Just in case you didn’t get the chance to pop in last week, this article carries on from last week’s one.
So, with that out of the way…. Everyone has there own tricks for beating their Anxiety. And why wouldn’t they?
What will work for one person, might not be as effective for someone else. But, there are some things that have benefit for just about everyone.
1. Get some support:
I know it’s difficult to talk about your confidence issues with anyone, it probably makes you feel weak and useless. But keeping it to yourself doesn’t make it any better. By avoiding it, you’re just convincing yourself that having this anxiety is a weakness you can’t do anything about. So, if you can, find someone you trust and ask them to help you, by becoming your accountability buddy.
Ask them to support you adn at the same time challenge you to take some small actions to get you past the blocks.
2. Give it a Name:
I know it sounds stupid, but when your anxiety shows itself, identify it. Although, maybe giving it an ‘actual‘ name is a bit extreme. When you begin to feel anxious, remind yourself that it’s only a feeling. Something like, “Oh, here we go, the anxiety is starting up again!”
When you treat the anxiety you’re feeling as a symptom, rather than thinking “I am anxious”, it loses it’s power.
If you want to get ‘science-y’, then by reminding yourself that the anxiety is only a feeling, the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex is activated and there’s reduced emotional amygdala reactivity. In other words, consciously recognizing the emotions, reduces their impact.
3. Ask Some Questions:
It’s helpful to have a few questions you can ask yourself, when you feel the anxiety coming on. eg;
- Is there any reason to believe something is going to go wrong?
- What evidence is there, that something is going to go wrong?
- Is there a chance I’m blowing this out of proportion?
By asking these types of question, it helps to rationaize the situation. And, you could use tip 4 as well.
4. Imagine the Worst:
Yeah, I know it’s scary to imagine the worst scenario, but people are more bothered by thoughts of what may happen, rather than what does happen. So, imagine the worst thing that could happen. If you’re struggling to let the thoughts go, try these tips.
If you’re honest with yourself, you’re probably going to find that the worst thing isn’t so bad after all.
Think about it. Are you going to forced away from civilization for making a mistake, or banned from further social events because you messed up your speech. In fact, whatever ‘faux pas‘ you make will most likely be forgotten in ten minutes anyway!
Once you’ve imagined the worst that can happen, chances are, actuality isn’t going to be anywhere near as bad, is it?
One of the biggest issues a person with any sort of anxiety has, is recanting on the promises we make to ourselves. That’s because avoidance holds the greatest relief for us. The simplest way to prevent the anxiety is to avoid the situation.
Unfortunately, by avoiding the situation, we’re simply empowering the anxiety (see point 1 above 🙂 ).
So, the tip here is start small. Only take on challenges you know you’re going to be able to do (even if it’s not going to be easy). It’s no good agreeing to give a talk at work, if the thought of talking on the phone makes you tremble. Maybe a better task would be to call someone you haven’t spoken with in a while?
Having a success makes it more likely you’ll be successful at the next thing you try, just as a failure will help ensure the next thing fails as well. Give yourself a fighting chance and choose well.
Small successes lead to huge final results.
Now it’s up to you! Have a think about how you handle your anxiety and then try adding a few of these ideas. And when you feel up to it, let me know how you got on.