Beating anxiety

EVERYONE gets anxious sometimes. We worry about the future, the kids, that knocking sound in the car, the state of the world.

In a healthy state, we distinguish between what we can control, and what we cannot.

It’s when we lose hope or trust in the bigger picture, and develop a gloomy view of the future, that anxiety takes us over.

The gloominess is compounded by a feeling of powerlessness—the sense that there’s nothing we can do about the direction the world is going in.

Another possible source of anxiety is about ourselves.

We may feel that life is passing us by, and we can’t see any way of attaining all those things we hope for—in our career, or personal lives.

And sometimes anxiety is just free-floating—there’s no specific cause, but just an on-going nervousness that occasionally turns to panic.

Whether anxiety has an identifiable cause or not, it mostly stems from a belief that has grown in the subconscious mind—that ‘the world is not a safe place, and I do not feel supported here’.

This belief most likely developed in childhood, as a result of trauma or neglect or unreasonable expectations.

It gets reinforced by the media, and its reporting of all things negative.

Obviously, we need to take practical steps to keep ourselves safe.

It’s the irrational anxieties we want to overcome.

Start by identifying the core belief that creates these anxieties.

When fear arises, firstly lie down and let yourself relax.

Ask yourself ‘what are the thoughts creating this feeling?’

Then make a decision to give them up—and replace them with something more positive and realistic.

Affirm to yourself that you’re in a safe place, and you’re supported in many ways.

Recognise your own sense of power and control, and that right now your needs are being met.  While it may not always give you what you want, it always takes care of your needs.

by FRANK VILAASA

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