There are always going to be some bad times:
- Times when you feel like there is no one that can help you.
- Times when you feel that you're without hope.
Anxiety is the type of condition that can at times feel so overwhelming that you're convinced that you'll never be able to live a happy life - or live the life that you've always wanted.
What is Your Anxiety Score?
When you feel like anxiety is too much for you, that's often a sign of severe and extreme anxiety. Our free 7-minute anxiety test can give you an anxiety score, compare it to others, and give you treatment recommendations.
But the truth is that anxiety itself is what causes this feeling. Anxiety can make your life feel like you are without hope. You can be cured, and you can find relief, but the only way to find that relief is to commit to the idea that anxiety help exists. That's why, when you feel like it's too much, you have two options:
- Sit and do nothing, and live with anxiety forever.
- Commit to change and start on your way to recovery.
The reality is there is always an opportunity for relief from anxiety. But anxiety isn't the type of issue that can be cured overnight. You'll need to not only find a successful treatment for you. You'll also need to commit to it for months, not just a few days, and continue committing to these changes after you've found anxiety relief.
If you're ready to find that relief, take my free 7-minute anxiety test.
But I Need Help Now!
But you need help right away. You need something to give you a bit of relief from the anxiety that you're experiencing - the anxiety that is starting to feel too overwhelming. How you get this relief isn't easy. Remember, anxiety isn't something that you can just delete overnight. If you feel, right this moment, that your anxiety is too much to handle, try the following:
Your first step is to do anything you can to stop your anxiety right now, at the moment. For this, one of the best things you can do is find yourself an immediate, complete distraction. This is one of the only times where technology can be useful for your anxiety. Turn on the TV. Turn on the lights or radio. Give your close friend a call and talk about anything on your mind. Keep yourself as mentally busy as possible. By preventing you from thinking about your stresses, you'll get some relief from your anxiety.
Exhaust Yourself Physically
Physical exhaustion provides mental exhaustion, so try your best to exhaust yourself physically. Go out for a very fast run, and when you get tired, wait until you regained some of your strength and ran again. Tire out your body so strongly that you can't even think about your physical concernsworries. Not fond of running? Find other strategies instead. You can punch a punching bag or yell as loudly as possible as long as possible. Do all of them if you need to. Make it hard for yourself to even think about your anxiety anymore since you're so tired that you've got nothing left.
Write Out Your Anxieties
Anxiety sometimes causes thoughts to roll out of control. Sometimes those thoughts aren't even anxiety related. They're simply thoughts that you can't stop thinking about. Write them all out. Write down everything in your head, and every thought that comes up. Once it's out of your head, you should find yourself thinking about it less.
Accepting and Creating a Plan
Finally, when it feels hopeless right now, you need to give yourself an opportunity to stop focusing on how it feels now and get ready for how it's going to improve in the future. There are two parts to this. The first step is taking a step back and telling yourself that it's okay for you to have anxiety. You need to accept it instead of trying to fight it because acceptance is the most critical tool for believing you can overcome it.
Then you need to have a long-term plan for the future, with the things you're going to do to find relief. Are you going to see a therapist? Are you going to ask your doctor about medications? Are you planning on exercising? Are you going to look for a new job, or find any new friends? What if you still suffer from anxiety - what changes will you make? Decide on what you're going to do and plan it out for the long term - not just days, not just weeks, but months and even years. Having that plan ensures that you're focused on your future so that what you deal with in the present becomes less important.
Remember, if you honestly believe that your life right now is too much, then planning for just one or two years down the road isn't even that much of commitment. If you can cure your anxiety in the next 1 to 5 years, then you'll still have decades and decades of a great life ahead. And don't worry - most treatments will work at least to some degree in a much shorter time than that.
Learning to Cope in the Long Run
Starting on your path towards curing your anxiety forever is one of the greatest commitments you can make as someone that deals with anxiety or panic attacks, and the good news is that treatment is possible for everyone. All anxiety can be cured.
You simply need to avoid certain traps:
- Believing you can cure it on your own.
- Believing that your anxiety is worse/different.
- Believing that if a treatment doesn't work for a week or so, it's not going to work.
Commitment and smart decision making is the key to finding long-term relief, and while not every treatment works for everyone, there are hundreds of different options available and one of them will work for you.
Until then, if it feels right now like you're dealing with too much, use the tips outlined above to get some relief. Remember, if anxiety really couldn't be cured, then you would never have even a bit of a break. When you find that you feel a little bit better or more hopeful at any point, even if it's only for a moment, that should prove to you that relief is possible.
Then take my free 7-minute anxiety test - a test that has you fill out your symptoms so that you can have a tailored plan for controlling your anxiety forever.
Author: Micah Abraham, BSc Psychology, last updated Dec 04, 2017.