Having anxiety isn’t fun, but it seems like anxiety is continuously making its way into my life. And that means I’ve got to fight anxiety right back. After having my first panic attack in February and then multiple ones in August, I decided I had had enough.
I wanted to tell anxiety to sit in the back seat while I drove the car, and I haven’t looked back since. Does anxiety sometimes try to grab the wheel, swerving me off the road? You betcha. But it doesn’t mean I’ll take it quietly. Instead, I work every day to kick anxiety’s little tiny butt. And here’s how you can, too.
1. Admit you have some form of anxiety disorder.
Admit you have a problem or sometimes have anxiety, whatever the case may be, and accept it. This is the single biggest step towards kicking anxiety’s ass. If you pretend you don’t have it or try to make excuses for your behavior, you won’t improve. Realizing that anxiety affects you and that you need to take back control is the best way to have a happier life.
2. Realize that getting help doesn’t mean going on medication.
I’m not a big fan of meds, even for panic attacks. But it’s a case-by-case and personal preference basis. Either way, getting help for your anxiety is the only way to gain control.
I highly recommend cognitive behavioral therapy, otherwise known as CBT, because anxiety is so rooted in our way of thinking — negative thoughts, catastrophizing, projection, and fear. CBT addresses ways to change your thinking and point of view.
For me, I’m now able to tell when I’m buying trouble where there is none, or if I’m catastrophizing about the future. CBT is helping me to do this. CBT can also help you gradually address fears and phobias with the guidance of a therapist to which it becomes a fear no longer.