Do You Know How To Harness Your Anxiety?

Instead of letting anxiety stress you out and worry you think about it in terms of what your anxiety can do for you for good instead.

If you’re like me, you know what I mean by anxiety. I’ve suffered a lot from anxiety in my life, and what I used to do about that anxiety was work and party. I had a very demanding job, which I chose to make even more demanding. I spent all my time working and that meant I didn’t have to deal with much. After all, I was working. And when I wasn’t working, I was playing hard – really hard.

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When I made a major lifestyle change and quit working the ridiculous 80+ hour weeks I had become accustomed to, I discovered that I had a lot of anxiety, and I didn’t know what to do with it.

One cause of anxiety that I wrestled with a lot was getting things done. Sometimes, even after I had changed my lifestyle and stopped working all the time, I would over-schedule myself, and realize I had committed to far more than I could possibly accomplish in the time allotted.

In the early days of working less, when this happened, I would go into anxiety overload and sometimes not be able to accomplish anything because I was so anxious about being able to complete everything. Needless to say, this did not work out all that well.

Finally I began to realize that anxiety is a signal from my brain, and from my mind. They are telling me I’m in territory that is unfamiliar and threatening. Those are good signals to get; I need to know when I’m doing something that may qualify as Something Really Stupid.

But I don’t always have to follow the instructions my brain is sending. Those instructions fall into the category of Flight or Fight, and the anxiety builds into a strong feeling that I have to Do Something Now.

Generally, when I’m feeling anxious about a situation in my life, the danger does not rise to fight or flight. Especially if what I’m anxious about is getting some work done.

The key to dealing with this anxiety is to take the time to think it through. When I feel anxiety coming on, I have the choice of pausing and asking myself: ‘Why am I feeling this way? Is there something I need to do?’

Sometimes all I need to do is harness the energy from the anxiety to conquer my current situation. I’ve learned that if the anxiety is coming mainly from over-booking myself, which it often is, I can use that anxiety to get caught up, and then remind myself that I don’t like to work that way anymore, and use the lesson to go longer this time without overbooking my days.

What can you do with your anxiety to use it for your good instead of allowing it to push you off-track?

Thanks to Widow’s Quest for including this post in the Carnival of Positive Thinking, to FitBuff.com for featuring this post in the Total Mind and Body Fitness Carnival, and to We Are One World Healing for inclusion in the Carnival of Healing.

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