Before we can address any problem we first need to understand it. That’s what Anxiety Part 1 and Part 2 tried to do. In Part 1, we looked at the difference between stress and anxiety. In part two we talked about anxiety developing from either a cumulation of mini-traumas or a major traumatic event.
So now what? What steps can we take to address our anxiety using our knowledge of what it is and how it got there in the first place?
It cannot be stressed enough (no pun intended) that dealing with anxiety is not a “one size fits all” situation. What works for one person might be useless for another. It’s not a “one and done” situation either. Meaning it may take time to discover what works best for you, and what works best for you may not be one single thing but a combination of things. Just like how the causes of our anxiety aren’t identical, neither are the effects nor the solutions.
Step 1: Reflection. Is it stress or anxiety. What’s at the root cause of the way you’re feeling? How are you feeling? What are the triggers?
Step 2: Appropriate Action. Based on your reflection, do you need to find ways to address stress factors, your mental state, or biological effects? Do you need a combination of action steps?
Things to keep in mind:
- The above diagram is meant to be an illustrative guide, and it uses common examples and suggestions.
- Certain action steps and thoughts/affirmations are helpful for both stress and anxiety.
- Dealing with anxiety sometimes means dealing with stress factors. High level, prolonged, and constant stress (mini-traumas) can develop into anxiety.
- It may take time as well as trial and error before discovering what works best for you.
- What works best for you now may change.
So now what? Time to develop your own personalized plan to combat your stress and anxiety. Feeling excited? Hopeful? Uncertain?
To set you off on a more positive note, here’s a beautiful quote by E. Joseph Cossman: