Life does not come with instructions and is full of unpredictable events. When you don’t know how to handle situations and or what to expect, your mind starts filling in the gaps with different scenarios. These scenarios generated in your mind can oftentimes be quite anxiety-provoking. If you do not know how to cope with anxiety positively, you might actually experience more problems than those your brain imagined. Fortunately, there are a number of positive ways to cope with anxiety that you can adopt.
Recognize that Anxiety Can be Positive if You Cope with It Positively
One of the things that people fail to realize is that anxiety can actually a great type of stress to have. People who have anxiety envision obstacles to these outcomes, and therefore have an urgency to prepare for those situations if they transpire.
Imagine someone who is at risk for being injured in a car accident because they don’t wear their seat belt. They also let themselves get distracted by their phone while drive. If this person does not think or worry about getting into an accident, one might be justified to think that this person is not very a very conscientious person. They do not seem to think or care about their own well-being nor that of others. Therefore, they are unlikely to take steps to modify their behavior to reduce risk. Quite frankly – their lack of anxiety could be regarded as irresponsible and selfish.
No doubt, it would be a good thing for this individual to develop a healthy dose of anxiety. In that case, the individual would see that their behavior can lead to a car accident. Heeding to this anxiety would give them some urgency to change their behaviors for the better. For example, it could prompt them to start wearing their seat belt and ignoring their phone while they drive. As a result, their anxiety would be beneficial as it led to taking of reasonable steps to minimize car accidents.
Therefore, anxiety is good when it is used to inform ourselves more about the situation and prepare for it. We also learn to assess how likely it is for a scenario to happen. Based on that, we can take reasonable efforts to avoid or prepare for such situations.
Recognize that Not Coping with Anxiety in a Positive Way is What Makes it Bad
There is really no good nor bad anxiety. What makes it good or bad is how we react to it. Anxiety is bad when your worry about something is out of proportion to the amount of risk of what might actually happen. For example, the chances of aliens invading planet earth during our lifetime is not something anyone should be worrying about on a day-to-day basis. It would be unproductive for you to become preoccupied with such an event, unless there were any direct evidence showing that this is something going to happen .
This is especially the case if the anxiety has a negative impact in your life. If you stop going out, or end up losing all friends, as a result of your anxiety, for example, you know that you are not dealing with the anxiety in a positive way. You also know you are not adequately coping with anxiety if you worry so much that it starts to cause you physical illness. Likewise, you know you are not adequately coping with anxiety if it drives to you try to escape it via the use of drugs, alcohol, or other harmful habits.
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However, not even anxiety of aliens is in itself bad. If the anxiety does not interfere with your daily functioning, and instead leads you to adopt a healthy hobby in which you find satisfaction, the anxiety can actually be productive. It can become a unique passion of yours that can drive you to do positive things no one else has done. In fact, it is likely what might seem irrational anxiety, or stress, that likely fuels the passion of many great entrepreneurs. They expend energy into finding solutions for things that might seem silly to others. So long as you don’t cause yourself or anyone else harm, anxiety can be a good thing.
Positive Ways to Cope with Anxiety
Fortunately, you can learn positive ways to learn how to cope with anxiety. A lot of this involves taking actions within your control to address the issues that are causing anxiety. It also involves taking actions to access and modulate your emotions.
While turning anxiety into something positive is something that everyone can learn, it does take time and effort to achieve. It requires you to become aware of your feelings and how to act in ways that lead to positive results.
Following are some things you can do to improve your coping skills.
Perhaps one of the best positive ways to cope with anxiety is to educate yourself about and prepare for the situation you fear. Some of the main causes of anxiety is fear of the unknown and lack of control. An anxiety producing events for a lot of people is the fear of losing their job. However, it is admittedly a more anxiety provoking situation if you are not aware of the resources available to you, or if you have not created a safety net for yourself for such situation.
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To lessen the fear of losing your job, for example, you might want to prepare by building an emergency fund. This fund should be in an amount last you for sufficient time to find another job. You might also want to educate yourself of what resources you can reach out to in such situation. Perhaps you can work on updating your resume, engage a headhunter, and have a plan of who you might approach for references. You might even want to maintain a supplemental source of income while you currently have a job so that the loose of your main job is not catastrophic.
