By Stanley Popovich
Almost everybody worries about what will happen in the future. The prospect of not knowing if something good or bad will happen to you in the near future can produce a lot of fear and anxiety. Some people have a difficult time in managing their fears and anxieties, and sometimes, they can get the best of them. Here is a short list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their fears and anxieties.
1. Challenge Your Thoughts
One of the ways to manage your anxiety is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make your fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. For example, you’re afraid that if you do not get that job promotion, then you will be stuck at your job forever. This depresses you; however, your thinking in this situation is unrealistic. The fact of the matter is that there all are kinds of jobs available. Just because you don’t get this job promotion doesn’t mean that you will never get one. In addition, people change jobs all the time, and you always have that option of going elsewhere if you are unhappy at your present location.
2. Breathe Deeply
Some people get depressed and have a difficult time getting out of bed in the mornings. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do to get their mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. Doing something will get your mind off of the problem and give you the confidence to do other things.
Sometimes we can get anxious over a task that we will have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship volleyball game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that you’re playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.
4. Practice Self-affirmations
Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that makes you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed, open up your small notebook and read those statements.
5. Remember You Aren’t a Fortune Teller
Remember that no one can predict the future with 100 percent certainty. Even if the thing that you are afraid of does happen, there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict, which can be used to your advantage. For instance, let’s say at your place of work that you miss the deadline for a project you have been working on for the past few months. Everything you feared is coming true. Suddenly, your boss comes to your office and tells you that the deadline is extended and that he forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes everything. Remember that we may be 99 percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that 1 percent to make a world of difference.
6. Take Things As They Come
Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming month, try to focus on today. Do not try to tackle everything all at once. When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, break the task into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things, and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. When the time comes, hopefully you will have learned the skills to deal with your situation. Be smart in how you deal with your fears and anxieties.
A lot of times, our worrying can make the problem even worse. All the worrying in the world will not change anything. All you can do is to do your best each day, and when something does happen, take it in stride. If you still have trouble, then talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. Managing your fears and anxieties takes practice. The more you practice, the better you will become.