Anxiety is a mental health condition that affects millions of people all over the world. While it is often seen as a negative thing, some people argue that there can be good forms of stress.
It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time. It can motivate us to do our best and achieve our goals. It is when the tension starts to interfere with our daily lives that it becomes a problem.
So, when is being anxious productive, and how can we tell when it’s time to seek help?
What causes anxiety?
We’ve all experienced anxiety at some point in our lives. It’s that feeling of nervousness, dread, or fear that can come over us in anticipation of something stressful or dangerous.
First, we need to understand what causes anxious feelings. Once we know what our triggers are, we can start to develop strategies for dealing with them.
Here are some common causes:
Fear of failure: This is often the cause, particularly in the case of high achievers. We’re so afraid of failing that we don’t even try. This can lead to a vicious cycle of perfectionism and procrastination.
Fear of success: This might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes people are actually more afraid of succeeding than they are of failing. We might worry that we won’t be able to live up to other people’s expectations or that we’ll lose what makes us special if we’re successful.
Uncertainty: Not knowing what’s going to happen next can be incredibly stressful. Will I get the job? Am i going to pass the test? Will I miss the flight? Sometimes the unknown is so frightening that we’d rather not even think about it.
Change: Change is hard, even when it’s something we want. It’s human nature to resist change, even when we know it’s for the best. Whether it’s starting a new job, moving to a new city, or ending a relationship, change can be tough to deal with.
Types of Anxiety
Performance anxiety is the type of anxiety that people often experience before giving a presentation or taking an exam. This is because they are worried about not meeting expectations or performing to the best of their abilities.
Social anxiety is the fear of being judged or evaluated by others in social situations. People with worry about saying or doing something embarrassing in front of others.
Finally, general anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by chronic and excessive worry about a variety of topics, including work, family, finances, etc. People with GAD often have trouble sleeping and concentrate on their worries to the point where it interferes with their daily lives.
Channelling Good Anxiety
As we all know, feeling anxious is a part of life. We might feel anxious before taking a test or going on a first date. And that’s okay! In fact, some anxiety can be beneficial. It’s what drives us to do our best and achieve our goals.
For example, if you’re about to give a presentation at work, feeling anxious can actually help you perform at your best. The key is to manage your stress so that it doesn’t become overwhelming. If you’re able to do that, then anxiety can be a good thing.
Anxiety is like a fire – it can be a force for good or for destruction. The difference lies in how we channel it. If we can learn to channel it in a constructive way, we can use it to our advantage. We can use it to push ourselves harder and achieve things we never thought possible.
Strategies to channel our anxiety in a constructive way
Once we know what causes our stress, we can start to develop strategies for dealing with it. Here are some helpful tips:
Identify your thoughts: Write down your anxious thoughts and then examine them closely. Are they realistic? Are they based on facts or feelings? What evidence do you have for or against them? Sometimes just seeing our thoughts written down can help us realize how irrational they are.
Challenge your beliefs: If you find that your anxious thoughts are based on irrational beliefs, challenge them! Why do you believe that you’re not good enough/that you’ll never amount to anything/that you’re going to fail? Where did those beliefs come from? Are they really true?
Change your internal monologue to focus on your positive qualities and times when you handled similar situations well in the past. You should also make an effort to visualize success, by picturing yourself nailing your presentation or acing your exam
Breathe: When you’re feeling anxious, take a few slow, deep breaths and focus on your breath going in and out. This will help calm your nervous system and bring you back into the present moment.
Relaxation techniques: There are many different relaxation techniques, including progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, and mindfulness meditation. Experiment with different techniques and find one that works best for you.
Talk to someone who will support you – whether it’s a friend, family member, therapist, or coach, talking to someone who believes in you can help calm your nerves
In conclusion, feeling anxious is normal and can even be helpful in some situations. We all feel it at some point in our lives. The key is learning how to channel it in a constructive way so that it doesn’t take over our lives and hold us back from achieving our goals.
However, there are times when anxiety can become problematic. When it starts interfering with our daily lives, it’s no longer helpful—it’s harmful. If you find that you’re struggling to concentrate at work or school because of anxious thoughts, or if you’re avoiding social situations because you’re afraid of feeling anxious, then it’s time to seek help.
There are many effective treatments, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you’re struggling. A therapist can teach you how to manage your stress in a healthy way so that it doesn’t take over your life.