Anxiety - Challenge and beat it
“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all our other thoughts are drained.” – Archbishop Arthur Somers Roche.
For sufferers of anxiety there is that sense that the fear is always there, and if not happening now, it is ready to pounce. While a diagnosis of anxiety might bring relief, it can bring many questions: why me? what will others think? and so forth. It is this process that steals our normal thought process away. We can usually only see the negative side of the scales or at least it is our “go to “ thought. Yet there is relief for anxiety suffers and many each year go on to beat its clutches.
One thing that prevents sufferers of anxiety seeking out treatment is embarrassment or even shame. Many will feel that they should be able to overcome their anxiety, and that somehow their concerns are not serious or valid. Sufferers begin to think of themselves as stupid or silly and this can make the anxiety have an even tighter grip as they believe that there is no hope.
Perhaps the key with the treatment of anxiety is putting yourself first and at the centre of your world. It is easy to compare yourself to others, perhaps on appearance or career choices even money, but these comparisons only look at one aspect of a person and rarely take into account the complex sequence of events that surround them. You will tend to only focus on what you don’t have.
Perhaps a different way to think about it is that you are different -not better or worse. Just as you like raspberry ice cream and I like chocolate that doesn’t make you better or worse - it makes you different. Celebrate those differences and allow yourself to make the right choices for you, thus if you don’t want to go on a work night out, its OK to say no, because you are different and choosing the right thing for you.
Focusing on yourself and taking time to be yourself allows you to be clearer about your opinions and work towards what you want from life. But it all starts with challenging the negative thoughts that put you down. By starting to surround yourself with an environment that nurtures you, it is possible for you to beat the anxiety.
Many people find that just talking calmly through their fears with someone who can help them to challenge any unreasonable or unrealistic thoughts enables them to replace them with more realistic alternatives. This could be family or a friend although many find that a professional such as a counsellor is an easier option as it removes a layer of anxiety around how you express yourself.
So why not try a small step and see if you can make a difference. Perhaps it could be something simple like telling a trusted friend how you feel or writing down some of the difficult feelings in a journal, start to challenge that anxiety.