Think about the last time you had anxiety about something. Did it help the situation or hurt the situation? I would assume that it didn’t help the situation, but only made it worse. Then afterwards, you were probably either thinking, “what just happened to me” or you were thinking, “that wasn’t so bad, why was I even anxious.”
The answer to this self reflecting question is that anxiety is something we all face and we must start to develop tactics and strategies for overcoming it – or it wil always beat us.
I think of anxiety as our personal worst enemy. We seem to always be fighting it. It is like we are in this constant battle and we just can’t win. We try everything and still we loose. We think, “Does anyone know how to beat this stupid thing?”
I grew up very anxious about everything; school, girls, homework, competition, and all the other things in life we’re anxious about. The anxiety never goes away, some of us just learn how to control it. Learning to overcome anxiety is a choice that we have to make everyday.
Do you suffer from anxiety? Are you anxious about something? I know that I suffer with this terrible thing called anxiety. Some people suffer from anxiety worse than others. However, we all face anxiety which means we are not in this alone. Whew!
Here is how I like to look at anxiety. Anxiety is a state of the mind, we can either work to control it or it will control us. Think of something you are anxious about; maybe you are getting married, maybe you have tons of school work, or maybe you have a huge speech to give in an hour. Whatever the anxiety is, you have a choice to control it or it will seriously control you.
I believe we can begin to simplify our anxiety and begin to better control it. We can even beat it. What we need to do is break it down into three steps. Once we break it down into three steps, it starts to seem less intimidating. We can then learn to beat it. If we try and beat anxiety alone in one step we will probably never win.
1. Step one: The pre anxiety. You are over thinking, over analyzing, and avoiding the thing you are anxious about. You got yourself all worked up over nothing. You could have easily overcome this if you; paused, visualized the situation, meditated on it, took a deep breath, and created a plan in your head, that you could be confident about.
2. Step two: The anxiety fall. You got yourself all worked up to only find that you actually hurt yourself and the situation. This is what I call the fall. You failed and you did this to yourself. It is not your teachers fault for giving you to much homework, it is not because you are busy, it is because you avoided, you thought to hard, and you beat yourself up in step one. If you took the time to complete step one successfully, step two would have come easy. In fact step two would have come as a huge success, greater than you thought or imagined. Are you seeing how this works? You can’t set yourself up to fail in step one.
3. Step three. The post anxiety. Post anxiety is after the fall. So you failed because you didn’t pause, you didn’t visualize, and you didn’t mediate or take a deep breath. So you are now standing there after a huge failure wondering what happened. You start to reflect on what happened and you think, “this always happens to me.” You want the truth? It will continue to happen until you can start successfully completing each step.
Anxiety is something we all face and everyone has their owns ways of overcoming it. Anxiety is not going away, as a matter a fact it is getting worse. Statistics show that because of our fast paced society and culture in which we live, anxiety levels are increasing. Anxiety is a mind game that we all can win. We just have to be willing to put the time in.
This is just the way I like to look at it. There is no right or wrong way to overcome anxiety. However, if we complicate it, it just makes the anxiety worse. Most people are looking for something simple. I like to make things simple.
The next time you have anxiety about something, remember the three steps that we outlined and be sure to keep things simple. You can beat it, it’s a state of the mind.
Step One: Pre Anxiety.
Step Two: The Fall.
Step Three: Post Anxiety.
Discussion Question: How do you overcome your anxiety? What tactics and strategies are you using? What works? What doesn’t work? We would love to hear from you.