How can you manage constant anxiety and worry?Â It's like a gnawing bug in the pit of your stomach.Â Unchecked, anxiety and worry can take a toll on your stomach, your head (migraines), and your health.
You can compartmentalize your worry by assigning yourself a specific time of the day, or of the week, and designate it "Worry Time."Â By doing this, you can remind yourself, when worry comes up, that you have given yourself a specific time to engage in worry.Â This may sound counter-intuitive, but what you are doing is actually quite rational!
Worry and anxiety are ways that your body and mind try to deal with real or imagined "threats."Â The solution to the worry and anxiety are to actually spend some time problem-solving ways to cope with those threats when they come up.Â Unfortunately, too many of us spend our time like hamsters running on the wheel of worry, and wondering why we cannot get off!Â Problem-solving is the way to get off!Â Spend time, during your worry time, to actually write down your worries.Â Then write at least 10 solutions to your worry.
Acceptance is a term that has emerged out of mindfulness and meditation, common in Eastern traditions.Â What happens to many of us is that we fight the constant worry and anxiety so much, that it creates even more anxiety and worry!Â It's like running faster on the hamster wheel and getting more exhausted.Â If the hamster would stop running, stand still, and breathe, s/he might actually get some rest!
I encourage you to google the term, "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy."Â Check out any links or resources on the topic, because you'll be learning some key concepts to help you accept your worry and anxiety, without letting it run your life.
Seek Out Professional Help
It's ok to get help.Â Okay, I'm biased, because I'm a professional counselor.Â But I would not give you advice that I've not taken myself!Â Many of us are afraid to go to counseling, because we think that we may be "crazy."Â Unfortunately, this is related to some of the mental health stigma that remains in society today.
I see counseling as a coaching process.Â Think of a professional counselor as you would as a physical therapist.Â A good professional counselor should be familiar with cognitive therapy, anxiety, and should give you "homework" to work on, just as a physical therapist would give you exercises to do at home.Â As you practice this homework under this coach, you will find yourself overcoming anxiety!