Anxiety is a biological response to stress. It can be caused by several things, from a bad day at work to the chaos in your home life. Anxiety affects everyone differently and manifests itself in different ways for each person. There’s no cure-all when it comes to anxiety, but there are indeed steps that you can take to help manage it better and live more fully despite its presence in your life. The first step? Acceptance. Learn how acceptance works with anxiety and what you need to know about the differences between it and denial so you can make an informed decision about which approach will work best for you!
What is anxiety, and what does it feel like
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, fear, and apprehension usually related to something that might happen in the future. It can range from relatively mild (occasional discomfort) to severe (panic attacks). There are many misconceptions about what anxiety feels like; according to Anxiety Canada, 70% of people with an anxiety condition will say that they’ve missed out on at least one event due to the feeling. But the reality is often much more subtle than it appears.
People with anxiety often get nervous about minor things, even if it’s just a simple task that they have to do. This stress and worry are so common because there are so many possible outcomes for any given situation. People can either succeed or fail, but they could also experience anything in between the two extremes. The result? Constant worrying over a problem that might never even happen.
Anxiety doesn’t just appear overnight, so you’ll likely be able to notice a pattern of stress and worry that has been present in your life for at least six months. You may develop specific phobias or fears as a result of this anxiety as well. You may even begin to fear or avoid social interaction because you don’t want to experience the negative feelings that result from anxiety. This can be highly isolating and prevent you from doing things that most people take for granted, like going out with friends or family members, attending events at your place of worship, or just enjoying a day outside without feeling trapped and suffocated.
Acceptance vs. denial
Acceptance is the opposite of denial. Acceptance means accepting that your anxiety is a part of you. It means recognizing that your thoughts are irrational and that there are things in the world that you will not be able to change. On the other hand, denial means refusing to accept reality even when it’s there in front of you.
Both acceptance and denial have their pros and cons. When individuals are in a state of denial, they might be happy for a short period because they refuse to face the truth about themselves or their situation. In return, however, this happiness won’t last because it won’t be sustainable if someone chooses to remain in denial.
The opposite can also be true with acceptance—that individual’s emotions may be negative at first. When someone accepts that they have anxiety, it might not be easy to believe anything good about their situation. This is why acceptance can seem like a distant goal for some people who are just starting on the journey of recovery from anxiety.
How to accept your anxiety
By accepting your anxiety, you’ll be permitting yourself to express your emotions without fear of judgment. You’ll also be able to be responsible for your situation and take care of yourself in the best way possible. This is often done by writing out thoughts or feelings that cause fear or worry, practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or yoga, or getting involved with structured activities like walking, journaling, drawing, reading, watching TV shows-anything that can help divert attention away from worrisome thoughts while also providing some release.
Choosing to accept your anxiety rather than denying it does come with its own set of benefits. Acceptance means saying ‘yes’ to your anxiety, even when it seems utterly horrible and terrifying because it is all part of who you are right now. And once you’re able to accept that your anxiety is there to stay for the time being, you can work on finding ways to manage it better so that it doesn’t stop you from living your life.
Ways to manage your anxiety better
There are many ways of managing anxiety better, and the different approaches depend on the person and what they find most helpful. It can be challenging to figure out which of these strategies will work best for you, but there’s no harm in trying several different things until you find one that resonates with you. The following examples might help guide your decision:
Exercise. One way to manage your stress levels is by exercising regularly. Find some exercise routine that you enjoy, so it feels less like a chore, and try to do some form daily! Exercise has been shown to reduce chronic anxiety and stress, improve sleep quality and mood, and increase self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.
Meditation. Meditation has been shown to improve anxiety symptoms and reduce the number of panic attacks people experience. It’s also been known to make you more resistant to stress, help with insomnia, lower blood pressure, boost memory function, enhance self-control, and increase happiness levels.
Where you can get help if you need it
It’s tricky to figure out the best treatment for anxiety because anxiety includes so many different symptoms and affects people in so many ways. The National Institute of Mental Health suggests cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and medication as the three effective treatments for anxiety disorders. Suppose you’re having a tough time with your anxiety and would like a professional opinion on which treatment to choose. In that case, there are plenty of online resources for finding a therapist or counselor near you.
It’s essential to support those with anxiety. There are so many things that people with anxiety do not have control over, but they can learn how to accept what they can’t change and live a happier life in the process! When someone accepts their anxiety, it might not be easy to believe anything good about their situation. The opposite can also be true with acceptance—that individual’s emotions may be negative at first. This is why acceptance can seem like a distant goal for some people who are just starting on the journey of recovery from anxiety. It does come with its own set of benefits, though: by accepting your anxiety rather than denying it, you’ll permit yourself to express your emotions without fear of judgment; you’ll also be able to take some control over your life by working on some of the possible ways you can manage it better. These might include exercises, meditation, and treatment from professionals if needed. When you’re able to accept that anxiety is a part of who you are right now, work will be more accessible as you’ll know that no matter what obstacles or challenges arise in your life, you’ll be able to handle and deal with them effectively. When you and those around you learn to accept and support each other through these difficult times, it will undoubtedly make the journey of recovery from anxiety all that easier.
The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.