|Anxiety - Credit: GettyImages|
Anxiety is a condition involving being nervous or unsure of uncertainties in life, especially about the future. No one can rightly claim to be completely free from it. There's always a possibility that something wouldn't go the way we planned or as we wanted it to. Most of us usually feel, at least, a little concern about that possibility.
However, for some people, this can get out of hand, and render them incapable of living a normal life as they should. This excessive state of fear and worry about uncertainties is known as Anxiety Disorder.
On such days, if by evening time my mum wasn't back, I would take my sisters and little brother indoors, and mandate them to not go out playing in the streets. Then, while they relaxed and played, I would go outside and stand at the railings watching the street downstairs. I would look earnestly up and down the street expecting every woman that could possibly turn into the street to be my mum.
With time, I'd get excessively worried, and begin to imagine that my mum was never going to come back home. Sometimes, I'd begin to cry silently. I was very scared of having to be the one to take care of my siblings, with my dad always out at work, hardly ever coming home then. I was not up to ten.
As soon as I sight her in the street, often after much fretting, I'd run to the room to announce to my siblings of her arrival, then, I'd run downstairs to the street to meet her. It was always the happiest moments in those days for me.
My condition then as a kid is called Separation Anxiety Disorder, a type of Anxiety Disorder.
Anxiety Disorder is a state of very extreme self-consciousness, with a big fear of something negative happening about the future or present time. It could be a result of overstressed lifestyle, or because of past failures or disappointments one faced. It could also be caused by a number of other factors: genetics, environment, psychological etc.
Some who are in this condition often excuse it as a normal life for them. Before they realize it's a problem, they are already so depressed some may end up committing suicide.
Though it's normal to be anxious about somethings sometimes, if your anxiety gets in the way of your ability to live a normal life like everyone else does, you need to seek the help of a doctor or go for therapy.
I have this list of ten simple ways to guide yourself out of being excessively anxious when you should not be. Doing this can help you take back your life and be a normal person. You can handle anxiety for good by putting in personal efforts consistently.
1. Think about the reason you are worried this way: can I change what had happened in the past that's making me worry about today or tomorrow? If there's no way you can reverse the past, you should discard it entirely. You should not let it take control of your life today or tomorrow. There's no proof that what happened yesterday must repeat itself today. To a large extent, you can decide what happens in your life today and in the future. So, don't let the past decide for you.
2. Instead of focusing on the past and living with the fear of something as bad happening today, you can focus your energy on answering this question: what can I do today to prevent the reoccurrence of something in the past? Do not hesitate to take the necessary actions required, but remember not to do so in panic. If there's nothing you could really do, as is the case for much of the things people worry about, try praying to God about it. He knows all about us, and He cares for us. He's willing to guide and help us win over every situation.
3. Develop a positive mentality and build an optimistic view about everything you do. Do you know that it's easier for you to believe in the possibilities of good things happening than negative ones? It frees your mind and helps you to focus on the essentials for the day. You become what you believe in. You attract what you don't reject in your mind. In my own life, anytime I seem afraid of something bad happening, I always reject the idea and try to focus on something I can handle. As a result, things I'm afraid of don't come to me. Try to manage your fears positively. It works.
4. You should also form the habit of shunning negative information coming from outside sources. Humans can be wrong all the time; nobody can ever be right all of the time. So, there are people you may have to cut off from your life because of the negative information they always carry. These are not the kind of people to go to when you are seeking certain answers about your life.
You are free to reject every information you don't want to be effected in your life. Please, sometimes, it's safer to not listen to those negative prophecies, than to try to do something about them. They can simply be cancelled by rejection and prayers.
5. You don't need to compare your life to that of others. You are unique and special. You are not the same as them, but different. Remember, no one likes to wash their dirty linings in the public. You most likely do not have all the information about them. You can be good by being yourself, and believing in the things you can do, and doing them instead with as much as a little confidence as you can muster.
6. Often times, procrastinating can lead to us being overly anxious when we are not able to meet up with something important in our life. If you can learn to take the positive steps to achieving your life's goals right away, you can get better results and probably have less to worry about.
7. Excuse your past failures and begin to see them as lessons that lead you to your successes. Scott Adams, the Dilbert guy, believes that failure is not an end, but a necessary means to your eventual successful life. Letting your past failures or the fear of possible failings in the future bug you down can greatly hamper your progress in life. It is wise to hope for success while having an open mind for a possible failure. That way, instead of getting surprised and feeling sad, you see an opportunity for self improvement.
8. The kind of food you eat also matters. You need to completely avoid alcohol, caffeine and all other edible items in your regular diet that puts you on the highs or lows. Even smoking should be discarded. Instead, eat very healthy meals - a well cooked balanced diet is all you need. It doesn't necessarily have to be an expensive one, but if you can afford it big, don't hesitate. Chances are that getting sick can make you worry excessively.
9. Regular exercises and rest can help you to relax and reduce the effect of stress after a day's work. All work and no play makes you a dull person. What do dull people do often? Worry of course. So, spend sometime focusing on being physically fit. Doctors advise that a regular dose of 8 hours sleep at night can help you concentrate more and remember things more. Insomnia and lack of consecration are two examples of the symptoms of Anxiety Disorder.
10. If you tried all of the above and nothing seems to be getting better, you need to see a doctor or a therapist. Or, you can talk to someone who cares about you about the things you are worried about. This can help sometimes. However, make sure the people you talk to are not the ones who keep giving you reasons to be worried about issues in your life. I'm always available if you want to talk to me. I may not be an expert in this matter, but I can help guide you to get better over time.
These ten items in my list are not exhaustive. They should not be used as alternatives to the advice given by your doctor or therapist. Your doctor might recommend some form of medication depending on the peculiarity of your case. But I'm sure these are the first things to try. Consider them as your first aid kit in handling Anxiety Disorder.