If you are suffering with anxiety, beating it should be your first priority. Having suffered with anxiety problems that lasted off and on from more than 20 years, I know very well how devastating anxiety and panic attacks can be, and the havoc they wreak upon your life. But it really doesn’t have to be that way.
Each year, thousands of people recover from anxiety. Some people will tell you that beating anxiety is next to impossible to do, but honestly, they could not be more wrong. There are simple steps to beat an anxiety problem, and they involve getting good information, learning how anxiety works, and how you — yes, YOU — contribute to your own anxiety problem.
That last paragraph may have surprised you. The truth is, many people do not realize that they are actually contributing to (or even causing) the anxiety problems they are dealing with. Please understand, this does not mean that they are to blame for the situation; but it does mean that they are responsible.
Anxiety is not something that happens “to” a person. It is something that the individual is actively involved in creating because of habits they have fallen into. Many people are unaware that they even have these habits, but the accumulated results of them can produce a life of anxiety, stress and even frequent panic attacks.
Most of the habits that are associated with anxiety are related to “control.” As a personal development coach, and someone who suffered for many years with anxiety and panic attacks, I can tell you without reservation that “control issues” are behind at least 90% of all anxiety problems. So what does “control” have to do with anxiety?
For most anxiety sufferers, their symptoms begin to appear as soon as they come into contact with a situation that is outside their comfort zone. These situations force the individual into a situation where they have very little or no control. Think about driving on the freeway: many people experience anxiety symptoms when faced with rush-hour freeway driving, and it is no coincidence that driving in rush-hour traffic brings the individual into a situation where they have very little control.
With the vast majority of anxiety sufferers, the less control they have over a situation, the more anxiety they feel. And what happens when they began to feel increased anxiety, stress and even panic in these situations? That’s right — they began reaching for even MORE control. And this is the vicious circle of anxiety in a nutshell.
A situation makes the sufferer feel “out of control,” so they attempt to reach for more and more control over the situation, producing any number of uncomfortable or even painful physical symptoms in their body. Often, this spiral of anxiety also produces serious mental distress, and can even provoke full-on panic attacks, or in severe situations, nervous breakdowns.
But the good news is, there is an alternative to allowing these control issues to continue to spiral into greater and greater levels of anxiety or panic. The antidote for these control problems (and also anxiety) is to learn to release control in situations. And while this may sound scary, in fact it is quite simple, and can be started on such a small scale that you will barely noticed you are doing it.
Using exercises or programs that help you expand your comfort zone slowly but surely is the safest and most effective way to stop anxiety problems once and for all. It can even help somewhat to just keep in mind that control issues are at the bottom of all anxiety; beating it is a matter of very gradually expanding your comfort zone and learning to “let go.”
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