One thing in life that I know I can count on is that life will challenge me. Hard times will come. In fact, the more I grow and the more responsibilities I take on, the more I find life challenges me.
One of the big things I’m learning about the challenges of life is how to best respond to them. Responding in a way that does not overwhelm me or compound the challenges and create crisis.
Don’t Rush to Resolution
You see, one of the things I used to do when things got hard was to try to get it all fixed and resolved right away before I even took the time to settle down and catch my breath.
Eventually, I realized I was putting myself under the incredible pressure of having to get things fixed, all by myself, and right away. This pressure significantly augmented the amount of anxiety I was feeling.
Over time, what I began to realize was that I didn’t have to fix everything right away in order to manage my anxiety. In fact, feeling that I did often created more problems for me than it actually solved.
Tips to Reduce Anxiety
Today, I find I do much better by following these four suggestions to slow down when a stressful situation comes up:
I tell myself that I have time to resolve this.
I tell myself that the problem is not as big as I am experiencing it in this moment. I remind myself that the anxiety I’m feeling is probably making this problem bigger than it really is.
3. Small Steps
I tell myself that the key to resolving anything is to just take take small steps, one at a time, that in the end will help create a resolution.
I reassure myself that everything is going to be OK in the long run (whatever this is, it’s not as big of a deal as I might imagine).
Self-Regulation is Key
I found that the more I’m able to start by regulating myself, the better I can do with regard to resolving the anxiety and issues behind it.
I would suggest that you always remember that when faced with anxiety to first regulate yourself. Then—and only then—take the steps to start to resolve whatever it is on the outside that’s making you anxious.
This goes a long way in helping us maintain our relationships because it keeps us from acting out at a time when we’re vulnerable to impulsive behaviors.