Anxiety: When does it get bad, and how to manage it?
No one likes to feel anxious. But not all anxiety is bad. Sometimes it is a knock on the door. A sign within us that something in our life needs to be changed. In such a case it could actually be a blessing, some sort of calling. That time listening to what our anxiety is trying to tell us becomes important. It can actually lead to more growth and wisdom and having an empathic counselor can help us figure it out.
Anxiety only becomes a disorder or a Mental illness when it interferes with our day-to-day functioning, our relationships, our jobs, and other areas of our life. When it interrupts our sleep, our concentration, our motivation, our ability to relax, think properly, set goals, etc.
It could be genetic, acquired, or even situational.
Besides of course getting the right help at the right time either through medications or therapy or both, here are some self-help strategies you can try to help manage your day-to-day anxiety.
1: Acknowledge that you were anxious. That sometimes helps us stay grounded and is the first step to managing our day-to-day anxiety.
2: Try to do a small pep talk with yourself as to what you are anxious about? What worries you the most? Are your worries irrational, or are you worried about some disturbing life event, the health of your child, finances, job, relationships, etc?
3:Try to put a little perfume or a nice-smelling hand lotion on your hand and smell it.
4: Chew gum and pay attention to its taste and texture.
5: Write all your worries on a piece of paper, crumble it and throw it away.
6:Listen to music or go for a walk in your neighborhood or a park and pay attention to the sounds you hear, the surrounding greenery, children playing, or just observing what other people are doing.
7: Rub your hands against each other or try to gently massage your face.
8: Use the power of your imagination. Close your eyes and imagine that you’re on this planet earth. Now compare its size to the universe, and see how small both you and the worries in your mind will feel against the vast universe. Basically, it will help you see the bigger picture.
(Dr. Najmun Riyaz, MD)