If you are well prepared for the event of job loss, you might even be able to take advantage of the situation to find a new job that is even more in line with your needs that the one you just lost.
Especially if you are prepared, otherwise tragic situations are sometimes the opportunity for positive change in your life.
Have Structure in Your Life
One of the simplest positive ways to cope with anxiety is to create structure in your life. Get up at a consistent time, and go to bed at a consistent time. Make sure that your environment is organized. Establish a morning routine, such as eating breakfast, cleaning up, doing your bed, and planning your day. Make sure to include time to exercise and to plan your finances. Also make sure to include time to do things such as reading, eating healthy, and learning new things. It is important to prioritize things that are good for your well-being and that will lead to a better future.
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Adding structure to your life simplifies your life. It makes your life less chaotic. Especially when your life is being affected by anxiety producing situations, these activities will bring a sense of control. They will therefore decrease any detrimental feeling of anxiety.
Especially when you are anxious, do your best to continue to maintain your daily routines in both good times and bad times to retain a sense of normalcy at all times.
Be Aware of Your Emotions
Another positive way to cope with anxiety is to recognize that you are anxious about something and accept it as something normal. The worst thing you can do is to become anxious about your anxiety. Instead of thinking of anxiety as something bad, recognize that it can be something good. It is a signal that you should probably start planning what you can do to reduce the risk of the anxiety producing situation. Sometimes it might make sense avoid the anxiety producing situations, if that is possible, at least temporarily. Most often, however, the best thing to do is to have a plan of how to confront your stressors head-on.
Admittedly, confronting your stressors might itself be something stressful. It requires both bravery and preparation. But after you start confronting the stressors one step at a time, things will eventually start to looking promising. You will likely become confident that you have some control over the situation. At least you will have peace of mind knowing you did your best to help the situation. You will have this good feeling to counter the negative feelings the anxiety producing situation may have initially cause.
Adopt Healthy Hobbies
Another positive way to cope with anxiety is to adopt various types of healthy habits. For example, you can listen to music, draw, write, and read. You may also adopt activities such as meditation, hypnosis, visualization, and progressive body relaxation which also help you become more aware of yourself. All of these activities serve to distract you a bit, while also giving you an opportunity to become more comfortable with your thoughts and emotions. Furthermore, they create structure in your life and helping you become more aware of your emotions.
Perhaps my personal favorite healthy hobby is exercise. Exercise has been proven to help your body release endorphins, which are substances that improve your mood. Aside from that, it brings with it a lot of health benefits, which will also help you feel good. Furthermore, exercise can help you regulate your weight and muscle tone, which can also be beneficial both physically and psychologically.
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Whether it is flying kites, reading, or knitting, you lose sense of time because you are so concentrated in what you are doing. This is sometimes referred to as achieving a state of flow. A state of flow is good to have something you enjoy so much that can put aside other things
Of course, all of these things are good in moderation. You will still need to confront the anxiety provoking stressors in your life. Nonetheless, healthy habits are a good way to get a break from your stressors.
Enlist the Help of Others
Last but not least, psychotherapy is another great, positive way to cope and work through your anxieties. A successful psychotherapy regimen will help you learn to recognize patterns of behavior that are not helpful. It will also help you discover how you can change your thinking and behaviors to cope with life more effectively. In some cases, psychotherapy might actually help you realize the importance of some of the things mentioned above and more.
If psychotherapy is not an option, self-help books are an alternative you could consider. Or perhaps an educational course, some of which may be free of charge. There is a wealth of knowledge out there with the internet, and sometimes it helps to read about various perspectives. You might come across a lesson, or two, of even more that can be very helpful to you. Of course, you have to put into practice what you learn, and be persistent, in order to see positive results.
Like so many people, you may have a negative view of anxiety. In fact, you may become sometimes become anxious about being anxious. However, anxiety is a normal part of life and can most of the times be turned into something positive. The important thing is to learn positive ways to cope with anxiety and practice these daily. Simple coping strategies include preparation, creating structure in your life, becoming aware of your emotions, adopting healthy hobbies, and enlisting the help of others. After developing these positive coping strategies, you will be better equipped to create opportunities out of otherwise devastating situations.
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