Most people will experience some anxiety from time to time to a certain degree. It’s a part of life that can rear its ugly head during high-stress situations. In cases like this, anxiety acts as a survival instinct to help keep us safe. However, for 1 in 3 Americans, it’s a challenging and seemingly inescapable part of our daily existence, and that’s when it’s often considered an anxiety disorder. Managing anxiety can be difficult to do, though learning to be gentle with yourself, identifying your triggers, as well as personalized coping techniques can instill confidence and aid you on your healing journey.
Symptoms Of Anxiety
- uncontrollable worry
- muscle tension
- a fast heartbeat
- difficulty sleeping or insomnia
- difficulty concentrating
- physical discomfort
- feeling on edge
Try to be patient with yourself
Having anxiety can be unbearable and frustrating and confusing and inconvenient and about a million other unpleasant adjectives. But, it’s crucial to learn to be patient with yourself and understand that it is not your fault and that you aren’t doing anything wrong.
I know this is easier said than done, especially when others’ opinions can weigh heavily on an already overly critical mind.
However, once you learn how to be gentle with yourself, it can become easier to ignore that commentary — as well as your self-criticizing thoughts — manage your anxiety, and even find the courage to ask for help if you want or need it.
If you’d like to practice self-compassion but are unsure of where to begin, I highly suggest:
Setting healthy boundaries
This can be challenging, especially when you want to set boundaries with people you love. However, saying no to things you don’t want to do, letting go of people — and things — that are no longer serving you, creating more time for yourself, and anything else you may feel that you need is incredibly freeing. Setting healthy boundaries like this can lead to greater feelings of self-respect and self-love
Paying attention to your internal dialogues
While it can be easy to discern when someone else is talking down to you, it isn’t always as apparent when you’re doing the same thing to yourself — particularly when you’ve made a habit of it. Putting in the effort to actively change the way you speak to yourself can not only improve your overall wellbeing but actually change the way your brain works, too.
Slow down and take one task at a time. When you begin to feel overwhelmed or easily distracted, take a short break. Remember that being productive looks different for everyone, and downtime is necessary.