Overcoming Your Fears and Anxiety

Increased anxiety levels occur during various times in our life, but there are ways to reduce the stress and retain normalcy.

Anxiety can be a feeling of apprehension, dread or fear over a real or imagined threat to your well-being. Some amount of anxiety at times is normal and helpful. For example, mild anxiety prompts many people to complete assigned tasks or practice speeches. Feelings of anxiety can also alert you when danger is present. However, when anxiety is brought on by a traumatic event or constant fear of an unknown event, it can become overwhelming and may get in the way of your daily life. Below are some helpful tips to assist you in overcoming anxious feelings1:

  • Maintain control over those things that you can. For example, if you walk for exercise, continue to walk.
  • Limit your television news viewing. Tragic things feed news coverage, but you don’t have to subject yourself or your family to repeated doses of it. Tune in for occasional updates, but limit your exposure if it adds to your anxiety or that of your family members.
  • If it makes you feel better to keep family members close by, then do so. Being cautious about personal safety is good. But try not to overreact.
  • Do something for someone else. Taking attention off our own worries and doing something nice for someone else can improve our own frame of mind.
  • Volunteer. Contact area schools, hospitals or volunteer groups to ask how you can help. Taking action to be part of something positive is a very constructive way to reduce your anxiety.
  • Talk to someone. If you start to feel overwhelmed by your emotions, talk with a friend, family member, doctor, religious advisor or mental health professional.
  • Resources Are Available For further information and support you may wish to contact your Employee Assistance Program.

1Adapted from the National Mental Health Association, Coping with Anxiety atwww.NMHA.org

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