This is the second article in my series covering anxiety disorders. I know you'll be really interested to discover what self-help interventions and books you can use to get over your anxiety.
You've read part 1? If not - do hop over to read that one first. If you have, you'll already have determined how you came to be so nervous at times. That will help you in pinpointing the best way to get over this soul-destroying condition.
6 Strategies to set yourself up for success
Before we start with the actual strategies:
Start with a medical check-up to see if you need to be treated for a condition other than your anxiety (and if you do - be sure to check Dr Mercola's website to inform yourself fully).
Know that if anxiety runs in the family you don't have to continue to suffer from it - we now know that we can turn genes on and off, depending on our own actions.
Accept that you need to employ a series of strategies consistently and patiently to get the best and most reliable long-term results.
Devise a detailed plan on how you are going to tackle the anxiety, based on all the information on my site and any professional advice.
Be open and honest with your partner if you haven't already told them about how you truly feel (more on that later). Alternatively ensure the support from a good friend if you suspect your partner is going to be less than helpful.
Share the following list with your loved ones (they need to know that I'm taking you seriously).
How precisely does the anxiety affect you? Share it...
Below is a list of what my clients have reported, regardless of the cause of the condition or disorder. Be sure to share it with your partner or friend so that they understand what it's like to suffer.
10 Common signs and symptoms of anxiety
are particularly sensitive to what other people think of them
worry excessively - constantly mulling over the negative outcomes of the ‘what if's’ - almost against their will
feel frighteningly out of control of their feelings
experience ‘anticipatory anxiety’ - worrying excessively long before and about a particular event or situation
tend to avoid conflict situations so as not to have to battle, both with themselves and those around them
make choices based on the demands of their anxiety, not their true wants and dreams
have all kinds of unusual - in other people’s eyes as well as their own - ‘silly’ fears
suffer from sleeplessness, which affect their mood and makes ordinary tasks the following day challenging, leading to poor health and even more worries
feel crushingly guilty for the impact of their anxious behaviour on their partner's, children's and even friend's lives
feel at times terribly ashamed of themselves
Anyone suffering from anxiety is in fact courageous, has nothing to be ashamed of and is worthy of love.
What are the best interventions to ditch the anxiety forever?
Remember that much of the above may lessen when certain health conditions that cause inflammation and/or any of the medical conditions are resolved.
Also, the above signs and symptoms can be quickly - and positively - influenced by very simple and practical self-help strategies, including self-hypnosis (see my page: Hypnosis FAQ and downloads).
I also want you to consider getting some professional help too, as all of the above are much related to... ... how you view the yourself ... your perceptions of the world around you ... what you tell yourself about those perceptions ... how you react to all of the above
All of them are exacerbated by your undoubtedly very rich imagination (and I so hope you put that to good use in other ways!).
Oh, and do also ask yourself...
Do you by any chance also 'use' anxiety to get out of things you just don't fancy for reasons other than the condition?
Could you possibly be setting yourself up to be the vulnerable one in your relationship (see further down in this article)?
Both need to be addressed if you are really serious about getting over your anxiety forever.
Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of change
3 Step plan to ditch your anxiety forever
Step 1 - Self-help for the symptoms
Dealing with the symptoms is so important and they will reduce further by themselves over time as we tackle the causes and your lifestyle (Yes I know, that's the bit you may not want to know about!).
The best way to calm yourself is with self-hypnosis. You can listen to that soothing voice with it's powerful messages as frequently as you need. Know that with each time you listen, you're one step closer to recovery.
Do challenge yourself to continue to take steps out of your comfort zone in the morning, afternoon and evening. Each time you do, it's one more step towards overcoming all of the barriers your anxiety has previously put in your way.
Step 2 - Dealing with the causes
Again this may involve a visit to a doctor. But then...
Do all you can to put an end to old hurts. Talk it out with the people who matter. And, if that is not possible, talk it over with someone you trust. Forgive, even if you can't forget.
Take whatever action is necessary to get over a traumatic experience (see links below)
Stop making excuses for yourself. You know now that courage is your middle name!
Stop blaming others for your 'issues' - you'll forever remain dependent on their actions, not your own. To a greater or lesser extend all of us have 'issues', it's nothing to be ashamed of. It's time to take your life into your own hands and get back in the driving seat.
Put that creativity you employed to dream up all kinds of disasters to more productive use - in your mind and in reality: draw, sew, design, paint, write, or whatever gets you 'ticking'. When you're busy with creating, there is no space for worrying. And should you have time, day-dream about how easy everything is - in detail, using all of your senses.
Change your diet. Visit my page on nutritional deficiencies and mental health (link below) to learn about the link between the two. This is absolutely one of the most important changes you can make.
Your anxiety is much less likely to rear it's ugly head in the future, if you commit to making lifestyle changes that protect your body, mind and environment from damage. And, if the anxiety does increase - remember the canary in the mine.
Now I am going to refer you to my page on how to get over a nervous breakdown. I wrote that article for people who are on the far end of the scale with their anxiety - they have had a complete burn-out. They may or may not have previously suffered from excessive stress or anxiety, but the advice for you is the same as it is for them.
Next - enlist your partner's support...
How to enlist the help of your partner
Start with reading my article on effective communication (see links below), so that you are well-prepared for a full discussion.
Let them read this series of articles. It will help them, if necessary, to take your situation seriously once they know that I'm taking your suffering seriously.
Tell him or her the full story about how you are feeling, when and how it all started, and when and how you are most at risk to be at the mercy of that anxiety.
Ask them to have a look at your plan to overcome your anxiety. Take the time to work together in creating constructive solutions and plans.
Be prepared to stand-up for yourself If necessary - (see my page on communication), the last thing you need is to be undermined in your efforts.
Tell your partner or spouse you are in need of their support, but in a different way than before if they've not previously 'got the message'. But be sure to let them know, if necessary, that you will get better with or without their support (see part 3)
Ensure that together you have regular 'feedback sessions' by setting dates in the diary well ahead of time
I have written the next session particularly for a supporting partner, but if you are the sufferer I'm sure you'll also want to know what my advice is. For all of that see Part 3 of this series of articles (to follow).