When dealing with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is normal to feel a bit nervous and under some pressure to perform your best or overcome any ordeals that life may have thrown at you. A little bit of anxiousness is quite normal and healthy because it shows that you care about what's going on in your life, accomplishing goals, exceeding expectations, and aiming for some level of perfection in your work. But when those anxious feelings have somehow manifested into full blown anxiety attacks preventing you from being productive, and also making it difficult to accomplish even the smallest of your daily tasks, it's definitely time to confront the issue. Anxiety isn't something you can absolutely eliminate, but you can diminish its presence by developing coping mechanisms:
- Fake it, till you make it! Whether you're freaking out about diving into a new social atmosphere, going on a first date, or trying to impress a potential employer during an interview, pretending to be confident and embodying a whole new persona can actually be your best bet. Think about someone who radiates confidence and seems to own everything they do; that's who you're going to transform into for the time being. Look, I'm not saying to pretend to be Beyonce and forget about being yourself. It's more like channel your inner diva/divo and exude that energy. Before you know it, you won't even have to fake it, it'll just come naturally.
- Take care of your physical well being. That includes eating well-balanced meals, getting enough sleep (about 8-9 hours is typically recommended for adults), exercising daily to maintain your physical health, and drinking plenty of water. Avoid or limit your alcohol and caffeine intake; when you are under high levels of stress, they can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
- Take a time out! Whatever it is that is triggering so much stress and tension in your life needs to be put to the side, in order for you to regain your sanity. You can easily loose yourself amid all of your ordeals, drama, and dilemmas, but it's important in the midst of everything that you take a step back and gain perspective. Think, will this issue matter as much or have a grand impact on yourself next week, next month, or even next year? Don't allow your emotions to get in the way of your reasoning. Set a schedule and trust that it will somehow workout in the end for the better; learn to let go what you cannot control.
- Meditate or pray. Consciously refocusing on something peaceful will reduce your anxiety and fear immensely. When anxious thoughts start to hit, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and repeat a positive mantra to yourself or pray. You can also play zen like music in the background to help you focus and cancel out any background noise. Try to focus entirely for a few minutes, and eventually your anxiety will evaporate on its own.
- Focus on both the positive and the negative. When you are anxious about something, it's really easy to only focus on the negative aspects of it. As with any fear-filled situation, there must be a positive part that you can focus on to maintain a balance; take the good with the bad. Don’t focus on a single negative event while completely ignoring other related positives ones at the same time.
When you grasp these concepts, you will immediately feel less stressed and find that your worry list has shrunken as well. If you find yourself feeling hopeless, desperate, and in need of some consenting words, do not be intimidated to seek professional help through a counselor or therapist. Having someone with experience in mental disorders listen to your issues and give you nonjudgmental guidance can be very helpful and bring a sense of relief.
At the end of the day, it's you who has to choose to overcome your anxiety and be proactive through emotional responsibility.