Anxiety and fear – two emotions that many of us are familiar with and have encountered multiple times in our lives. Some of us have learned to overcome these mental states and keep them under control, while some others find themselves helpless and lost with no clue about how to manage them.
Before they take over your life and create long-lasting damages, anxiety and dread need to be brought under control, if not eliminated. There are many things you can do that may help you with this.
Understanding the root cause for these negative emotions can help in containing them. This article also discusses symptoms, coping strategies, tips & tricks, and myths & facts about anxiety and panic management, besides how positive affirmations can help in dealing with them.
What are anxiety and fear? What are the symptoms?
The dictionary says,
Anxiety – A vague unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some (usually ill-defined) misfortune
Fear- An emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight)
Both these emotions stem from our worry about the future; be it distant or immediate. Worrying about what is to come, in general, is a common habit amongst most of us. In fact, this can help us focus on our goals and save us from undesirable situations.
However, worrying about tomorrow is one thing but being anxious and fearful about getting through each day is a different ball game altogether. Many events can act as triggers for these emotional disasters – poor health, loss of income, death, loneliness, and piling up of unpaid bills.
Some of the common symptoms of dread and anxiety are:
- Sense of doom or impending danger
- Feeling grumpy and agitated
- Rapid breathing
- Raised heart rate
- Perspiring and shaking
- Feeling sickly and spent
- Trouble to focus
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Facing gastrointestinal (GI) disorders
What to do when faced with anxiety and dread?
As long as they remain mild, you may be able to bring them under control with self-help techniques and preventive strategies. If it gets beyond this stage, seeking professional help is vital. Approach your GP for advice.
Your GP can rule out the possibility that the anxiety and panic you are experiencing are a result of physical health problems. If so, all that needs to be done is to treat the underlying medical condition.
If this is not the case, you would have to seek the help of a mental health professional. Depending on the severity of the problem, it can be a counselor, therapist, psychoanalyst, psychologist, or psychiatrist. They help diagnose the condition using psychoanalysis or psychological evaluation.
The treatment options include psychotherapy and/or medication.
Tips and tricks to manage anxiety and fear
It is not easy to anticipate when they hit us but some steps may reduce their impact.
Eat healthily and rest well. Eating well-balanced meals is key to avoiding these unwanted feelings. No skipping meals or eating unhealthy snacks. Getting adequate sleep can help in preventing an anxiety attack.
Stay away from smoking, alcohol, and drugs. These are known to make matters worse as they bring down the cognitive skills and thereby the ability to deal with these negative emotions. Moreover, if already addicted to these mood-altering substances, quitting them can trigger anxiety and panic. Seek professional help for quitting the habit if you find yourself unable to handle it by yourself.
Relaxation is vital. Practicing meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises, or listening to music, or getting a massage can be made part of preventive strategy.
Maintain active social relations. Interacting with friends and family can help a lot in this regard. The sense of belonging and being cared for would lessen the impact.
Lead an active life. Physical activities and hobbies are the best antidotes for anxiety and dread. Keeping yourself engaged throughout the day, leaving no time for brooding and fretting can be a game-changer.
Seek help. As long as these afflictions remain mild, you may be able to manage them on your own. But at the first sign of it getting out of hand, get professional help. The situation mustn’t reach a breaking point.
You may also want to take a look at our guide on how to practice mindfulness for anxiety.
How can affirmations help in containing anxiety and fear?
There are indeed numerous self-care steps to avoid and contain these negative emotions. You will be asked to eat healthily, get more sleep, do more exercise, meditate, develop hobbies, practice affirmation, spend more time with people you love, or spend some alone time.
These work for some but not for all. At times, these friendly tips can be conflicting and can end up making you more anxious. If the reason for your anxiety is lack of time, all these can send you down on a guilt trip.
When you are already trying your best to cope with life’s pressures, succeeding at times, failing at others, the need of the hour is a calming strategy that can boost your morale and make you believe in your abilities and accept the realities of life.
