Do you consider yourself an anxious person? Remember, everyone feels anxious from time to time. This is normal. And, in fact, some anxiety is productive, such as double checking your plans or making a doctor’s appointment. This is a matter of being well-informed and prepared. The real problem comes when your anxiety escalates and you become limited or incapacitated in some aspect of your life. This kind of obsessive worry or anxiety invariably puts you on a downward spiral.
Here are three POWER Optimism skills that you can practice in order to break out of the anxiety loop.
First, move from the No Control Zone to the Control Zone. Remember, you can’t change others. You can’t control what’s happening outside of you. Remembering these facts will make you less affected by what’s going on around you that is producing anxiety. Repeat to yourself that there is nothing you can do.
Another POWER Optimism strategy is maintaining personal accountability. Rather than blaming someone else for your anxiety or focusing on a situation that is making you depressed or unhappy, take responsibility for yourself. Think of positive changes you can make that will alleviate the anxiety. Give yourself permission to feel anxious about whatever is bothering you. After all, anyone might feel anxious. But be sure to check in and ask yourself how much anxiety is too much. Learn to be an under-reactor rather than an over-reactor.
Third tip. Eliminate negative self-talk and beliefs. Alter that anxious self-talk, such as, “What if I have an anxiety attack when I am driving home tonight?” This kind of thinking is likely to trigger an attack. Create a positive counter statement, such as “I can feel anxious AND still drive.” Also, be sure to release your limiting beliefs, because these are often the foundation of your negative self-talk. Such beliefs as “I am powerless” or “Life is dangerous,” feed negativity and fear. Replace these beliefs with empowering beliefs, such as “I am in charge of my life” and “I can handle whatever situation might arise.”
While change won’t happen overnight, with a commitment and continued practice, you can break free of that anxiety thought loop and start living a life of assurance and tranquility.