L.I.V.E. – 4 simple yet effective steps to manage your anxiety

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Do you wish to be genuinely happy?

But it is difficult to experience the happiness every day, isn’t it?

Life without exception offers problems, obstacles, and pain to every one of us. We always remain drowned into thoughts of insecurities and fear. And drowning in such thoughts makes our life more stressful and painful too.

But, have you noticed that some people around us seem going happy-go-lucky kinda living? And we keep wondering how come they don’t really have any problem in their own lives? 

In reality, those people also face the same obstacles and problems with intensity being more or less similar. But, they differ in their ways to respond to such problems in life. This makes their journey less painful and keeps them happy always.

Can you too master your anxiety and live happily?

 Yes, you can.

You know it very well that while driving a car, if we don’t put our seat belts on, then car start giving us an alarm that we are missing something which is important for our safety. The same concept is applicable to our life. Our negative emotions are our alarm system which indicates us towards something which we value the most viz our life and our well-being.

In fact, all negative emotions are very much helpful in life. They have their own importance of being in our lives. We need them for our well-being. But, the problem is that we don’t know how to handle them. Nobody teaches us that. But we can create a way to handle our negative emotions and use such tactics to remain happy and productive most of the times.

Have a look at the data below and you will understand the grip of this disorder.

of population having Anxiety Disorder

Out of the total world population, nearly 275 million people are affected with Anxiety disorder making it the most prevalent mental health disorder. 

Not only this but it is growing Y-O-Y basis which is even more concerning and need to be given a due attention in day to day living.

Anxiety disorder increasing gradually

Common symptoms of Anxiety:-

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense most of the times in a day
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom.
  • Occasionally having an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Over-sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry.  You can read more about it here                 

If you experience a few of these or all these symptoms then you need to work on it on a priority basis. It is important here to understand that anxiety is very much required and in a mild form, it helps us to navigate through our lives.

But, if you are avoiding the reasons for the anxiety or neglecting it then it takes an intense form. As a result, you start getting alarmed in the form of one or other symptoms mentioned above. It is just an indication that our brain wants us to notice something and we must make a note of it in our mind.

Anxiety happens. It’s not a choice. But you can choose not to remain controlled anxiety. This doesn’t mean you will never experience painful emotions. You definitely will experience them like every person in the world. But it doesn’t mean necessarily that you have to suffer. It’s you who can decide whether anxiety and fear should control you or not. 

It’s an art that you need to master which help you feel whatever you feel (or think whatever you think) and yet go forward to create the kind of life you wish to live. You must master that art.

Most of our struggle is psychological and there remains very less practicality in our fear and insecurities. Most of the things you fear about never happen in your life. Just take a look back. Try to remember a few of your worries and make it a point to realize as to how many of them really came into existence. I bet, you will count only a few of them or none of them even.

The trick is learning to live well when life is hard and unkind.

Read summary of the book Emotional Agility

How to master your anxiety?

Follow these simple steps given below –

  1. L – Letting go of
  2. I – Inviting
  3. V – Valuing
  4. E- Engaging

Let go of your struggle with anxiety and fruitless efforts to control whatever you are experiencing in your mind and body. You have probably heard it said that”What you resist persists.” The way out is to free up your precious energy and resources that will go in controlling your anxiety. And live yyour life without fear controlling you. 

 It doesn’t mean that you should ignore what  going on within your head. But, accept the thoughts that are coming to your mind and still continue doing what matters you the most. You have to stop running away from your feeling and emotions. Rather tell it to yourself that you are capable of living well with all your fear and insecurities. Give yourself an assurance that you are taking note of the possible harms that these thoughts are indicating towards and will definitely work on it to avoid.

2.  Inviting:-Nobody chooses anxiety. But you can very well choose how you respond to it. Instead of resisting, avoiding or running away from painful emotions, you learn to open up to your emotions and feelings. Get curious and try to know why you are experiencing such emotions. Step back and welcome all your thoughts with more compassion and kindness. Moreover, try to document your emotions in a daily journal. Write down everything that is coming into your mind, why do you think it will happen and all related to it. As a result, you will get better insights about your own life whenever you will read your diaries from the past.

3. Valuing:-it is of paramount importance that you have a clear cut direction in your life. To really LIVE, you will need to know what you wish to live for. You must clarifywhat matters to you the most in life – your values. If thoughts coming to yourmind aligns with what matters to you the most, you entertain that thoughtotherwise just witness it, write down in your journal and forget it. Practicingthis will give a direction to your life and you will not distract from yourpurpose.

suggested reading – how to transform your life from ordinary to extra-ordinary

4. Engaging:- Whether you accept it or not but your life is created by what you spend your every minute doing. To do more of what you really want in life, you will need to set clear intentions that are in line with what matters to you the most and act on it. This is how you live what you wish to live for. There is so much to get distracted and to feel disappointed about. But if they are not what you live for, then why to choose it? Being engaged with what you want in life will make you free from remaining stuck to what you don’t want in life. This way, you will free up your energy to move ahead in life.

Imagine yourself doing something other than your regular hustle. Think what would you like to do in life and what kind of a person would you like to become in a year to come. What accomplishments you would like to have in life and keep working for it.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it – Aristotle.

Final words

Thinking of a thought (worrisome) and holding that thought (worrying) are two separate things. Thinking of thought may not be in your hands most of the times but whether to hold a thought or not is surely in our hands. Hold it only when and till the time it adds any value to your life. Otherwise, accept it as a thought, acknowledge it just as a thought, write it down if you feel and move ahead in life. There is so much to do and life is too short.

Wishing you a very peaceful life ahead.

Vinod, reading next book for you.

Footnote: – I read about these steps in the book “Anxiety Happens” by John H. Forsyth & Georg Eifert.

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