How To Cope With Anxiety

“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”
- Arthur Somers Roche

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. I would go as far as saying that fear is up there with both love and hate. Even though one can argue, and many have, that fear is more an instinct than a cognitive emotion. While this whole area of psychology it still being debated and research, the simple way to put it is that even without the power of reason, you can still feel fear. However, I believe that fear has become a lot more than the protective mechanism to make us reach when there is perceived danged.

We are going through one of the most complex times in recent history. War is going on in the middle east, but it was also brought to our shores. There is an economic downturn and people are losing their jobs. Our economic system is in shambles right now and even though I am optimistic, there is still fear all around.

An anxiety attack is something that I never heard about when I was younger. Now it is part of our culture and often discussed in movies and TV as the alternative to one of the stars of the show having too much stress when they present heart attack like symptoms. The real question is, how do you deal with it? How do you deal with that build up of worry that eventually turns into an uncontrollable river?

Determine what you have control over and then do something about it. If your budget has been cut down because you do not have a freelance job on the side anymore, then adjust accordingly. If a bank is going to foreclose on your house, do not ignore the letters, call them and try to work something out. If you are afraid that you might lose your job in the current months, get as much out of your insurance as possible now, get your teeth cleaned, new prescription glasses, get into the 3 months subscription mail plan if you take medicines regularly.

When fear strike quickly find out if it is real, and if it is truly going to affect you and deal with it. Come out with a plan of action. If the fear is not real, then learn to not worry about it. Dealing with actual situations instead of worrying things that “could” or “might” happen is a lot more productive.

Last but not least, in this difficult times, appreciate and thank your family and friends. They are the people that will help you determine if a fear is real or not. Talk to others, ask for advice. Even if people worry more than you do, it is good to see someone else be irrational about something, that can help you get a grip on your situation. Dialogue is powerful when it comes to fear, because once it is out there it does not have the same effect. Do not let fear rule your life, quit watching TV if you have to.

4 Responses to How To Cope With Anxiety

  1. I consider myself a strong person. However, anxiety is somthing I am learning to deal with that I never thought I’d have a problem with. I still have a lot of anxiety issues from my last relationship, where I lived in fear of arguments from her insecurities. I was scared to talk to people and I never felt I was good enough. Even now, direct calls to my desk from outside lines get my heartrate up higher than I’d like, because that is how she normally called me and very few others do. I’ve even found it difficult to be open and comfortable dating now in the aftermath. It’s a fear that I am not used to having and that I didn’t know I had until I wasn’t in the situation anymore. And now it simply haunts me on a daily basis. Fortunately, my friends and family are coming back into my life and they support me. I just have a lot of things to work thru in my head again before I feel like myself. It’s sad that I tolerated everything that I did. I suppose I am a victim of emotional abuse. But at least I am opening up now instead of holding that fear inside. I just have to face my pain and learn to trust again. At least I came away knowing what not to do, so now I can do it better.

  2. I know some people that have had anxiety attacks. They have described it as a pretty bad situation, but didn’t play it off as being the result of a mass of even half-rational fears. I fully accept fear as a proper emotional response to a variety of situations, reasonably-predictable and often entirely appropriate. I’m not so sure that what I’ve had described to me as “anxiety attacks” were caused by fear at all; they just had symptoms we commonly associate with fear.

  3. I’m pretty stressed out right now, but at the same time, I know that freaking out isn’t going to do anything to help the situation, I just have to get up and do something about it, instead of sticking my head in the sand and hoping it rights itself.

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