NO WORRIES: Advice for the Anxious

NO WORRIES: Advice for the Anxious

QUESTION: Do you have any tips on how to deal with anxiety? I’ve always been a bit jumpy, but in recent years it has morphed into an issue. I worry all the time! I worry when I am at work, I worry at school, I worry when I have to talk to someone, or if I am in a crowd. I’m always anxious because I know I am going to mess up in some way.

I feel like a real loser sometimes, like I just can’t get a grip on it. I am a guy and I’m supposed to be strong. Anxiety makes me feel like a big wimp. I really need help! I am a full-time student and can’t afford therapy, and I have no insurance so medication is out of the question.

Can you share some advice for beating anxiety on my own?

~Shaky in St. Louis

COACH KRISTA-LYNN’S ADVICE:

Though it is often said in jest, quite literally, your problems are all in your mind, Shaky!  Your anxiety is created by the thoughts you choose to focus on, which are hurtful and cause you stress.  Two thoughts cannot exist simultaneously, which means that when you are focused on thoughts like, “I’m a loser who’s going to mess up” you have blocked out the thoughts that create peace of mind.

Worrying is a choice. While we may not choose the thoughts that run through our minds, we do choose what we focus on. You really can choose not to worry, you may have to make that choice one thousand times, but, with practice, you will learn a better way and find peace.

By monitoring your thoughts, and choosing to focus your attention on solutions, rather than problems, the effects of anxiety will cease to have a hold on you. Meditation with the use of positive affirmations will assist you in focusing your attention in the right direction.

The first step in calming your mind is simply to breathe. As soon as you catch yourself worrying, stop, and take several deep breaths; pull the air deep into your belly, and up into your lungs, then slowly release. Keep breathing fully and slowly, until you feel centered and calm.

Once you have centered yourself, begin to notice the thoughts going through your mind. Note how you feel when you focus upon a thought. Though we have many, there are really just two kinds of thoughts; those that feel good and those that feel bad when we focus on them.

The sensations running through your body will tell you if a thought is good or bad for you. Negative thoughts, like worry, will often make your belly tighten and constrict, they create fear and feel bad. Positive thoughts will uplift you, bringing a sense of vitality and peace. You can always change your thoughts by shifting your focus to something that feels better.

Reciting affirmations, either silently or aloud, will help you to remain focused on the positive. Create and recite affirmations that empower you, making you feel strong and brave. You’ve spent enough time putting yourself down, now it is time to lift yourself up. It is imperative that you start focusing on what is right about you.

Right now you are just stuck in a pattern; you’ve grown accustomed to suffering. Set a new intention! Decide right now that you deserve joy, peace, happiness and contentment.

When you decide that you deserve to feel good you will start to get better.

It will require some work on your part, but I promise you, you can overcome this problem. It was brave of you to reach out for support, and I encourage you to remain open to assistance. You don’t have to go this alone!

Sometimes psychotherapy is the best route, and you may be wrong about not being able to afford it. Most cities have centers (State funded or non-profit) that offer low to no-cost counseling; often the cost of a session is offered on a “sliding scale” based on what you earn. Schools also offer discounted or free counseling to their students, and the same can be said about medications.

I suggest doing some research to find out about mental health programs in your area. You’ll find the information a wealth of information in your local newspapers and phone book, and on the internet. There is hope! Sometimes you just need to dig a bit to get to the solution.

If your symptoms do persist, or increase, I strongly encourage you to seek professional counseling immediately. The following links will help you to find a licensed therapist in your area:

Find a Therapist

Get Counseling 

Since you specifically mentioned becoming anxious when you have to speak with someone, or at work, I would say that low self-esteem is causing the brunt of your problems. It sounds to me that you worry most about what people will think of you, or that you may fail, or say something silly. It’s time to rewrite the story! Choose to have some faith in your abilities and your anxieties will begin to wane.

With continuous effort you can change your thoughts and anxiety will be a thing of the past. I say this with absolute confidence, since I was plagued for years with a totally debilitating anxiety/panic disorder. By changing the way I think my life has changed for the better! You, too, can take charge of your mind and claim the inner peace that is your right.

READER RESPONSE:

I was extremely impressed by your answers, Krista-Lynn—-I noticed the depth and breadth of your intelligence with your first appearance. I thought your answer to the guy who experienced constant anxiety was BRILLIANT!

E. Jean Carroll
Advice Columnist, ELLE MAGAZINE

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About the Author

A pioneer in the field of Transformational Coaching, Self-Care Tips editor-in-chief, Krista-Lynn Landolfi, founded SoulSchool.us [est. 1990] as a teenager.  Throughout her decades of service she’s helped thousands to breakthrough limitations and actualize their awesome.  Krista-Lynn has a gift for seeing the infinite potential within another, and calling forth their Super Self, which is the best an individual can be.  The key to actualizing our greatness, in this master coach’s opinion, is simple: self-care.  To learn more about Krista-Lynn’s work, which includes one-on-one coaching, spiritual guidance, group programs and retreats, visit Krista-Lynn.com

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95% of People Don’t Achieve Goals, Here’s the Secret to Success.

