No matter how much anxiety you suffer from, life still continues. However, you need to know the easiest ways to control your anxiety so that you can continue to live your life and prosper. Remember that there are many people who suffer from anxiety and still live normal lives. They have their own families, they go to work, have children and friends. They go on vacations and look very much like everybody else. The only difference in people having anxiety is that, they may suddenly become anxious or be hit by a panic attack any time. The attack can come in the form of a mild discomfort or a complete debilitation.
There are some individuals who can hide their own attacks in such a way that no one around them is aware. For some unfortunate few, their anxiety is extremely overwhelming, to the extent that it takes control of their lives and their lifestyle. Their anxiety controls their behavior completely.
Well, under whichever category your anxiety may fall, I want to assure you that it is possible for you to function while at the same time experiencing your anxiety. In this post, Easy Ways to Control Anxiety, I will discuss about the fear scale and other ways to combat anxiety If your fear scale is 8 or above, you will find out that it is very difficult for you to focus on any other thing but your anxiety. For somebody in that category, it is crucial that you try different methods to lower your fear level to a seven(7) or even below, before you try some of the tactics discussed in this blog post. You can use breathing techniques, medication, meditation or exercise to manage your anxiety. by medication. The most important thing you must be pro-active and strive towards reducing the level of your fear.
The Fear Scale
This is what I advise you do: keep a journal where you will record everyday what you think the level of your anxiety should be. Use the following codes:
0 = I absolutely have no fear. I am absolutely relaxed.
10 = The worst fear I have ever had. I am completely in panic.
4 to 8 = This indicates a zone of discomfort of high level of anxiety that many people can still manage to function through. If you are in this zone, it is very important for you to voluntarily work in that zone so as to recover your life from your anxiety danger. What I am saying is that you must control anxiety, instead of anxiety controlling you. Also know that you are altering the faulty wiring in your brain when you do not respond to a false sounding alarm. You are training your body the way it should respond (changing your physical symptoms) to your anxiety. Initially, you may find this very difficult, but with time, you will eventually notice that the less credit your anxiety gets from you, the less impact you will receive from it.
Your reaction to anxiety is a big part of it. When anxiety is triggered in your body, you will experience physical symptoms. When the anxiety monster takes the second bite, your fear of those symptoms is created. The lower the fear you have of those symptoms, the lower the control anxiety has over you. It is only through active practice you will desensitize your nervous system.
How to Function with High Levels of Anxiety
Many people who experience a high anxiety level (from 8 and above) find out it is very hard to concentrate on any other thing but their anxiety. Then it becomes very hard to use any of their calming techniques. That explains why it is crucial to practice and practice! However, it is not when you are in critical mode that you should practice; it is during the time of a mild or moderate anxiety. During a time like this, you will be able to control your anxiety with the breathing techniques, meditation or whatever method you have discovered that works best for you.
If everything else fails, then remember this, though it is unpleasant, it is not dangerous. Let me repeat this: if you are experiencing a level of 8 or above of anxiety, this is unpleasant, but not dangerous! This you must remember above everything else. Your feelings at such a high level of anxiety are so overwhelming that you find it very easy to respond to the false alarm that your body is sounding by arriving at the conclusion that real danger is very close to you. Just look around you and ask yourself if any other person is panicking. No? Then there is nothing wrong! You are just experiencing a false alarm because a few chemicals have come out of place in your brain (it has been sensitized).
Always Take A Break
I strongly challenge you to face your anxiety monster head on. However, it is very unlikely you will win the war in just one battle. You will need to try a couple of weeks, or even a couple of months, before you start feeling that you are winning the war against your anxiety monster. This explains why before you even start the battle you must have a certain time to take a break. Running away from your anxiety monster will never work. Although you may feel better, the monster surely knows it defeated you. In this approach, you are just training yourself to run away every time you come face to face with the monster.
Taking a break is different. A break is just a time out you have made with yourself in advance. You have decided to take a break and then return to the situation to manage it better in the near future. If you do take a break, ensure that you return to the fight soonest. If you wait for too long you will find it hard to return.
Use Imagery to Control the Monster
Another way to fight anxiety monster is the use of imagery on your own terms. Try to imagine or visualize the situation or place that gives you anxiety. At the moment the monster appears, start working on reducing your anxiety. Make sure your eyes remain closed when you are using imagery. Taking a break or time out is the opening of your eyes. This exercise is completely under your control. Combat the monster and try to feel the levels of your anxiety lowering. If it happens to be too much for you, just open your eyes. You are in control and safe. Before commencing an exercise like this, ensure you know precisely what to do to combat the monster, recognize your out and be assured that you are completely in control.
This will take practice once again. Just don’t give up and I promise you will get results. Once you are able to control the monster by using imagery, then it is time for you to step it up the fight! For instance, if you have trouble driving a car, just try to imagine driving while sitting in a comfortable chair at home and fight your anxiety on your own terms. Immediately you have developed a complete control over your anxiety while you are at home, it is now time to move to the next step. Go to your driveway, sit down in your car seat and start the exercise all over again. Just sit back and relax. Try to feel the anxiety as it is coming on, once the level of your anxiety hits is 4 or above, begin to decrease it. After mastering this sitting and relaxing in your car, then take a short slow drive around in your own neighborhood. Alternatively, you can look for an empty parking lot and then repeat the whole process all over again. From that point, look for another place where you can drive a little faster. Step this up again and continue until you are able to drive on any freeway and your anxiety is completely under your control!