Learning how to control anxiety is vital to human survival, particularly in a world where fear often runs rampant. Anxiety is an everyday occurrence that affects the lives of many people. Consider the following steps with respect to controlling anxiety:
Understand that anxiety is rooted in fear or desire.
Learn what anxiety actually is and how it manifests itself.
Dictionary.com defines anxiety as “distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune”, but also in a positive light as “earnest but tense desire” or “eagerness”. With respect to psychiatry, anxiety is “a state of apprehension or psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder”.
Know that anxiety is not always an adverse response, as there is anxiety that is good because it can trigger positive responses. For example, a child who is going to play piano in a school concert, practices because he or she is anxious. Other measures taken in response to anxiety may prevent problems. For example, anxiety about the weather raises parental concern regarding the way children are dressed.
Understand the physiological response of the human body to anxiety. To be anxious about something results in a release of adrenalin that causes an increase in energy. When there is an excessive amount of adrenalin released by the human body, a person can experience a fight or flight response, or undergo a period of emotional paralysis.
Determining possible causes of anxiety is important in terms of controlling it. Since everyone has anxious moments, accurate discernment leads to an understanding of what triggers them. In other words, looking seriously at the anxiety, what is its underlying cause and is it justified? Is the level of intensity appropriate? How is it affecting you or others? Being aware of how anxiety affects you personally, as well as others, is important with respect to learning how to control it.
Begin to take a serious look at various options for controlling anxiety in different situations. Having viable options is vital to mental and emotional health. Anxiety can also affect physical health, as well as play an important role in spiritual health and well being.
To control anxiety, focusing on other people or things may prove helpful. At times, asking for help from someone is beneficial. Talking to others about unjustified or real fear can be a good idea too, as does spending time in different environments to relieve fear and anxiety.
“Do not panic.” Learning not panic when anxious about something is important, as panic can be contagious and spread rapidly to others. Teaching those around you not to panic, as well, can be instrumental in helping them and may save lives.
Maintaining open roads of effective communication with others helps to control anxiety. Remember that no two people react to anxiety or deal with it in exactly the same way; nor do they need to do so. It would be strange if everyone responded in the same manner, as anxiety is a personal and individualistic response. It can also be or become a collective response and spread like wild fire, if it is not controlled. For example, children experience the anxiety of parents. Communities experience the anxiety of families. Countries experience the anxiety of communities. Thus, dealing with anxiety is important.
When fear, anxiety and panic levels are out of proportion in relation to the cause and persist over time, it is advisable to seek professional counseling or medical assistance.
While these are only some of the steps one can take to control anxiety, the discovery of other steps leading to the control of anxiety may turn into a lifetime project of increasing self-knowledge and awareness.