety, you remove its power to control you.
6. Seek Support:
You don't have to face anxiety alone. Talk to friends or family, join a support group, or consider professional therapy with an expert therapist or psychologist who specializes in anxiety. Sometimes, just voicing your fears and concerns can provide relief. Moreover, others might offer a fresh perspective or coping strategies you hadn't considered.
7. Mindfulness and Meditation:
These practices can be incredibly effective in managing anxiety. By focusing on the present moment, you can prevent your mind from dwelling on past regrets or future worries. Over time, mindfulness can also increase your awareness of anxiety triggers and help you respond more calmly.
8. Limit Stimulants:
Caffeine and sugar can exacerbate anxiety. If you're prone to feeling anxious about your anxiety, consider reducing or eliminating these from your diet. Additionally, be mindful of your media consumption. Constant exposure to negative news or stressful content can heighten feelings of anxiety.
Need additional support in coping with anxiety? Therapy can help!
Feeling anxious about anxiety is a common experience, but it's not insurmountable. By understanding the cycle, equipping yourself with coping strategies, and seeking support with an expert therapist or psychologist, you can navigate these feelings with grace and resilience. Remember, it's okay to seek help, and it's okay to prioritize your mental well-being. Embrace the journey, and with each step, you'll find more moments of calm amidst the chaos.
If you are in need of additional support to manage anxiety, stress, worry, or full blown panic attacks, contact us at 954-391-5305 to discuss how we can help. We have offices in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, and Plantation, Florida. We also offer online counseling for those who reside in the state of Florida through our secure telehealth platform. We look forward to speaking with you!