It's not easy...
Sometimes life can all get a bit much. Whether worrying about the future - will I be able to meet my bills at the end of the month; How am I going to ever get promoted at work? Or fretting over relationship issues - Am I always going to be on my own? Will I ever meet the right one? These sorts of worry around work, exams, relationships and money however are ‘normal’ and we all have them from time to time. It is our mind’s way of responding to stressful situations, an in-built alarm to tell us that something’s not right and we need to sort it.
Recent statistics show us that as a society, levels of anxiety are on the rise, particularly amongst young adults. Seemingly the most common worries for this age group centre around work, money and in fact current events/world politics. Indeed it would seem that a growing number of us struggle to strike a balance between work life and home life and of course we berate ourselves when we cannot ‘do it all.’ This not only causes massive anxiety but can also lead to stress, depression and relationship issues.
For the most part however, we can usually find ways of moving past our anxiety, settling ourselves and getting on with our daily business. Sometimes though this is not possible, our levels of anxiety remain high and we cannot find a way to settle ourselves. This is when it can begin to feel utterly overwhelming, as if there is no way out.
The good news I have to share is that there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and in fact there are many ways to manage anxiety.
Acceptance - Recognise that there will always be events ‘out of one’s control’ - accepting this will make any unexpected ‘surprises’ thrown at you by other people/other situations, much easier to deal with.
Recognising Triggers - Notice if there are any particular ‘triggers’ for your anxiety - is there a pattern to when and how you experience it, for example do you feel more anxious in social situations which are ‘unknown’ and therefore potentially ‘threatening’? Do you feel ‘safer' when surrounded by friends and family in familiar surroundings? Understanding when you typically experience anxiety and what goes through your mind when you do, will enable you to feel more in control in those ‘unknown’ moments. By the same token, become familiar with how your body responds physically to stressful situations e.g. palpitations, sweaty palms, tummy complaints. Being forewarned is being forearmed and may allow you to plan better.
Stay grounded in the present moment - try not to worry about the future or dwell in the past. Own this moment and your place in it!
Focus on good self-care, and daily! Whether that is catching up with a friend, going to the gym or having a night in with a good boxset. Whatever works best for you (Note: if however you are someone who finds themselves getting unnecessarily worried by watching the news or being exposed to social media, then try limiting your screen time!)
If you are still feeling worried and/or panicked after taking the above actions, then consider seeking professional help. There is no shame attached to doing so. Life can be hard sometimes, for all of us.