95% of People Don’t Achieve Goals, Here’s the Secret to Success.

As a child I bet you spent hours of time exploring, “Who am I going to be when I grow up?”

Imagination runs wild in our youth, we’re filled with fantasies and believe anything is possible.

With no fear of failure, and little knowledge of what’s required to bring a dream to life, children chart course for the future, claiming their chosen role of doctor, movie star, or President of the United States, with faith they will be whatever they want!

You and I are no different.

There was a time when we believed our future role in life required little more than choosing.

Then we grew up.

For most of us, ‘growing up’ means dreams of unparalleled fulfillment get put on the back burner in exchange for ‘real life’, which typically revolves around responsibility, and for many, a struggle to survive. Putting food on the table is a need, and need trumps desire.

Though easy to blame our lack of initiative on societal structures, family obligations, or pragmatic thinking, the real reason people set their heart’s desires aside is because humans, by nature, are quitters. Now before you get your panties in a bunch hear me out.

Do all humans quit on their dreams?

No.

But sadly, most do.

Based on a study by the Harvard Business School, [approximately] 95% of humans will NEVER turn their dreams into reality.

Why?  Because fear takes over and most people get scared off by the mere thought of obstacles, quitting during the idea stage (dream), before they’ve even started (goal). In fact, the study shows that 70% of people have no goals in life whatsoever! At best, they have dreams, which typically equates to fantasies; ie: never gonna happen.

While fantasies can be fun, dreams are child’s play.

Goals are for grown ups. A dream is a wish, while a goal is a commitment to achieve something within a given a timeline. A goal is clearly defined and includes plan of action.

Let’s put it into perspective the difference between a dream and a goal: if you want to drop forty pounds and be healthier, stronger, and more fit, dreaming about it may feel good, but it won’t create the results you desire. If there’s no action, it’s just a dream, when you wake up, your situation will be exactly the same.

Change requires action. On average, 30% of people will commit to ‘Go for it’ . . . but they, too, will not follow through. Of this remaining 30% of people, 10% try to pursue a goal, but quit when faced with the first obstacle, and 15% quit after the first few stumbling blocks.

Few have the staying power of Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, who tried and failed 10,000 times, before seeing the light. He stands atop an elite group: a mere 5% of humans who follow their dream through to reality – no matter what it takes to actualize!

What sets this group of individuals apart is this: they have clearly defined goals and follow a plan of action, and if that plan doesn’t work they come up with another. The 5% of people who bring their goals to fruition achieve more than the other 95% COMBINED!

What category will you choose to be in?

Personally, professionally and financially, only 5% of people are rising to the top because the other 95% is hiding in the dark. Step into the Light! I promise you that just beyond that challenge is a reward greater than any you’ve ever known.

Hear these words: you deserve optimal health, vibrant wellness and joyful aliveness. You deserve to thrive, prosper and live a fulfilling life guided by a deep sense of meaning and purpose.

Here’s the catch, only you can create that for yourself. You alone have the power to turn your dreams into reality.

I ask you to take the first step today, right now.

To start, pick one area of your life that you’d like to improve. The Wheel of Life will help you discern where you’re going to get the most ‘bang for your time investment buck’. Take time now to get honest with yourself regarding your level of fulfillment with the various areas of your life; rating each area on a scale of 0-10, with ten signifying the highest level of fulfillment.

Start with the area of your life that demands your immediate attention, or the one that brings you the most joy when you imagine a ‘new and improved’ version of yourself.

Now that you know what you want / need, it’s time to commit to a goal! Remember, a goal is clearly defined, has a timeframe for completion and is trackable.

Keep your goal specific and simple.

Once clear on your goal (results you desire) it’s time to choose the actions you will take (steps forward) that ensure you can easily gauge your progress (or lack thereof).

Suss out what you need to say, “No” to, in order to say, “Yes” to your desire, then commit! Once you’ve ‘cleared the path’, start moving forward, one positive, life-affirming step at a time.

Small, consistent steps lead to great leaps forward.

  1. Write down your goal and action plan in a notebook.
  2. Check-in daily to assess if you’re making the best choices.
  3. Celebrate every teeny-tiny bit of progress, and when you get off-track (which you probably will), quickly adjust.

The old adage of ‘getting back on the horse’ after we fall is a good one — resist the urge to give up, or worse, beat yourself up over perceived failure— simply get up, dust yourself off, and get going again! The key to success is to prioritize yourself, and your goal. You’ve committed, now you must not quit

Know that I am rooting for you, I believe in you, and the amazing possibilities for your life! Join me at www.facebook.com/selfcaretips to share your goal and celebrate your progress, together, as a community, we can provide each other daily accountability, encouragement and support!

The ‘secret to success’ is simple: commit, don’t quit.

DON’T GIVE UP! Even if it takes you 10,001 tries.

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NO WORRIES: Advice for the Anxious

QUESTION: Do you have any tips on how to deal with anxiety? I’ve always been a bit jumpy, but in recent years it has morphed into an issue. I worry all the time! I worry when I am at work, I worry at school, I worry when I have to talk to someone, or if I am in a...

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About the Author

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