26 Nov It’s OK to be afraid; but it doesn’t have to stop you living!
From this week’s eNewsletter…
Fear and anxiety are normal, human emotions…
…but fear and anxiety are also emotions that need not impede your life excessively!
Put another way, It’s OK to experience anxiety; but anxiety can be managed in such a way so that you can live a relatively full and happy life despite some level of distress.
I’m guessing what many of you are thinking now is … how?
To begin with, acknowledge that anxiety and fear are normal; we all experience them, and to some extent they can be useful. Fear, for example, protects us from engaging in risky or dangerous behaviours. And anxiety, in many instances, can enhance our performance by increasing arousal.
The challenge, then, is not to eliminate anxiety (because that’s simply not possible, or even desirable) but rather, manage it so it doesn’t become overwhelming. This can be achieved through, like in many other areas of life, practice.
Practice of what?
Well, in short, the key, proven strategies are the following:
- mindfulness – be aware of how you’re feeling; observe your thoughts and feelings, ideally without judgement
- cognitive therapy – learn to think about anxiety provoking situations in new and more helpful ways. Try, for example, to put things in perspective and to reflect upon how you’ve coped/survived in similar situations in the past
- confront your fears – facing up to stress is far more effective than trying to avoid it. Avoidance typically only exacerbates fear whereas gradually facing fearful situations tends, over time, to lead to a reduction in distress and a commensurate increase in confidence
In summary, anxiety is a normal part of life. What we need to do is learn to live with it rather than try to remove it entirely.
…So that’s today’s mailing. Take some time to reflect upon the message and how it might apply to you. Check out, also, the links below for some additional readings and resources.
I hope it helps you enjoy some more happiness. Until next time…
Keep well & keep smiling
Tim Sharp (aka Dr Happy)