How often have we come across people saying “I am having an anxiety attack!” or “I have too much going on and I don’t know how to deal with it!” Anxiety and Depression have become common words today, the former being the initial steps towards depression. Anxiety and Depression are words that are being used loosely by many, but few understand the magnitude of this that when left unattended anxiety becomes depression easily, which is far more difficult to overcome.
Given the fast pace of life and the ever-increasing demands, people have begun to set huge expectations of themselves, and when these are not achieved, failure and anxiety creep in. Anxiety happens when you have huge expectations that you are unable to meet. And before anxiety becomes depression, we must stop it. We must know how to deal with anxiety in the best way. The first step is to be aware of what causes anxiety. What causes a panic attack or chronic worry? Anxiety attacks life and almost takes over it. Most people try to resist it but the efforts to resist and deal with anxiety increases the problem rather than solving it.
The many friends, well-wishers, and family who see us anxious ask us to “Just Chill” or “Stop thinking about it!”, but it is easier said than done. Anxiety, unfortunately, doesn’t get better with this. The more you tell yourself not to think of something, the more you end up thinking about it. The more you try to fight off an anxiety disorder, the more it grows. This scares those trying to fight it off. But have you spent some time thinking if the methods you are using to deal with anxiety, are correct? Or is it time to try something different which has been proven far more effective and result-oriented?
Have you realized how important it is to identify someone whom you can trust, with all your problems and with whom you can share things that are making you anxious! As a coach, I would like to help you with some anecdotes which will help you work on your belief systems and give you the confidence to progress and move away from anxiety. These have worked wonders for some of those who have come to me complaining about being depressed, only to realize their high levels of anxiety and then being able to tackle this with simple changes in their beliefs and actions.
Engage yourself in things that you love doing
A homemaker recently shared that she was feeling depressed as her children had grown up and got busy with their studies and she had no one to divert her attention to. On discussing further, I realized that she used to love painting and art but had no time for many years as her children were growing up and she was busy attending to them. I urged her to start her hobby all over again and within a few weeks, I got a call from her. She sounded super happy and was immersed in painting and art classes where she was teaching kids from her locality and enjoying it.
Instead of grovelling in the anxiety and further getting depressed, get back to doing something that you love – reading, or writing, or playing sports, or music, dance, or art, painting and the list can go on and on. Anxiety builds up when we don’t have a chance to detoxify ourselves from our daily problems. Give yourself an outlet to channelize your energies so that your mind is busy doing that instead of getting anxious. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to de-stress. An interesting quote I remember reading is that ‘D-e-s-s-e-r-t-s’ is ‘S-t-r-e-s-s-e-d’ spelt backwards. If you have had an anxious day, indulge in a bowl of desserts. You never know but that may actually de-stress you!
Relax at home or outdoors with your family and friends
Ideally, your home should be anxiety-free. Your home and people you love should be your haven of mental peace. Give yourself ample time to indulge in being happy with people whom you love and whom you can have a good laugh with. If you are not at home, reach out and call someone you are close to. The more time you spend with people you love, the more comforting it can be. It need not always be indoors. Some people love being outdoors as that gives them a sense of calmness. Whether indoors or outdoors, be in a place you love and with people you love.
Don’t keep yourself overtly busy immersed in a busy schedule
Don’t keep yourself overtly busy immersed in a busy schedule, back-to-back meetings, professional commitments and stress out by wanting to be perfect in everything that you do. You are then creating far more avenues that could trigger anxiety. Keep a well-planned schedule and prioritize what you want to do.
Giving yourself time or ‘Me’ time (as it is called) is also very important. Your close friends can be your biggest support to help you deal with anxiety. Learn to ‘say no’ whether it is an over-commitment from work or due to personal expectations. It is ok to slow down from time to time and understand one’s limitations without pushing yourself every time something comes up.
What most people want is someone who can listen to them without judging them, who can provide them with independent feedback, who can hold a mirror to them on what’s going on in their lives, and also help them change their thoughts and perspectives. People prefer hiring a Life Success Coach to work with them through their emotional turbulence and problems, and to provide them with clarity and direction in the way forward.
How Life Success Coaching has helped people?
My clients have benefitted immensely in several areas caused by stress – migraines, anger management, mental fatigue, and in most cases, what was required was a good healthy conversation with the client to remove the mental clutter and re-programming of the mind with powerful, positive thoughts.
So, some food for thought – remember the new ABCD! Learn to Be in Control before Anxiety becomes Depression.