Most people feel and deal with anxiety at some point in their lives. Maybe they’re bothered about how they perform in their studies or work, they’re anxious about what the future might bring, as well as nervous whenever they’re about to unlock a new chapter or milestone in their lives.
This feeling of anxiousness is normal, and it fades away after a few days or when the situation we’re dreading for has passed. However, anxiety becomes a problem once it persists and starts impacting your ability to function well. How can we overcome our anxiety? The mental health experts reveal the key to overcoming your anxiety might dwell in changing your perspective. Here are some tips on how to change your perspective about anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
According to the American Psychological Association, CBT is designed to help people deal with their anxieties and fears by correcting their distorted thought patterns by using body-awareness techniques and thought-clarification exercises. The goal is for you to have a more realistic and tangible view of the things or trigger factors that make you feel threatened.
It’s best recommended to practice CBT with the guidance of a therapist for best results.
While CBT works best if you experience it with the guidance of your therapist, you can start practicing its tenets on your own. For example, recording your thoughts is a great way to determine your mental clutter from your legitimate concerns. According to the renowned therapist Mara Eaton, the CBT techniques help them determine your trigger factors and address it to overcome your anxiety, stress, depression and other issues.
The Thought recording process involves writing down any image or situation that gives you a distressing thought. For example, the image of yourself sitting in the corner alone, or being shunned and embarrassed by everyone at the party may trigger your anxiety. Eaton says it helps them change this perspective so that you’ll welcome these thoughts warmly while easing your anxiety.
Instead of thinking about how you’ll end up being alone in the party, you can change your perception by thinking you get to befriend at least one nice person.
He recommends writing your trigger factors down and put a counter-mechanism on the opposite column to help you overcome your anxiety whenever you’re triggered. She adds how these images and perceptions which trigger your anxiety aren’t really a valid thought. You can write this on the opposite column and read it out loud before you go to a party until you stray away from your negative thoughts.
According to Payam Ghassemlou, most people’s anxiety stems from the thought that life is too short that you’re afraid of wasting your time not living your life to the fullest. He adds this is a problematic source of anxiety since it deals with a belief system. Most people don’t feel safe because they fear the life they currently live isn’t meaningful or fulfilling. To address this anxiety, Payam recommends you think of something that needs to be changed.
Ask yourself what you want to change in your life or achieve. It may be a cause, a relationship, your job, or anything that’ll give you the power to change your life.
While we cannot change the fact that life is short, you need to find your way to deal with it. Instead of focusing on how what you’re doing is meaningless, focus on what you can do to make your life more fulfilling.
You can think of accomplishing your goals, switching a career, or pursuing your passion to fulfill your life. Also, the thought of pursuing things that make you happy puts you back into the place of comfort and safety – giving you more purpose and meaning in your life.
Buddhism Teachings and Mindfulness
According to Buddhism, dukkha is the gnawing feeling of discontent and dissatisfaction that arises from our desire to be different. It’s recommended to strive to be different from others or live the life you want to the fullest.
The Buddhist techniques will teach you how to manage your anxiety and other issues. This includes breathwork, body awareness, and relaxation techniques. If you want to achieve inner peace, you can enter the secular world by practicing meditation and mindfulness techniques.
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