Friday, April 30, 2010

Delay Your Worry!

A great first step to dealing with worry/anxiety is doing something that seems like it wouldn't be effective but has proven incredibly so. The odd thing about most of our worries is that they don't ever really occur. Here is an example:

Mandy is going to give a speech in her Introduction to Communications class. This is her first college speech/presentation and since it was assigned she has had a "pit in her stomach" about it. Public speaking has always been difficult for Mandy and this is no exception. She knows that to receive her grade she has to complete the assignment and the speech is only supposed to be 3-5 minutes long. This seems like the longest 3-5 minutes she has ever thought about. When she practices her speech she notices that her heart races, she sweats a lot more than usual, and even finds that her breathing becomes shallow. She thinks ruminating thoughts like "I am going to totally freeze in the middle and lose my way," "I will probably throw up in front of the whole class," and "I can't do this."

The reality is that it is unlikely that Mandy will throw up, back down from doing it, or freeze in the middle. She clearly has symptoms of anxiety. This would lead me to direct Mandy to do a simple exercise when she comes upon this anxiety. I would advise her to "delay her worry" This means telling yourself " I am going to choose to worry about this tomorrow. There is no need to worry about it today because it won't happen for quite a while anyway." Whenever a problem comes up in your mind that worries you or causes you considerable this simple exercise of giving yourself a time to worry about it and that now is not the time. Most of the fears that we have don't happen, so it's a way to redirect our mind to stay productive since worry is not very fruitful.

I will leave you with what Jesus says about worry...

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." -- Matthew 6:34 NASB

I hope everyone has a worry-free day!

What Anxiety looks, sounds, and feels like

Sometimes when you ask someone "do you deal with anxiety," they respond "Yes, I worry all of the time." Today I would like to specify the difference between normal everyday worry and anxiety. They are, in fact, very different. Here are some things to ask yourself:

Does your body experience?:

  • A Temperature change (a feeling of warmth)
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Rapid, Pounding Heartbeat
  • Tightness of Chest
  • Butterflies in Stomach
  • Hyperventilation
  • Weakness all over
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Sweaty all over
  • Confusion
  • Rapid, constant thought
  • Muscle Tension/aches
  • Fatigue
Do you think?:

  • I can't do this.
  • What if I make a fool of myself?
  • People are staring/looking.
  • I could faint
  • It's a heart attack
  • Get me out of here
  • No one will help me
  • I can't go alone
  • I can't breathe
  • I am going to die
  • I'm going crazy
  • I'm trapped
  • I'm not going out
  • What if someone is hurt, sick, etc...
Do you feel?:

  • Fear
  • Keyed up/on edge
  • Panic
  • Excessive Worry
  • Uneasy
  • Feelings of doom
  • Trapped (no way out)
  • Isolated or lonely
  • Loss of control
  • Embarrassed
  • Criticized
  • Rejected
  • Angry
  • Depressed
If these are familiar to you, you are, indeed, anxious. Stay tuned to my next couple of posts to find ways to deal with your own anxiety, work through the things that make you anxious, and confront anxiety in your productivity and life.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Question for everyone

Hey everyone out there following...I have a question for everyone that could be worth the work.

I am planning on choosing a winner by random drawing based on the answers to this question.

The question:

What are the ways you deal with your anxiety daily? Please feel free to share the healthier ways you deal with it as well as the unhealthy ways. I am gearing up for an anxiety series and would love your input!

Each person who answer the question gets a entry into the drawing. Have a lovely day!