Having moment of anxiety is a normal part of life whether it is school, sport, or day to day life performance. In many situations we can keep it small, get through it, and move on. People want to control everything which raises anxiety, or fear the lack of control which raises anxiety. Many of my clients then become stuck, and paralyzed by their anxiety. This leads to struggles with confidence as the person cannot move forward, meet his or her goals, and grow as a person.
Many people utilize unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage their anxiety. Avoidance is one of powerful and common ones. Why? Because it works. No one wants to feel anxious and uncomfortable so this is one of the best ways to manage it. Other unhealthy ways of managing it include anger, displacement of stress onto others, and seeking reassurance from others in life that everything will be okay. The problem with these unhealthy coping mechanisms is that the relief is temporary and the symptoms return, maybe even higher than they were originally. As a result growth is stifled and confidence goes down, as a person begins to doubt his or her ability to be successful in life.
If we want to be successful and truly reach our peak performance potential in life and our highest levels of confidence and happiness in life it is imperative we learn the healthier ways to manage anxiety. In previous blogs we have talked about goal setting, assessing versus judging, and positive mindset and logic in looking at game theory. At the same time, everyone knows of relaxation, meditation, and visualization. Just search an App store and you will find a lot of options to help you. Often overlooked ways to manage anxiety is simple daily self care including sleep, exercise, and routine. Our lives these days are chaotic, and we are often plugged in, but it is time we make daily self care a priority. More research comes out everyday on the importance of sleep to the brain and our daily functioning as well the negative effects of too much technology and social media.
All of the above listed ways to manage anxiety work, but a person needs to make a conscious effort to use them. You have to be willing to put yourself in an anxiety provoking position and be okay with being uncomfortable for a period of time. Go towards your anxiety. However, with practice, practice, and more practice of the healthy skills and going towards that challenging situation you can be successful. Communicate your needs to others and rely on their support, but give yourself the reassurance that you can make it through the situation. Will it work always? No, but with consistency over time it will work more often than not, and you will see that you can take the right type control of your emotional responses.
So where does the confidence come in? When we see ourselves being successful and managing your anxiety, we can challenge ourselves more. We feel good, positive, and our anxiety no longer holds us back from experiencing life. We become driven to try new things and with every success the cycle feeds on itself, and confidence grows and grows. So start today and use the healthy ways to manage anxiety. Your confidence will thank you. Now put down for phone and go to sleep.