Updated: Nov 5, 2020
"Imagine if you had a friend who constantly pointed out everything that was wrong with you and your life. You'd probably want to get rid of them right away" - Olivia Remes
We have all experienced those people that are condescending and critical, and we often don't want to be around them. But people with anxiety often do this to themselves so frequently that they don’t even realise it anymore. They’re just not kind to themselves. Kindness is key to others and ourselves.
Anxiety can present as fear, restlessness, an inability to focus at work or school, finding it hard to fall or stay asleep at night, or getting easily irritated. In social situations, it can make it hard to talk to others; you might feel like you’re constantly being judged, or have symptoms such as stuttering, sweating, blushing or an upset stomach.
It can appear out of the blue as a panic attack, when sudden spikes of anxiety make you feel like you’re about to have a heart attack, go mad or lose control. Or it can be present all the time, as in generalised anxiety disorder, when diffuse and pervasive worry consumes you and you look to the future with dread.
Most people experience it at some point, but if anxiety starts interfering with your life, sleep, ability to form relationships, or productivity at work or school, you might have an anxiety disorder. Research shows that if it’s left untreated, anxiety can lead to depression, early death and suicide. And while it can indeed lead to such serious health consequences, the medication that is prescribed to treat anxiety doesn’t often work in the long-term. Symptoms often return and you’re back where you started.
Action Steps to Overcome
Often medication is subscribed to overcome anxiety, however this doesn't deal with the issue, It just makes you feel numb. So the idea is to get to the core root to be able to make the change.
The way you cope or handle things in life has a direct impact on how much anxiety you experience – tweak the way you’re coping, therefore, and you can lower your anxiety levels. Here are some of the top coping skills that have emerged from our study at the University of Cambridge, which will be presented at the 30th European Congress of Neuropsychopharmacology in Paris, and other scientific research
1) Wait to worry
Create space so time can heal, the further away we are to the problem then the more time we have to gain a new perspective and realise it is not apart of us and we are separate from it, this helps to gain control, stop the mind from racing and feeling overwhelmed.
"Wait to Worry" is a effective strategy, If something went wrong and you feel compelled to worry (because you think you screwed up), don’t do this immediately. Instead, postpone your worry – set aside 10 minutes each day during which you can worry about anything. If you do this, you’ll find that you won’t perceive the situation which triggered the initial anxiety to be as bothersome or worrisome when you come back to it later. And our thoughts actually decay very quickly if we don’t feed them with energy.
2) Do it badly
This may sound strange, but the writer and poet GK Chesterton said that: “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” And he had a point. The reason this works so well is that it speeds up your decision-making process and catapults you straight into action. Otherwise, you could spend hours deciding how you should do something or what you should do, which can be very time-consuming and stressful.
People often want to do something “perfectly” or to wait for the “perfect time” before starting. But this can lead to procrastination, long delays or even prevent us from doing it at all. And that causes stress – and anxiety.
Instead, why not just start by “doing it badly” and without worrying about how it’s going to turn out. This will not only make it much easier to begin, but you’ll also find that you’re completing tasks much more quickly than before. More often than not, you’ll also discover that you’re not doing it that badly after all – even if you are, you can always fine tune it later.
Using “do it badly” as a motto gives you the courage to try new things, adds a little fun to everything, and stops you worrying too much about the outcome. It’s about doing it badly today and improving as you go. Ultimately, it’s about liberation.
Taking actions steps is important, it's the only way we get things done, however we are often held back by looking and worrying about the future, rather then taking each step as it comes and living in the present. This makes us freeze and feel paralysed. So stop looking for perfection, nothing in life is 'perfect', there is more beauty in the untamed.