Do you suffer from anxiety? Anxiety is a natural part of life. It can be useful from time to time, alerting you to danger or providing the energy needed to accomplish tasks. However, when anxiety becomes overwhelming or persistent, it can negatively impact our mental and physical well-being.
Have you ever wondered why you experience so much anxiety? Do you believe that worrying helps you stay safe? But is that truly the case?
In this post, I’ll explore common causes of anxiety and share practical tips to help you manage it more effectively, leading to greater peace of mind.
🤔 Trying to Control the Uncontrollable
Do you attempt to control things beyond your control? For example, when your flight encounters turbulence, you might push the floor as hard as possible, tighten your stomach muscles, and experience anxiety. But can you stabilize the bumpy airplane as a passenger? Absolutely not!
When you try to control things beyond your control, your anxiety intensifies. Michael A. Singer, in his book “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself,” suggests accepting that you can’t have total control as a solution.
➡ Accept the Uncontrollable: Embracing Uncertainty
Learn to relax and let things unfold without trying to exert complete control over situations beyond your control. Simply let them be.
🧐 Jumping to Conclusions Without Definite Facts
Do you make assumptions without concrete evidence? Imagine having a stomach ache and visiting a doctor, who orders a CT scan. A few days later, you miss a call from your doctor’s office. Upon seeing the missed call, you immediately assume you have stomach cancer and are going to die. Your anxiety skyrockets! What should you do instead?
Dr. David D. Burns addresses this cognitive distortion in his book “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.”
➡ Challenge Your Thoughts: Debunking Assumptions
Before leaping to conclusions, ask yourself whether you have concrete facts to back up your assumptions.
🕰️ Struggling with Anticipation and Failing to Enjoy the Present
Suppose it’s the last day of your two-week vacation. Even though you still have the entire day, you’re already anxious about the workload awaiting your return. Your mind isn’t in the present but focused on the future.
Anxiety captures your attention and transports it into the future, preventing you from enjoying the present moment.
➡ Live in the Now: Cultivating Presence
Practice keeping your mind in the present as much as possible.
🧘 What Is Mindfulness?
One method for training your mind to remain in the present is mindfulness practice. You may have frequently heard the term “mindfulness” without fully understanding its meaning.
Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, defines mindfulness as
“awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
Both meditation and everyday mindfulness practice share the same goal: focusing your attention on the present moment.
➡ Build a Mindful Life: Meditation and Everyday Practices
You can begin practicing meditation with free apps like InsightTimer. Additionally, integrate mindfulness into everyday activities such as showering, walking, or eating. When you notice your mind wandering, gently redirect your attention to the present.
💡 The Consequences of Living in the Future or Past
The essence of mindfulness is being present. A mind that wanders to the future experiences anxiety, while a mind that drifts to the past feels regret.
➡ Alleviate Anxiety and Regret through Mindfulness
By keeping your mind in the present as much as possible, you can alleviate anxiety and regret. Remember, all you have is this present moment.
🎯 Take Action Now: Strategies for Overcoming Anxiety
➡ Let go of control: Recognize when you’re trying to control things you can’t and learn to go with the flow.
➡ Question your assumptions: Before jumping to conclusions, ask yourself if you have concrete facts that support your beliefs.
➡ Stay present: Train your mind to stay in the present moment and enjoy what you have now.
➡ Practice mindfulness: Incorporate meditation and daily mindfulness practices into your routine, focusing on the present moment.
By understanding the roots of anxiety and implementing these practical tips, you can better manage your anxiety and improve your overall well-being.
Remember to be patient with yourself as you work on developing these skills, as change takes time and consistent practice.