Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How Can I Deal With Anxiety?

How Can I Deal With Anxiety?

 What makes you anxious?

Do the following statements describe how you feel at times?
“I’m constantly thinking: ‘What if . . . ?’ ‘What if we get in a car accident?’ ‘What if our plane goes down?’ I’m anxious about things that a more rational person wouldn’t worry so much about.”—Charles.
“I feel anxious all the time, as though I were a hamster on a wheel running around but never getting anywhere. I’m working myself to death but not really accomplishing anything!”—Anna.
“When people tell me that I’m fortunate that I’m still in school, I say to myself, ‘They have no idea how stressful school is!’”—Daniel.
“I’m like a pressure cooker. I’m always worried about the next thing that will happen or the next thing I need to do.”—Laura.
Fact of life: We live in what the Bible calls “critical times hard to deal with.” (2 Timothy 3:1) Because of that, anxiety can affect young people as much as it affects adults.

 Is anxiety always bad?

The answer is no. In fact it is right for people to be anxious to please the ones they love.
Also, let’s face it—anxiety can be a powerful motivator. For example, suppose you will be taking a test at school next week. Anxiety might compel you to study this week—and that might help you get a better grade!
A degree of anxiety can also alert you to danger. “You might feel anxious because you know that you’re taking a wrong course of action and that you need to make changes for your conscience to be at rest,” says a teenager named Serena.
Fact of life: Anxiety can work for you—as long as it moves you to the right kind of action.
But what if anxiety traps you in a maze of negative thinking?
A man helps a teenage boy find his way out of a maze
Anxiety might make you feel as if you were trapped in a maze, but someone with a different perspective can help you find a way out
Example: “My mind races when I think about the different ways a stressful situation could turn out,” says 19-year-old Richard. “I play the situation over and over in my mind to the point that it makes me very anxious.”
The Bible says that “a calm heart gives life to the body.” (Proverbs 14:30) On the other hand, anxiety can bring on a number of unpleasant physical symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, and heart palpitations.
What can you do if anxiety seems to be working against you rather than for you?

 What you can do

  • Question the reasonableness of your anxiety. “Being concerned about your responsibilities is one thing; being overly anxious is another. It reminds me of the saying, Anxiety is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”—Katherine.

    What this means: Unless anxiety leads you toward a solution, it will only add to your problem—or become your problem.
  • Take things one day at a time. “Think it through. Will what you are anxious about matter tomorrow? in a month? in a year? in five years?”—Anthony.

    What this means: It makes little sense to take on tomorrow’s problems—some of which may never even become a reality.
  • Learn to live with what you cannot change. “The best you can do is prepare for situations to the extent possible, but accept the fact that some situations are out of your control.”—Robert.

    What this means: Sometimes you cannot change your circumstances, but you can change the way you view them.
  • Put your situation in perspective. “I find that I have to focus on the big picture and not stress over the details. I have to choose my battles and channel my energy into taking care of priorities.”—Alexis.

    What this means: People who put their anxieties in perspective are less likely to be overwhelmed by them.
  • Talk to someone. “When I was in the sixth grade, I would come home from school very anxious, dreading the next day. My mother and father would just listen to me as I expressed myself. It was so good to have them there. I could trust them and speak freely to them. It helped me to face the next day.”—Marilyn.

    What this means: A parent or a friend might be able to give you practical suggestions on how to reduce your anxiety.

  • When Anxiety Is Severe

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