Dealing With Anxiety In Turbulent Times

Dealing With Anxiety In Turbulent Times
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Many of us experience a certain amount of stress in our daily lives, but when the world seems especially crazy, we may experience dealing with anxiety in turbulent times. It adds another level to regular anxiety. 😕

According to The National Alliance on Mental Illness,

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. Over 40 million adults in the U.S. (19.1%) have an anxiety disorder. Meanwhile, approximately 7% of children aged 3-17 experience issues with anxiety each year. Most people develop symptoms before age 21.

Dealing with anxiety, as noted above,  is a reality of life for many individuals in the world today. Although anxiety is not a new phenomenon, part of what makes dealing with anxiety in turbulent times an issue for many  is related to information overload. Why do so many of us experience this overload? In addition to 24/7 news broadcasts, a primary culprit is the world wide web.

Knowledge is power, right? While often true, when it comes to news, there is a breaking point. You want information, to be sure, but you don’t want to be immersed in it completely.

Today’s world is so connected through the internet, social media and other forms of media.  As a result people today are not only exposed to the issues in their immediate environment, also all of the bad things taking place across the entire globe. All day. Every day.

Furthermore,  many of us are expected to juggle so many responsibilities, all while being as productive as possible. Work life, home life, extracurriculars etc…

So how do we avoid becoming overwhelmed with the world and having the troubles of the globe increase our anxiety?  The following ideas can help.

Live In The Moment

Although it may seem obvious when stated, the only point in time in which you will EVER exist is right now. Ironically, most of us dedicate the bulk of our mental energy into the past or future. Anxiety is great at causing us to replay past mistakes in our head and to constantly worry about things that have yet to occur.

Learning to live in the moment is thus very helpful in alleviating anxiety. This means focusing all of your physical and mental energy on what is going on right now.  Practicing mindfulness.

Of course you can’t always entirely ignore past events, or planning for the future. And you can’t ignore all news if you want to be a good citizen.  But if the bulk of your day is spent in mindfulness, you will discover the power of now (to borrow a line from Eckhart Tolle 🙂).

Control What You Can Control

First step-limit your exposure to news. You can get the info you need to be informed pretty easily each day. But limit it to once a day for a certain bit of time.

Next focus on what you can control. The truth is, many of the issues causing anxiety in your life are beyond your control. This includes global and community issues as well as problems in your personal life.

Anxiety tells you that you should be worried about solving problems that are not possible for you alone to solve. In reality, focusing on the issues that you actually have the ability to resolve is a much healthier response to a problem-filled world.

A prime example would be climate change. This is a scary issue for many. Obviously, one person can’t fix this. But there are many choices you can make. You can reduce your own carbon footprint in many ways.  Donate to groups that plant trees. Sign petitions. Visit the click to donate sites I mention here every day.

Taking direct action about a bigger concern  is empowering.

So : direct action and then a return to mindfulness when the stuff you can’t control starts you worrying again. It’s an effective combination.

It’s Okay To Not Feel Okay

Another side effect of dealing with anxiety in turbulent times is a feeling of isolation. People experiencing anxiety on a routine basis often feel like they are the only ones dealing with this issue.

From this perspective, we feel like everyone else is much happier than we are. We might think we won’t be accepted if people knew the extent of our anxiety. It is important to realize that this is far from the truth.!

As noted above, millions of people deal with anxiety, and almost everyone around you is experiencing some degree of anxiousness or mental duress. You are far from alone. Don’t feel like you have to go through life acting as if everything is okay when it isn’t!

Get Help If You Need It

Finally, if your anxiety is something you are having trouble dealing with on your own, then don’t! There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional help for this issue. Ironically, our society welcomes getting help for even minor physical ailments but sometimes treats mental issues as taboo.

Consider this, if you had the flu, you would most certainly seek the appropriate doctor to take care of it. Why would you not seek a doctor that is medically trained in alleviating mental health issues if you are dealing with anxiety? There is help out there, get it if you need it!

It’s your life. Choose HAPPY!

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About Cate

I am a retired RN–stayed home after my second child was born, having worked for 10 years. I am in my mid-50s now, and I enjoy blogging, designing mugs and more and spreading a bit of positivity in the world.

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