Have you ever felt so pent-up and anxious that you couldn’t accomplish simple tasks?
One reason for this dilemma is that whenever you’re worried or nervous, you use up precious stores of emotional energy. When this happens, you have no energy left to sustain your daily existence. You feel zapped. And you’ll continue to feel that way until you can alleviate some of your anxiety.
Lack of energy is just part of anxiety’s negative impact on your life. Anxiety seriously impedes both your mental and physical health. Learning to control anxiety is one of the best things you can do for your well-being.
Following this 7-step process will put you back in charge:
- Start a Worry List. Get a spiral notebook specifically for your Worry List. When you start to feel anxious about something, write it down on your list. Doing so will allow you to calm your chaotic thoughts and confidently move on with your day.
- Establish a time to worry each day. As your worries sneak into your thoughts throughout the day, “gather them up” by jotting down those concerns onto your Worry List. Then, decide on a specific time you’ll worry each day.
- You can set up as much time as you want — 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or even a whole hour to fret and worry.
- Abruptly stop any worry that occurs spontaneously during the day. When you start to worry throughout the day, say to yourself, “No, I’m not going to worry about that right now. I’ll do it during Worry Time.”
- Discover your power by abruptly ceasing your worry outside of Worry Time.
- You receive an immediate benefit from this action because it conserves your emotional energy, allowing you to feel more vigorous throughout your busy day.
- Spend your established Worry Time alone. Close the door. Turn off the television and your music. Avoid playing with your smartphone or electronic tablet during Worry Time. Set a timer for when you’ll stop worrying. Now, get out your Worry List and worry.
- Do nothing but think about upsetting topics during your established time. When the timer goes off, stop your anxious thoughts. Strengthen your resolve to focus on the rest of your day free of worry.
- Play the devil’s advocate. Question your anxiety.
- For example, if you worry that people stare at you when you go out in public, take the opposite side. In this case, think, “Maybe people glance at me, but don’t stare.” You can easily test your opposite theory by going to the mall or grocery store and watching for people who do not look at you.
- You’ll find the devil’s advocate routine squelches many kinds of unsettling anxieties.
- Ask yourself, “Does this issue have a solution?” If you can quickly determine whether the challenge at hand is solvable, you can then confidently proceed to put a solution into place to prevent future worry about that issue.
- Acknowledge that some worries are not within your power to solve. Write these difficulties on a piece of paper, place them in a balloon, and float them up into the sky. In essence, tell yourself you must say “good-bye” to these particular worries because they don’t really belong to you and you have no control over them.
When you practice these steps, you’ll be able to manage your anxiety better each day. Plus, you’ll enjoy more emotional energy to spend living the good life you deserve.