Breaking the Anxiety Habit!

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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, but I have personal experience and knowledge of this topic . This article is not to be taken as medical advice.

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Do you suffer from feelings of anxiety?

Anxiety is a problem for millions of people. It can be described as an uncomfortable feeling that something is wrong or that something bad is going to happen. It can be worrying something you know about or something you don’t know about, a real issue or a potential problem, or simply a physical feeling of constant nervousness . Anxiety can be caused by physical issues or emotions.

Symptoms can include sweating , nausea, increased heart rate, crying , difficulty making decisions, agoraphobia, panic attacks or inability to eat , have sexual relations or completely relax. Anxiety can make it hard to work, sleep, participate in group activities, communicate effectively and have healthy relationships. Some people get relief from anxiety with prescription drugs or different types of therapy. Others find that regular exercise such as running or yoga helps.

In my experience most anxiety results from these two sources.

  • Physical causes: Excess adrenaline or thyroid hormones
  • Emotional causes: Fears and anger

Excess adrenaline can be caused by living in a stressful environment, hormone fluctuations, thyroid dysfunction, too much caffeine, or other biological causes . Basically the body is over-producing certain hormones. You can try changing your environment, cutting back on caffeine and other stimulants, practicing mindfulness, exercising, getting hormone treatment or changing your diet to see if you can manage this cause of anxiety . Medication or herbs may also help to calm the body. Melatonin, GABA, Ashwaganda, and other natural supplements can help with sleep and adapting to stress.

The other and probably more common cause of anxiety is feeling out of control or unable to express yourself. This perceived lack of control over your life leads to the emotions of fear and anger . Fear because you think that if you DO say or do what you really want to say or do, that the people you care most about will get angry, then reject or abandon you. This fear of abandonment is very primal and deep and not always conscious. But it can be very powerful and paralyzing . This fear can be based on actual or imagined threats to your security.

When this fear is triggered in women it is most often expressed as anxiety. In men it often gets converted to aggression or rage that be inwardly or outwardly directed when triggered. In both it can lead to people pleasing behaviors or acting out sexually. Passive aggressive and cynical attitudes can be a way of coping with and repressing fear.

Fear is a normal and important emotional reaction that protects us from dangers, but that emotion can become paralyzing if it is out of proportion to reality . In many cases living with constant anxiety is a learned behavior that stems from childhood. It can also be a natural tendency for some children to be more emotional that gets reinforced by their parents’ reaction to them.

Likewise, feeling angry at being mistreated is natural. But feeling like you have no control over how people treat you can lead to simmering anger that keeps you in a state of anxiety.

Children growing up with drug and alcohol abusing parents often learn to keep silent to stay safe in a volatile home. They learn that their needs are not the focus . That can lead to helpless feelings or revenge fantasies. The problem was caused by the lack of being able to speak up without fear of the consequences. As adults they may feel anxious because they assume that all people are like their parents. They don’t know how to properly communicate their needs . Great frustration can result leading to developing unhealthy coping mechanisms to numb those feelings. This pattern can also occur in families where healthy emotional expression is not demonstrated or if there is financial instability or chronic illness. The child’s needs take a backseat to the parent’s needs. Emotional development becomes stunted.

You can feel better!

What can you do about your anxiety? Here are some steps you can take to start breaking free from anxiety.

  • Pray and ask God to help you.
  • Believe that God is helping you and with you. You are not alone in this journey.
  • Search out and identify your fears and coping mechanisms
  • Have courage to make a decision to work on yourself when you are ready .
  • Humbly accept that you cannot change other people.
  • Bravely make the decision to change yourself even if it means risking your relationships or job.
  • Lovingly value yourself enough to try so if you don’t , that’s your first step, learning that you have value and deserve to have a normal life. God made you for a reason!
  • Recognize and set yourself free from the bondage of anger , hate , or desire for revenge. Those feelings will only hurt you !
  • It’s okay to seek help from others you trust .
  • Learn and practice breathing techniques that help you calm down and feel in control.
  • Keep a journal of when you feel anxious and what was going on at that time so you can learn from it.
  • Prepare yourself in advance for situations that normally cause anxiety by using self-talk, affirmations, and having a plan of what to do.
  • Remember that even though your body tells you that you’re in danger, you are actually just feeling bodily sensations. You will not die from emotions.
  • Set incremental concrete goals that will help you see your progress .
  • Reward yourself for stopping old patterns or trying new healthy behaviors.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Be prepared for resistance from those who want you to stay the same.
  • Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
  • Don’t argue with people. Do what is best for your mental health.
  • Make new friends that are happy and honest.
  • Do not engage with manipulative or dishonest people.
  • Push yourself to do new things because that is how you get stronger.
  • Work that confidence muscle!
  • Read more articles or books to learn new ways to communicate and cope with stress so you don’t feel helpless or trapped.
  • Leave unhealthy relationships or situations unless they are honestly interested in changing.
  • Trust that life will get better .
  • Don’t give up when you have a bad day.
  • Find at least one person that you can be honest with and ask them to help you see your faults and habits more clearly.
  • Be willing to accept honest evaluations from others without taking it too personally.
  • Keep track of your victories! You are in a battle for your life!
  • Remember that fear and anger and old habits die hard, you will have to work at this.

You can easily PRINT this list with the button at the top of the page so you can remember these tips.

I hope these suggestions help someone. Never give up! But also don’t keep doing the same things and expect anything to change. Get started on feeling better now. You are worth it . Leave me a comment below.

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