I have started to become a firm believer in the great Philosopher Murphy. I will suppress the beautiful four-letter words that this philosopher used explicitly and say, "If it can happen, it will happen." Now I know this isn't the most positive way to start a blog. I could spend this time writing about the power of affirmation and how they defeat automatic negative thoughts. This is true, but this is a blog talking about anxiety. Who do you know that has a positive spin on anxiety? By the end of this writing, I actually will give a few positive attributes to anxiety, but first things first.
Anxious is the New Normal
Over the last couple of years, our society has become accustomed to a different baseline of general anxiety. We all have anxiety now and then, probably just not to the level that we reach and ask for help or take medication other than alcohol to unwind at the end of the day. What I have seen over the last two years, give or take a year, is an uptake in near chronic anxiety levels. COVID shut down the world, and we lost a lot of people that we were close to. Just as COVID started to drift away from the headlines, the world is now struggling with graphic images of war. Many of us have anxiety just getting in the car, waiting to hear the low gas ding on our dashboard. I hope that isn't just me.
What Does Your Anxiety Look Like?
Take a moment and think about the last time you got scared, pulse rate went up, breathing shallow, had difficulty going to sleep, lost appetite, avoided things you used to enjoy because it was just too much. I'm guessing this doesn't take long for many of you to come up with an example. So what do we do in a world where anxiety is the norm.
What You Can Do
First, take a moment, breathe, and allow for a bit of grace. We are all doing the best we can do with our tools. Second, if those tools do not qualify for the quality of life you want, it's time to figure out what else you can do. Typical devices that help with anxiety would be practicing breathing, exercise, meditation, yoga, taking your dog for a walk, etc. There are apps on your phone that cover all of these options. If you say, you don't have time for such things. Remember, you have time to be anxious you probably have time to practice deep breathing for a couple of minutes.
Secondly, remember what you are and what you take in. If you are glued to the Tv all day and evening watching the news, are you setting yourself up for calm or panic? I am not saying to be informed; I am saying moderation. Caffeine and alcohol as well. The positive spin on anxiety is that it is there to tell you to be aware, wake you up, and move you into action when necessary.
At Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, TX, we are prepared to help you learn the tools necessary to help teach you the tools required to move from anxiety to a better quality of life. Please let us know how we can help.
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