The holidays are supposed to be full of cheer and celebration. But for so many of us, they are a time of increased stress and anxiety. This can result from a number of things, such as feeling as though there is not enough time, pressure from upcoming family gatherings, gift-giving, holiday travel, and financial worries related to all of the above. We also tend to see quite a bit on social media of what the holidays are supposed to look like, even though we know it is often not an accurate depiction of what the holidays are like for most of us. And now, due to the pandemic, there is the added stress of how these current times impact the holiday season.
Anxiety Videos – Treating Anxiety
Here we are in the second holiday season of the pandemic. Even though things have changed over the past year, there are still many areas of uncertainty and things that are anxiety-provoking. Dealing with anxiety during the holidays becomes vital, and particularly during these uncertain times.
Using technology can sometimes contribute to your anxiety. Have you ever wondered if your anxiety levels would be different -- such as whether you would experience more or less anxiety -- if your use of technology was different?
Racing, overwhelming thoughts are a common symptom of anxiety, and it can be difficult to deal with them when it feels like they’re spiraling out of control. I know that when I am anxious, I am overcome with anxious thoughts that I try to control but can’t. We often hear about or talk about strategies to control anxiety, including stopping negative thoughts or changing negative thoughts into positive ones. But what happens when you can't control your thoughts?
Dealing with chronic anxiety can be lonely when you feel like others don't understand what you go through. One of the challenges with this is that it can cause you to want to withdraw from others.
Staying positive is something that we all hear is important. But how does positive thinking help anxiety? I used to think about this quite a bit when I was younger and lacked the tools to manage my anxiety. I would often wonder how having a positive outlook and being optimistic could be helpful for me. I often thought that no one understood what I went through, that the worries that consumed me, and all of my racing thoughts, could not be put to rest simply by thinking positive thoughts.
When you experience chronic anxiety, it is probably difficult to imagine you could distract yourself from that anxiety. With anxiety, you may find that you become overwhelmed with worry and racing thoughts. This can be difficult when it results in many physical symptoms, such as a racing heart rate, headaches, and stomach problems. It can become even more problematic when it interferes with your daily life, and you find that you are having a hard time concentrating, having a hard time sleeping, or constantly on high alert.
If you experience chronic anxiety, you may have found that, over the past year or so, it has increased due to these uncertain times in the pandemic. And perhaps quite a bit of your anxiety has been related to uncertainties surrounding the circumstances. This is something that has impacted me. I found that, particularly in the early months, I felt very anxious because there were so many things that were unknown.
It's important to develop self-compassion when you live with anxiety. One of the things I have found challenging about dealing with anxiety is feeling as though I should simply be able to stop feeling anxious. When I can't stop the endless string of intrusive thoughts and fears, or I can't stop worrying, I feel even more anxious and upset with myself because I feel like I should just be able to change my feelings.
One of the challenges I experience is when the past makes me anxious. I sometimes find that if I think about events from the past, and those events made me anxious, I tend to feel immersed in my memories. I find that it is almost as though I am reliving those events and experiencing all of the emotions all over again. I often compare it to watching a movie or an "episode" of my "show" over and over again.