It’s time to attack your anxiety.
Feeling anxious is terrible.
When we’re confronted with moments of anxiety, it can make us feel unpleasant and sick. Often times, we don’t know if the sensations we’re feeling have to do with anxiety or an unrelated physical ailment. The bad feelings are THAT intense.
If you’ve experienced those uneasy sensations before, there are two bright spots that you should focus on.
First, you need to know that anxiety is EXTREMELY common.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect 40 million people in the United States age 18 and older. So you’re not alone.
Second, the majority of the time, anxiety doesn’t need to be treated with prescription medication.
While there are cases that definitely require medical attention, typically, there are non-invasive ways to handle anxious emotions without pharmaceuticals.
In our newest “The Facts of Love” video, YourTango Expert (and clinical psychologist) Dr. Susan Heitler spells out a 3-step process that anyone can use to help combat uncomfortable feelings of stress and anxiety. (The advice is taken from her new book, Prescriptions Without Pills: For Relief From Depression, Anger, Anxiety, and More.)
You can see Dr. Heitler’s full comments in the above video, but, if you want to confront your anxiety head-on without medication, follow these 3 steps and you’ll soon be feeling better.
STEP ONE: Close your eyes.
This sounds simple, but it’s important. When we close our eyes and shut out the distractions from the rest of the world, it allows us to really feel what’s going on inside of our bodies.
When you’re feeling anxious, close your eyes and see if you can figure out where the anxiety seems to be centered in your body. Sometimes, the anxiety feels like a weight on your chest or it can turn your stomach in knots.
But, once you identify the home base of your anxiety, it makes it so much easier to figure out what’s going on.
STEP TWO: Write a list of your anxious thoughts.
This step is easier if you have a trusted friend who can help you out.
Keep your eyes closed (focused on that central point of stress in your body) and have your friend write down a list of what you think about when you focus on the anxiety. As you dictate the list to them, think about the thoughts that make your anxiety worse, the thoughts that seem to go hand-in-hand with the distress you’re feeling in your body.
Those thoughts are what’s causing you to feel so sick.
STEP THREE: Circle back through the list and make a plan of action for each item.
Now you know what’s causing your anxiety, so what do you do next?
You come up with a plan to address each issue directly.
Once you identify the thoughts and emotions that are causing your anxious feelings, you don’t need to feel helpless anymore. You KNOW your enemy now and you can feel empowered by creating an action plan to confront your enemy head-on.
Not every item on your list will be easy to deal with, but the very fact that you know what you’re working towards (and the fact that you have a plan in place) will make your list items seem far less intimidating and oppressive.
Anxiety makes us feel so sick because, typically, it’s an unknown force wreaking havoc in our bodies.
It’s a physical manifestation of things we’re worried about, things we’re stressed about, things that we normally keep buried deep within ourselves.
However, if you close your eyes, center yourself, and create a list of the things that are causing your anxiety, you can start dealing with those anxious feelings directly and make yourself feel a whole lot better — no pharmaceuticals required.
If you want more information on how you can battle feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger (without medication), you can contact Dr. Susan Heitler at her website, PrescriptionswithoutPills.com. She’s there to help!