Animals only know instinctive fear, that is a rabbit sees a fox and immediately runs and hides in order to protect itself from what it fears – death.
A human knows more than just fear. The human mind has a poisonous ability to feel fear and not stop running with it. The human mind can use imagination and going back and forth in time to create issues, situations and threats in their mind that may not necessarily be true in the world they live in.
This is anxiety.
We all feel stress from time-to-time however anxiety has a high degree of intensity to it where it can cause negative ripple effects in the persons life and in their health.
Our actions are not always subject to conscious control. We as people wish to believe that we are in control, rational and always right. Our minds can be the best and the worst thing about ourselves.
Anxiety can stop a person from functioning ‘normally’. It can break them down into having delusional thoughts about the world and the people around them. It can trigger internalised critical thoughts. And prevent them from living and full and fruitful life.
Recognise the difference between a stressful mind and an anxious person. Anxiety is an ongoing crippling force of nature in the mind. Stress is natural. Anxiety is fundamentally a survival response, which can evolve into an illness.
Use CBT and mindful techniques to manage intense anxious minds.
- Thought journals; divide the page into columns, explain an anxious thought that you have had and challenge it FEELING VS FACT.
- Notice the speed in which you talk, move and act; slow it down. Move at your own pace. Become your own energy.
- When you become paranoid thinking bad things are going to happen, remind yourself this is a negative way of thinking, you are being a ‘fortune teller’ and know that none of us can control all aspects of life but worrying about something you do not know, is not going to achieve anything.
- Get yourself into a routine, sometimes our mental health benefits from waking up and going to bed at the same time.
- Watch your diet, what you eat can only ever impact your mood.
- Have the compassion to take yourself out of a situation that may make you feel overwhelmed, but don’t run away, assess why it made you anxious so you can work on it next time.
- Most importantly: realise you can be in control of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Many others do it, myself included, it’s ok to have bad days but not everyday has to be bad.