Uproot Anxiety!

 

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Anxiety can creep in sometimes – for a lot of people.  It can stem from life events.  Mental illness can be a part of this.  One may have an abnormality in cognition or perception, which can allow anxiety to more easily take root.  The best way to deal with this is to calmly uproot the anxiety.

Uproot anxiety by identifying it as it begins.  If you notice that you are starting to dwell on a problem or an issue: this may be a sign that anxiety is “taking root”.  Another big tip off, is if you notice that you are exaggerating the issue – either to yourself, or to others.  If you notice that you are starting to dwell on, or exaggerate a problem or an issue, this is a pretty good sign that anxiety may follow.  This focus, which can be considered: acute focus, can gain a life of its own, spreading expanding roots through social networks and personal bias.  Don’t let the anxiety get firmly rooted. When you notice yourself over-emphasizing an issue: it is an excellent cue to change that focus. Stop dwelling. Be rational and don’t exaggerate. Do as much as you can do, and then leave it alone.  Take a different perspective, even change your focus onto something else altogether.  Give yourself time to let anxiety wilt and move out of the foreground.  The less attention you pay to anxiety, the less impact it may have on you.  By recognizing this right away – it becomes easier to deal with such conditions.

By exaggerating or dwelling on an issue, you may allow the anxiety to gain a life of its own. Exaggeration may start as a way to gain help, or in an effort to comfort oneself.  It can backfire. By expanding on the stress of an event, even just to give it more feeling: you may also increase the chance that you will develop anxiety.  Exaggeration is a catalyst to anxiety.  When you exaggerate, you open up the possibility that you may find yourself starting to believe your own exaggeration, and in doing so: you give the anxiety more roots.  Social reaction to exaggeration can actually boost thinking that helps to feed anxiety; Issues often seem to become even more difficult when their difficulty is socially confirmed. Dwelling on a problem and exaggerating about that problem can increase anxiety.  If you can identify when you are doing this, you may be able to change your reaction.

An issue or event in life may cause anxiety, but if we distinguish the anxiety as a reaction, we can work on changing our reaction, away from one that has the stressful side-effects (of anxiety).  For example, a difficult job or social event may be the source of anxiety.  The reaction of stress and worry are separate.  At the start of anxiety: change the focus to a practical response.  If there is only so much you can do: do that!  Don’t dwell on it.  If you can get the work assignment done, or prepare yourself for that meeting: do that.  If you can prepare for a social event, apologize for a situation, or make changes for a social meeting: do that. Don’t ruminate about the issue, or think about it for hours and hours, exaggerating and dwelling on it.  Think of something else.  Have a cold glass of water.  Go for a walk.  Read a book.  The anxiety may not follow you.  It may become detached from you – uprooted. The anxiety is a reaction to the environment that is not a necessary part of the source and can be controlled.  By being more practical and realistic, even if that means changing focus away from an issue, the reaction is controlled and the isolated troubles of anxiety (stress and even anguish) have less chance to grow.

The source of anxiety, while it may be a concern, is not the anxiety.  The source may be a life event or situation in the environment.  Anxiety tends to grow if the source issue is focused on too much, basically feeding it.  Cut out the roots of anxiety, by stopping the acute, unnecessary focus and dwelling on issues.  Don’t analyze an issue into the ground. Stop to think about the practical truths.  Once you have realized this, move on to do something in goal-pursuit.  Make a move, or do something else – whatever works for you. If you are not working on an issue, or if you are working on it as you do another activity: you can play music, watch or play sports, exercise, write, draw, build, even play cards, or clean the home.  Think of other things to do or think about: not troublesome things. Try thinking of your best things, and recognize that they are also there, or have been there.  By taking other perspectives, and doing activities, the potential source of anxiety has less chance to take root, because it is controlled.

Exaggeration and rumination can be dangerous catalysts.  It may start out as almost a playful self-concern – just stressing how tough an issue is, but then you may start to believe the exaggeration, start to dwell on it -and anxiety may take root.  The blooming of anxiety can be severe stress and anguish.  Stop it before it starts.

Picture this solution by treating anxiety as a seed that is starting to grow and take root.  In this metaphor, the origin for the anxiety is in the environment: the earth, sun and water – and the seed that grow anxiety.  You may not be able to get rid of the source, but you can stop the rooting and growing of anxiety.  My idea about how to do that follows from this metaphor. We stop this growth by preventing the rooting of rumination, fixation and exaggeration. Then anxiety has nowhere to go.  Also: often doing what you can to find a better level of physical health is very important.  In the metaphor: sun, earth, and water could be the same as factors that grow the negative feelings.  Factors like substance use, poor sleep, or social problems can grow the anxiety.  Work on any of these concerns, and this also helps to stop the seed of anxiety from sprouting.

Once we have identified the source, and stopped dwelling on it, we can use optimism and practical thinking to get through troublesome life events and comfortably digest the ‘biodegradable’ issues.  We need to think about ways to progress to better outcomes, even if that is just by finding a better perspective.  Set goals, even just the goal to let an issue wait, and decompose on its own.  Do not think about it when there is nothing else that can be done.  Facing troubles with a positive, persistent and patient attitude can help dissolve anxiety: either by overcoming problems, or by shifting attention to other better ways to think about problems.

While solving issues is great, it is often the fact that the issue is very difficult that brings anxiety in the first place. Be prepared to change your focus if anxiety pops up. Analyze it, try to solve it, but take different perspectives if you are getting nowhere – even by thinking about something entirely different.  Take a step back, or take a step forward, to help change your perspective. Maybe the anxiety isn’t rooting at all.  Be practical.  Sleep, diet, exercise and social life are some of the most essential factors for determining good mental health.  If you can improve these factors, anxiety has less chance to develop.  Genetic heritage is something everyone has, and this effects all categories of life.  We must do what we can, with what we have.

A strong sense of progress through difficult times is most likely to occur after you have recognized the best balance in the rest of your life. The source of anxiety, can be isolated, and not allowed to grow into anxiety, by keeping it separate.  To balance for better health in all areas definitely helps, by not giving anxiety the conditions it needs to grow. Cognitive strategies like identifying the onset of anxiety, and changing focus will be very helpful in uprooting anxiety before it can take hold, or even once it has started.  Recognize impractical thinking and do what you can to think differently – change your focus. Think about growth in your world that is healthy, and brings you bright, or beneficial results.  This may help even the worst tangles of anxiety.  Avoid dwelling on or exaggerating problems unnecessarily, which can expand their roots.  Think of ways and activities to be calm.  Think in a way that doesn’t root anxiety.

 

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