By being mindful of our anxiety, in some cases we can use it to our advantage. The way we think about our anxiety has a big effect on how we perceive ourselves and go about our daily lives. Instead of looking at anxiety negatively, let it be an opportunity to put yourself in check. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Think of anxiety as a signal. Anxiety is uncomfortable. By taking a moment to think about why you might be feeling anxious can distract from the anxiety itself and help you focus, rationalize, and come up with a solution.
- Label the feeling to steer your experience. Identifying why you are feeling anxious in the first place is a much better tactic than focusing on the discomfort. Instead of “I’m anxious” ask yourself “why am I anxious?”
- Aim for balance. Anxiety is a normal feeling. Try not to let the fear of anxiety get in the way of your life. Think of it as a way to take a step back and re-channel your energy into something that is within your control.
Ideas and main points by Dr. Alicia Clark. Read the article in the NYT here.
Note: these tips may not be for everyone. They are a simple way to remind yourself what you have control over.
“Never give up on someone with a mental illness. When “I” is replaced by “We”, illness becomes wellness.”
― Shannon L. Alder
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