If you live with the challenges of anxiety or panic attacks, there are ways you can transform it into opportunity. Strategies are like turning lemons into lemonade. What you start with is sour, but what you end up with is sweet!
These tips can assist you in dealing with anxiety positively. They can even support you by providing new outlets and thus reduce the excess energy.
Here are a few techniques to help you transform your anxiety into opportunity:
- Re-focus your excess energy. Take the excessive energy that comes with anxiety and its moods and focus it on something constructive. For example, you have been putting off household chores, such as cleaning closets. Putting your energy into projects will enable you to get it done in record time!
- Write about your challenges with anxiety. Write about everything you’re experiencing. What you have written might surprise you. By sharing it with others can benefit you as well or using it to help in the future when you’re overly anxious.
- We all have said that we’re going to start an exercise program, but have we? Probably not. However, your anxious energy can be the force that propels you to start your new exercise routine. The endorphins your body releases can actually stop an anxiety attack.
- Even if you don’t have the voice of an angel breathing in and out, it is a natural way to heal panic attacks.
- Help others. Focus on helping others; you can take your mind off your worries, give you a different perspective on life, and bring you satisfaction.
- Do something about your worries. For example, if you worry about the environment, you can start a recycling center or hold green meetings in your home to discuss ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.
These are just a few of the ways you can transform your anxiety into opportunity. You can reduce your anxiety by focusing that excess energy on positive habits while also making a difference in yourself and the world.
Emotions should serve us, not the other way around. When your emotions are out of control, it’s hard on your mind, body, and relationships.
They can easily fuel us to do or say something inappropriate. Strong emotions inhibit our ability to make sound decisions. Overactive emotional responses can also be damaging to your health.
On the other hand, having control over your emotions can help you avoid many challenges. (Seriously, don’t you have enough stress already?) You’ll live in greater harmony with others and enjoy more peace and happiness in your life. As with most other things, to become skilled at controlling your emotions requires practice.
Master your emotions by practicing these strategies.
Be aware of your emotions. It is the critical first step. Emotions turn off the logical part of your brain. It takes practice to notice that your emotions are off-kilter.
Exercise. It’s harder to get upset or stressed after a good workout. Regular exercise releases much of the tension in your body and makes it easier to control your emotions throughout the day.
Determine your triggers. When are you most likely to lose control? At work? At home in the evening? With your in-laws? Notice your emotional patterns and do what you can to minimize your responses in those situations.
Sleep. You’ve noticed how a tired toddler is on an emotional knife edge. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re immune to this phenomenon. Get enough sleep to ensure that you’re emotionally sound each day.
Focus on finding a solution. Emotions run higher when you focus on the problem. Direct your attention to a solution instead. You’ll not only calm yourself but also be on track to solving the issue before you.
Question your opinions. You’re not always right. Maybe you don’t actually have a good reason to be upset. Ask yourself if your opinions, views and beliefs are 100% accurate regarding the upsetting circumstances.
Remind yourself of past emotional experiences. Occasionally remind yourself of the pain you’ve caused yourself and others in the past by losing control of your emotions. Awareness is half the battle.
Focus on your breathing. When you’re in the middle of a strong emotional reaction, you’re focused on the thoughts going through your head. It’s easy to magnify your emotional state when your focus is inward. Bring yourself back to reality by directing your attention to your breathing.
If you have control over your emotions, you have more control over your life. Maintaining control of your emotions is a vital skill that is developed with practice.
What comes to mind when someone recommends that you practice mindfulness?
- Maybe you think of meditation.
- Maybe you think of yoga.
- Maybe you think of long stretches of awkward silence.
While mindfulness can include meditation, it can also be a way of seeing the world and how you fit in it. Being mindful is something anyone can do. And yet, many people believe that being mindful is complicated.
Those who suffer from persistent anxiety, a sense of being rushed, but not knowing why just assume that is how life is and that everyone experiences it. Well, not everyone experiences this, and you no longer have to!!
Try these two techniques to reduce anxiety in your life.
Journaling is a practice that many, many people have found to be the core reason why they are successful, why they can achieve goals, and, more importantly – why they can find meaning in their life.
It is one of the most popular and effective mindfulness techniques because you must be fully present and pay attention to your thoughts. And, you’re doing it ON purpose, WITH purpose. You have intentions behind your actions that set in motion a sense of being mindful and present.
Breathe with Purpose
Chances are good you’re saying “breathe with purpose? What the heck are you talking about? If I didn’t breathe, I wouldn’t be alive!”
I know it sounds “off,” doesn’t it? And yet, studies have proven that most of us breathe without thinking – and we breathe shallow breaths. When you breathe deeply, you can feel a difference throughout your body. Your heart rate slows, your shoulders relax, your mind calms a bit. It really does. Try it now – two deep breaths.
These techniques can be used one at a time or together to help your stress levels. The key is to do one or both every day.
Start now. Just today, Just this moment. Then do it again tomorrow. And the next day.
Is your depression worse in the morning? Do you think, ‘why can’t I just get out of bed?”
The thought of getting up and facing a whole new day can be paralyzing. I used to chalk it up to depression and tell myself to get up anyway, fast, like ripping off a bandaid. Except that doesn’t always work, and it isn’t ‘just’ depression.
It’s like waking up every day and realizing I still haven’t fixed the problem. It is easy to get down on myself, but what’s really going on? Depression and anxiety are different for every person, but there is one struggle they all share. No one understands what we are going through!
The challenges of living with depression and anxiety can be daunting, but we all have the power to overcome them.
Anxiety screams, “you have to get up and do things, or you’ll fail in life.”
Depression is the other side telling you, “it doesn’t matter anyway, and you should stay in bed all day.”
Anxiety says, “what if you don’t go and people will get upset, or if you do go, what if something sends you into panic mode?”
Depression says, “don’t go, you don’t have enough energy and don’t feel like socializing anyway.”
With depression, you are lonely, but afraid of people. You are torn between the fear, despair, emptiness and soul-rendering apathy, all at once. The worse part is both sides are telling you no one else cares or needs to know.
Anxiety tells you, “I’m fine, completely functional and capable of finishing all the tasks, while in reality, I’m completely vulnerable and drowning in shame.
Depression is one side of your brain, begging you not to get out of bed. Meanwhile, the other part barks like a military sergeant for not getting out of bed.
Anxiety is like living in a paradox; you feel both too much and nothing. You are completely exhausted, and high strung all at the same time.
One minute, your anxiety skyrockets, and the next, depression smacks you in the face. Anxiety and depression are like a never-ending rollercoaster where you can’t concentrate on anything, and then you are completely exhausted.
The voices in your head never stop screaming at you; it drains the life out of you – struggles between giving up on everything, and knowing that nothing gained by giving up.
Depression is like spending every moment feeling horrible and so low, making it hard to face the day. With anxiety, you are in a constant state of panic. Depression gives you the feeling of being stuck with the inability to move forward.
It is absolutely exhausting keeping your mental illness a secret. You wear an invisible mask with such care so that it doesn’t break and expose your ‘true’ self.
Waking up with anxiety is both demoralizing and debilitating. The thought of going to work is overwhelming and feels impossible. Depression and anxiety are a tug of war, creating a vicious cycle that leads to no longer participating in life.
Depression and anxiety lead to separation from others, giving you feelings of isolation, frustration and failure. Your feelings slowly dissolve into worthlessness and failure envelopes.
No matter what I accomplish, it will never be good enough for my inner critic. You pull away and isolate yourself from everyone; there is just emptiness. It is like covering your face with an invisible mask.
You have to show other people, “I’m fine, completely functional and capable of finishing all the tasks while the reality is that I’m completely a vulnerable person.
Why do entrepreneurs have a higher tendency to experience mental health challenges?
There are many reasons, but here are two:
Stress: Not surprisingly, stress ranks right at the top!! With that stress comes a multitude of other problems like working non-stop, sleepless nights, and not eating healthily (or worse is skipping meals). Basically, self-care is ignored.
Isolation: Being an entrepreneur, and specifically a solopreneur, can be very isolating. Typically, in the early stages of starting a business, entrepreneurs wear multiple hats and juggle a mountain of priorities. It’s also likely that they surround themselves with friends and family living a nine-to-five existence who don’t necessarily understand the entrepreneurial struggle. The risk of depression is compounded by Isolation.
One way to stop the stigma around being an entrepreneur and mental illness is to start a conversation.
Having an open dialogue about the challenges of mental illness can raise awareness and can educate the entrepreneurial community. It’s also critical to create an environment for entrepreneurs to speak openly about the challenges they face. Thank goodness, more and more entrepreneurs are addressing their emotional well-being and making it clear that entrepreneurs aren’t immune to mental health challenges.
As an entrepreneur, having a trustworthy support team is essential.
It is essential to have mentors, coaches and friends. Being active in Mastermind groups is another great way to share your struggles. The fellow entrepreneurs can have a deeper understanding of the challenges you’re facing and offer invaluable insights or solutions. It’s critical to be truthful with yourself and don’t be reluctant to reach out for support.
Entrepreneurs are more likely to display extreme confidence and optimism all of the time.
Regrettably, that means that when things don’t go as planned, they tend to suffer in silence. What gives mental illness and its challenges power is shame and the feeling of having to hide the thoughts and feelings.
In her famous Ted Talk, Brené Brown speaks eloquently about how vulnerability can eradicate shame. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s an act of courage. By embracing vulnerability, entrepreneurs can finally free themselves from shame, get the help they need and empower others to do the same.