Affirmations have the power to shift your mindset and bring down negative emotions like anxiety and panic in times of doubt and unpredictability. Positive affirmations can help in calming a troubled mind and bring down irrational worries and panic attracts before these mental monsters start overwhelming you and take control of your mental faculties.
By projecting affirmations as a strategy to control anxiety and panic, do not get the wrong idea that it is a magic cure-all. No, it is not by a long shot. Let us see what affirmations can achieve.
- Raise your self-worth and self-confidence
- Encourage positive and optimistic thinking
- Enhance the mood and motivation
- Help address negativity and solve problems
You need to remember that practicing affirmations doesn’t solve the problems on their own. It just provides you the mental strength to do it.
36 Positive affirmations for anxiety and panic
- I feel safe and secure now.
- I recognize my dignity.
- I feel calm and can breathe now.
- I am working towards living a life I love.
- My perception is growing with every breath I take.
- I choose to be at peace with my past, present, and future.
- My actions may lead to positive events if only I try them.
- My mind is clear and sharp.
- I find pleasure in the little things in life.
- I am capable of getting what I want and need.
- I choose to focus on my blessings.
- I am gaining strength every moment.
- I have so much to be grateful for in my life.
- I choose to replace my emotions with happiness and contentment now.
- I am flourishing, prospering, and happy.
- I am expecting good tidings.
- I feel secure to be guided by a Higher Power.
- I am slowly waking up to feel inner peace.
- I am closer than ever to what I am looking for and living my dream.
- I have the strength and determination to take the next step.
- I appreciate the fact that I receive love, blessings, and encouragement.
- I surrender myself to the greater plan that the Universe has for me, though it is beyond my understanding.
- I love to feel happy, relaxed, and independent.
- Everything happening now is definitely for the best.
- I am tougher and stronger than I presume.
- Everything is temporary and this too shall pass.
- There is so much awaiting me in my life.
- I am confident that life will lead me to a good place.
- I am convinced that there is a way to reach my goal.
- I am part of the divine and being calm and serene is my trait.
- The Universe is always working for me.
- My mind always remains tranquil, no matter what happens around me.
- I am focusing on my dreams and goals.
- My mind is calm and my body is relaxed.
- I love to feel calm, lucid, and sharp.
- I can manifest anything I want to by focusing on it.
How to make the most of these affirmations?
There is no right or wrong way to use affirmations but these suggestions can help you get the best out of them.
Affirm daily. Make them part of your daily routine. Using affirmations only when you are facing difficulties may not work as well. Affirmations are known to work best when repeated first thing in the morning after waking up and just before going to sleep. Set aside 5-10 minutes for this.
Keep it positive. Accept the presence of anxiety and dread rather than deny their existence and brush them under the carpet. Instead of giving them a negative connotation, try to look at your anxious thoughts positively. For example, instead of “I won’t allow anxiety to get the better of me”, frame affirmations with a positive twist as “I can learn to overcome my anxiety and reach my goals”.
Keep them relevant. Whether you are choosing from stock affirmations or writing them yourself, ensure that each one of them resonates with you, your current situation, and your goal. If you feel the affirmations you have chosen are not working for you, do not hesitate to restructure them to suit your needs.
Make them visible. Besides repeating affirmations, you may also include them in Vision Boards or use sticky notes and display them in places that catch your eyes often. The electronic version of a Vision Board is a great idea for those who are constantly using their laptops and cellphones.
Anxiety and panic can seriously impact our lives if left unchecked. If the case is moderate and/or if intervened in the early stages, self-help strategies such as affirmations can help in nipping them in the bud. Positive affirmations are found to be very effective in shifting the mindset from the negative space.
Just because it works for everyone and is expected to work wonders doesn’t mean you would benefit from positive affirmations. In case you find them ineffective, it doesn’t mean you did something wrong. Don’t beat yourself up over it and add to your existing anxiety. Affirmations don’t work for all.
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