Hope for Fear and Anxiety
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” – Pema Chodron
Life never stands still. It is a river of moments flowing in time. It twists and turns seeming to hide what is just around the next bend. It dries up, becoming monotonous, and the floods with unexpected storms. Its highs and lows create a constant flux that can energize and motivate, empower and enrich, or far too often, confuse and frustrate.
The issues and challenges we face are not when we feel energized by life and things are going as expected, but during periods of transition and turmoil. Whether a breakup, loss of job or loved one, illness, retirement, major move, or any other innumerable detours that life can take, we are sometimes unprepared to face the problem at hand. This can result in fear and anxiety. The good news is that there is help.
Depending on our past experiences and coping abilities to deal with difficulties, we may handle the unexpected with ease or find ourselves crippled emotionally and feeling inadequate and groundless. We don’t have to be impeded by fear and fall into the traps of anxiety and depression. We can draw strength and face adversity in the midst of troubling emotions. Here are a few that may be helpful:
- Get in touch with your feelings and see if they are appropriate to the situation. Identify and acknowledge what you are feeling.
- Recognize and challenge negative and biased thinking (I can’t handle it, I’m a failure, I’m no good, I can’t do it, etc.) and challenge it. We do not want to feed the internal monster of fear, anxiety, or depression that prevents us from thinking and acting clearly.
- Change the storyline. We too often create stories that are disempowering and biased. Say “no!” Begin empowering yourself with a more truthful narrative.
- Focus on what you can control. Let what is out of your control go. You will make more progress identifying and attending to your own behaviors and reactions.
- When possible, recall how you handled difficult situations in the past and write down the steps you took to resolve it successfully.
- Think about the desired outcome and your values. What is important to you?
- Make a plan with realistic goals and commit to action despite distressful feelings like fear, anxiety, and depression.
- Be kind and gently with yourself, not hard and critical. Engage in self-care that nourishes and strengthens.
- Seek guidance when needed. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
You can increase your ability to manage distressful emotions and better cope with life’s twists and turns, even the flooding of an unexpected storm that causes anxiety. We are strong and resourceful and far more capable that we give ourselves credit for.
Contact the Boca Raton therapists at Morgan Center for Counseling and Wellbeing at (561) 366-2476 for more information or need help. We offer anxiety counseling and other forms of therapy.