“Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
Corrie ten Boom
If you struggle with general anxiety, social anxiety, or panic attacks, you are not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issues in our country , affecting 18.1% of American adults every year. Yet only 36.9% of these individuals receive treatment. Some anxiety is normal. The problem rests when anxiety becomes so frequent or overpowering that it compromises your quality of life. Excessive anxiety is incredibly destructive. It is important to recognize that all anxiety is future based, spending time ruminating about 3 hours from now, 3 days from now, 3 weeks from now. It robs us of our present moment, and is a rather perverse form of time travel. Unfortunately this does not make it easy to stop when it has become a compulsive habit. Here are the main tools I use.
Mindfulness : Mindfulness has become an incredible buzzword today, and rightfully so. It's popularity reflects the lack of health in a culture obsessed with how much can get done how quickly, constant multitasking and media saturation. Mindfulness utilizes breathing techniques and fosters present awareness to help remind us how to experience only NOW and live in it fully. Meditation in many different forms is also frequently used in mindfulness.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT is a potent tool in breaking away from the habit of anxious thoughts and worries. It becomes so entrenched over time that it takes time and commitment to resolve. By repeatedly pointing out the energy wasted in worry, individuals come to see how the time spent worrying not only makes their present miserable, but predicts the negative outcome of what they are anxious of in the first place. Once the mind better understands the futility of excess worry, it is expressed in calmer and more confident behaviors. Calmer and more confident behaviors produce better results in life and help to internalize the decreased anxiety levels.
For more information related to anxiety disorders, take a look at: https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics#