How is your relationship with anxiety? A big part of Mental Health Awareness Month, currently in full swing, is increasing understanding of all things mental health. This includes your own relationship with anxiety. It's useful to know what anxiety is, especially if you're experiencing uncomfortable symptoms but don't know if they are related to anxiety. You can use the below checklist to better understand your anxiety and then to strengthen your mental health.
Anxiety Management – Anxiety Schmanxiety
I love where I live. But unfortunately, I recently discovered that, against all my wishes, I may have to move at the end of the month. I'm no longer secure in my home.
Books focusing on anxiety are helpful, but these nontraditional anxiety-related books are worth the read for anxiety sufferers.
For many of you, hearing me recommend being alone while anxious may seem foreign, if not counterproductive. After all, a common suggestion for people with any mental illness is to maintain a healthy support network to get you through tough times. I’m not disagreeing with that suggestion, for I think it’s vitally important for your health. What I am suggesting is that during those periods of heightened anxiety, it may be helpful to step away from everyone and allow yourself to be alone with your thoughts.
If you distract yourself from anxiety, are you avoiding it? Are you running and hiding? Avoiding, and running and hiding, unfortunately, intensify anxiety; however, distraction can mute anxiety just enough for you to experience some welcome relief. The aim of distraction is to shift your thoughts from the automatic negative thoughts that are part of anxiety, to slow down your thoughts and the tendency to overthink everything and to release physical tension so you feel less like a tightrope and more like a hammock. These six ideas can start you on a happy path to distract yourself from anxiety.
Reducing anxiety can be a frustrating process. If you make progress and have setbacks, know that it's not a problem with you. It's normal and a part of overcoming anxiety. This doesn't mean, however, that you have to resign yourself to slow progress and stumbling blocks. What if you could do the things you already do with some success and make them work even better and more efficiently? When it comes to reducing anxiety, it's not just what you do but how you do it that can make a positive difference.
Having an anxiety-free zone in the place where you spend a lot of time, often your home, is a way to reduce anxiety. When you create a dedicated space where you can let go of worries, what-ifs, fears, and stress, you give yourself a wonderful gift. Just knowing that you have a haven available to decompress and intentionally replace the negative with the positive can keep you going through times of stress and anxiety. The following eight ideas can turn your home--the entire dwelling, a room, or even a corner--into an anxiety-free zone.
I have a lot of friends who are mentally ill. It isn’t that I seek them out, or have “mental illness” as a prerequisite for associating with me – fate has just dictated that most of my closest friends, like myself, have been touched with some sort of mental disorder. I doubt that I’m alone here – if what we seek in friendships is familiarity, being drawn to those with mental illness makes sense, even if we aren’t aware our friend is mentally ill at all.
I'm feeling like an insomniac this week. I've written in the past about what to do when anxiety keeps you awake. At that point I was writing with some distance -- this week, however, I've found myself unable to sleep well almost every night.
Anxiety messes with memory. Have you ever worried about something that happened in the past? Have you fretted about something you did or didn't do that "probably" caused a current problem? Have you laid in bed, tossing in turning, running situations, conversations, and mistakes through your mind nonstop? These are some examples of anxious memories and how they can take over. You can regain control by resetting these anxious memories.