If you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you probably know firsthand what it’s like to live with constant anxious thoughts. Anxiety is the feeling of restlessness that occurs when your thoughts focus on current difficulties in your life or potential problems that have not happened. For example, these feelings can range from worrying about an assessment at work to worrying about the safety of family members, even if they all seem unharmed.
Many people who struggle with anxiety-related situations are negatively affected by their worrying thoughts. Worrying often can be tiring and often increases your feelings of fear and anxiety. Anxiety can make it harder to relax and even contribute to sleep disturbances such as insomnia.
Given its link to anxiety, it is not surprising that worry is common among people diagnosed with panic disorder. There are some concerns that those with this condition often experience. For example, people with panic disorder often worry about when they will have their next panic attack. Those with agoraphobia worry so much about their physical symptoms that they are often prone to avoiding behaviours and sometimes have trouble participating in their regular activities.
If you find yourself the victim of your anxiety, it may be time to learn some new coping skills.
How much worry is too much worry? Find out!
Put your mind elsewhere
This tip may sound easy, but it takes some effort to distract your attention from worrying. Try to engage in something else to get rid of your worries. For example, you could try walking, watching TV or reading a good book.
Make a list of activities you can do to prepare yourself for future concerns. Label the list as “What can I do instead of worrying” and then write down activities that will move your mind elsewhere. Try to create a long list of your own. Think about what activities you can do in different situations, such as when you are at home, travelling, or work. Having many options listed will increase your chances of using them when you need them most.
A few possibilities to add to your list include:
- Do some work in or around the house, such as laundry or gardening
- Exercise or participate in a physical activity
- Read a book, magazine or newspaper
- Organize your home or office
- Watch a funny movie
- Engage in a creative activity such as drawing or writing
Get support to deal with your anxious thoughts
Talking to a friend or family member you trust can help you feel more comfortable and supported. Sometimes hearing someone else’s point of view can help you change the way you view your concerns. You may want to take a few moments to share your concerns with someone, but it’s best not to let that be the only thing you’re talking about. A good friend can help you take your mind off your worries and divert your mind towards something else. Creating a support network for panic disorder can take some time and effort. However, relying on others can help reduce your anxiety.
Many people with panic disorder, panic attacks, and agoraphobia feel isolated and often have trouble reaching others. If you are lonely or uncomfortable talking to others, try to explore your problem by writing. Take a journal or just a pen and some paper and write down your worries. When you write them all down, you can see the big picture better. Try to write some possible solutions to your problems. Also, try to balance your concerns by writing down what you are grateful for. Sometimes when we worry we overlook more positive aspects of our lives.
Practice Relaxation and Personal Care Techniques
Learning to relax is a proactive way to deal with your anxiety. People with panic disorder tend to have an overactive or fight response, which usually means they approach life with a lot of fear and anxiety. Relaxation techniques serve the purpose of improving a person’s relaxation response and minimizing anxious thoughts.
There are many ways to elicit the relaxation response, including progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, and meditation. These techniques can be learned on your own and can help you feel calmer. Decide which strategies are best for you and make an effort to practice your relaxation techniques for at least 10 to 20 minutes a day.
Other self-care practices include physical fitness and nutrition, expressing our creativity, addressing our spiritual needs, and developing healthy relationships. Determine which activities you need to practice more in your life. Practising self-care for panic disorder can help you live and feel healthier, which can help you overcome some of your anxiety.
Face Your Worries
Sometimes our worries cause me to delay or make a decision. If you’re delaying something, anxiety can be a way to avoid facing the problem directly. However, in the long run, anxiety and anticipation can make you feel more anxious than just dealing with the problem. Stop worrying by taking the steps you need to deal with the problem. By dealing with your problems or projects, you may find that it reduces your feelings of anxiety and stress.