Worry is the cornerstone of an anxiety disorder. If you’re like me you worry about things more than they deserve to be worried about and after spending way too much time cycling between feeling crazy and being utterly amazed at how powerful the mind is and how often thoughts and feelings can be bizarrely inaccurate, you eventually start finding ways of conditioning to overcome irrational worry that is often triggered by anxiety.
Opening the door to an anxious mind without hiding anything can make a person seem like a lunatic, but because worry and fear have the power to dramatically reduce the quality of a person’s life and their ability to be present and enjoy when life is good, helping someone feel that they’re not alone and know that there are ways to defend against constant worry is crucial.
It is a trait of my personality and who I am to worry about the people I love regularly, but even more so when I’m anxious. I worry so much that I will occasionally end up convincing myself that something terrible has either happened or is going to happen. I know this is ridiculous, but it is a static reality in my life.
Being betrayed by a friend or cheated on by a significant other in the past can lead to fear that it will happen again. This worry is normal to an extent but if it becomes constant you may end up convinced that a good relationship is actually a bad one or you could inadvertently damage the relationship to your own detriment.
Everyone knows that successful relationships require work in order for them to function properly, even under the conditions of knowing that loss and betrayal are always possible, but this is how trust is developed. Trust is sort of a paradox in that you can never fully trust anyone other than yourself because you can never fully know anyone other than yourself or gain access to a mind that isn’t your own. This is why that underlying fear, especially for people who have been betrayed in the past lurks without ever allowing any peace. What needs to be understood here is that the past isn’t always an indication of the future.
I worry about the world. I have a hard time keeping up with current news because most of the time what’s being reported is bad. I find anything from illness and natural disasters to international disputes and power hungry politicians making poor decisions that affect citizens who deserve better deeply disturbing, and I end up losing sleep over things that are out of my control and wishing I could do something about it. It isn’t any wonder that the world we live in is full of people who are just waiting for the sky to fall and wouldn’t be surprised if it did.
When things seem out of control it’s tempting to assume obsessive amounts of power over everything you can. In my case this would be the cleanliness and organization of my living and work space. I also take complete control of my health and wellness through my diet because knowing that nobody else gets to decide what I put in my body to nourish it or have authority over how I clean and organize my living space gives me a slight sense of control. Even though these are minimal areas of life, they are areas that nobody else can touch. If nothing else it distracts me from all of the other chaos.
Sometimes my worry becomes so excessive that it induces a panic attack and all I want to do is crawl into bed and stay there. If you are reaching that point, try to engage as follows:
One of the best ways to understand and learn from anxiety is to write about it. Make a list of things you are currently worried about and why, and then review that list days weeks or months later and you will realize that for the most part there was no reason to be worried. I do this with a day planner and looking back through my calendar over periods of time I’m always astounded at how stupid it was to be worried about the things I was worried about and how everything always turned out to be perfectly fine even if it didn’t turn out the way I wanted. The more often you do this the more time you will notice has been wasted in self-inflicted misery stressing about things and missing out on the enjoyment of life. You will start to get fed up and that in turn helps you become more aware of your behavior and more logical in your thoughts.
Surround yourself with people who love and accept you entirely the way that you are. Anxiety has a way of making you think that you want to be alone, but that just allows more time for your mind to race. It helps to be surrounded by people who can make you forget about the way you feel, relax and enjoy the company of others.
Having even the slightest vitamin deficiency or being mildly malnourished can be a huge contributor to anxiety and hormone imbalance. These are a few of the dietary supplements I have found to help control anxiety on a cellular level:
Amino acids – After being encouraged by a naturopathic doctor to start taking l-tyrosine and 5-htp to help stabilize my mood I learned that stacking them is the most effective way to restore depleted serotonin and regulate dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine levels. Deficiencies can lead to anxiety and depression but replenishing will give you the exact opposite effect.
Magnesium – this calming mineral can regulate your nervous system and help you cope with stress to prevent anxiety and restlessness.
Evening primrose oil – the main benefit of primrose oil is that it balances your hormones. This is particularly important for women with severe pms that tends to bring on anxiety and depression once a month, but guys can take it as well for its anti-inflammatory properties, ability to lower blood pressure, increase fertility and improve skin health.
If self-help remedies aren’t cutting it professional help is always an option. If your anxiety or depression is wreaking so much havoc on your life and relationships that you aren’t able to function, it might be time to consider medication or therapy as they have successfully pulled people out of some pretty dark places. Sometimes those measures need to be taken.
Everyone has the right to feel calm and collected, some of us just need extra help getting there. I think we can all agree that anxiety has no place in this world and that it needs to go. If you have any tips on how you manage your anxiety, feel free to share them below.