What most people do not know is that there are several techniques of self-help for anxiety. What is anxiety actually? In very simple terms, anxiety is excessive worry. Worry is a universal human trait; it is present in everyone. However, in people who are overly anxious, the worry can go to great lengths. In extreme situations, it can cause social anxiety disorder, which can manifest itself in various physical ways. At such times, methods such as hypnosis and cognitive behavioural therapy need to be used for the treatment. However, in most cases, methods of self-help for anxiety can be used and the problem can be snuffed out before it assumes monstrous proportions.
1. Stop Building Extreme Case Scenarios
Most people who worry out of proportion to what the situation warrants actually worry about extreme case situations. They may take a small thing and blow it out of proportion. If they see a single mosquito, they will think that they will suffer from malaria. This is just an example of how their thinking works.
You must stop worrying on these counts. Remember that it is only the rarest of situations in which things go to the extreme limit. You have to rationalise things. You have to understand that there are various ways in which a particular thing can happen and most solutions are always convenient. If you are basing your worry on what you have seen in movies and read in books, you are only inviting depression and panic attacks to be your long-term companions.
2. Don’t be Judgemental about Yourself
A lot of people build impressions about themselves – often negative – and then live their whole lives within it. They build notions such as, “Oh, I can’t do it; I can’t make anyone happy” or “I am too old, I can’t afford it”. This causes a lot of worry when particular situations arise. The effect of projecting one impression onto others makes the situation worse. If a person thinks he or she is a bad conversationalist, for example, they may unconsciously prevent themselves from attending parties.
You need to control anxious thoughts, especially those that relate to your ‘perceived’ weaknesses. What you term as weaknesses are probably present in a lot of people out there.
3. Personalisation and Generalisation
Two things that compound worry are personalisation and generalisation. Personalisation is the habit of directing the causes of every problem toward oneself. For example, if a thing does not pan out the way it should, these people would think, “I am surely responsible in some way!” Generalisation is the habit of applying the result of one incident on all other similar ones. “I scored badly in this exam. I can never do any exam right.” The problem with personalisation and generalisation is that it makes the person constantly blame the self.
One of the solutions for coping with worry is to remove self from the picture and then evaluate things. This can surely be done through self-help, but if the situation is too drastic, therapies such as hypnosis can help put a right perspective on things. Self-help for anxiety works if used in the right measure and the right time. Since self-help for anxiety comes from within, it is one of the most effective measures for curbing the problem.
Next time you feel yourself worrying or developing anxiety over a situation, try practising these three tips. Let me know how you get on I would love to hear your story.