How I Cope When Time Triggers My Anxiety
As the new year draws near, I cannot believe how fast time has passed. Time is something that has always triggered my anxiety. There are many milestones I would have liked to have met by now. There are many goals I want to accomplish by the end of the year. From experience, I know that putting too much pressure on myself only makes anxiety worse. So I came up with six ways to cope with anxiety when time becomes a trigger for me. Continue reading this post to learn more.
6 Things I Do When Time Triggers Anxiety
- I take a few slow, deep breaths. One common anxiety symptom is breathing difficulty. When I cannot breathe well, I cannot think clearly. Slowing down and deepening my breaths helps me gain control of my body and mind. When I feel in control, I find it easier to relax.
- I take a few sips of water. When it is not easy to slow down my breathing during a stressful time, I take a few very short sips of water. The cooling sensation distracts me from anxiety. I am able to momentarily embrace relaxation and be in the present. After two or three sips of water, I can breathe again. I can also return to important tasks without worrying as much about the time.
- I remind myself that I am doing the best I can. Anxiety often tells me that everything I do has to be perfect, or it will not be good enough. Believing this lie results in regret wasting my time and effort. But every little bit of effort I put into something matters, regardless of the outcome. I feel calmer and more positive when I remember that I am doing my best.
- I listen to positive music. In the past, I listened to music with a lot of dark lyrics. But over the last few years, I have enjoyed music with positive messages. Being mindful when it comes to my music choices helps me to focus on the good things in life.
- I watch stand-up comedy. Watching stand-up comedy shows is a fairly new outlet for me. My favorite comedians joke about their disabilities. They also laugh about anxiety. While some people might find it offensive, I appreciate the humor because it is relatable. The comedians are honest and unashamed. Their humor makes me feel understood and accepted.
- I write about everything I have accomplished. Time-related anxiety exists partially because I feel like I have not accomplished enough. One way to diminish that anxiety is to dispute that thought. Listing five things I have done to get closer to meeting my goals this year helps me to remember that I have been productive. I now know that regardless of time, I am always making progress.
These six coping strategies do not cure my anxiety, but they temporarily relieve it. Consistently practicing these activities is key for me to relax and function at my best capacity. Like everyone else, I am on my own journey going through life one step at a time. Every second and every bit of effort counts.
Lueck, M. (2021, December 27). How I Cope When Time Triggers My Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, September 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2021/12/how-i-cope-when-time-triggers-my-anxiety
Author: Martha Lueck
Thank you for this! Time is something none of us can get away from, but it can be so triggering! I love that you included stand-up comedy. It's so important to find the little tools and tricks that work for us. Sometimes even just taking a few sips of water (another favorite), getting a small stretch in, or eating something divine helps to bring me back to now.