Anxiety Help and Support – Part 2

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Continuing on from Part 1 of this story

… by Giovanni Dienstmann.

 

Anxiety: The Symptom of a Larger Problem

As you saw, anxiety is at the root of many other challenges in our life.

And if we dig deeper, we will see that anxiety itself is the symptom of a larger problem: lack of mental and emotional fitness.

We know very well the importance of physical fitness. But most people are not fully aware of how important mental fitness really is.

It’s even more important than physical fitness… Because if your body is healthy and strong, but your mind is suffering, then you are not well at all. On the other hand, it’s possible that your body is sick, but your mind is still healthy and happy (many of us have been there). 

So your mind is the most important element in your life. It defines how you feel, what you do, and who you become. It determines if you are having a good day or a bad day. It is the glasses through which you see life and see yourself.

Your life is as your mind is.

mental fitness

Anxiety can be overcome if you work on your mental and emotional fitness.

Just like you need good nutrition and regular exercise for your body, you also need good nutrition and regular exercise for your mind. Your mind needs a gym, so it remains fit, strong and healthy.

Wisdom is the nutrition of the mind, and meditation is the exercise of the mind.

If you hear the call, and decide to take care of your mental fitness, then a new life is possible.

The Calm, Centered and Focused Life

What happens if you start taking good care of yourself, of your mental and emotional fitness? Anxiety and stress decreases, and wellbeing increases.

Here is how a diary entry could look like in the life of the anxious human, after a good dose of mental fitness.

I wake up feeling well-rested and replenished, after a good night of sleep. My body feels relaxed and light.

The thought comes that I have some pretty challenging things coming up for me today at work. My mind goes around that a little bit, but then I decide to get up and do my short morning meditation.

After meditating I feel calm and clear. I have a sense of ease and flow in my body. Meditation gives me a sense of control over my mind and my life. There is this distance between me and my thoughts, so they are easier to manage.

This makes me feel more confident that I will be able to deal with whatever challenges show up today, because I know my strength, and trust myself. As a result, there are less things to worry about.

I then remember how things used to be for me. Not in a good place, and didn’t have a strong center—even though I could not fully see it at that time. Looking back, it feels like I was living inside a cage of my own making.

Now things are quite different. I’m engaged in a journey of growth and self-transformation, together with other people. I take better care of myself, have energy for my goals and priorities, and feel happier with who I am.

My moods are much more stable. I’m less reactive, and consistently feel better under my own skin. There is a sense of calm and contentment in the background, no matter what is going on. I’m more optimistic, and feel more in control of myself and of my life.

Even when negative thinking comes up, or if anxiety tries to raise its head, I know exactly how to deal with it. Anxiety and stress don’t define me anymore. Now I choose who I want to be, moment after moment.

I finish my day feeling satisfied, and looking forward for tomorrow.

This type of transformation happened for me. It happened for many others.

With the right tools, guidance and support, it can happen for you too! 

Your Options

Yes, I want to believe that it’s possible, but I’ve tried some things and nothing really worked…”, I heard you say.

Now that you are more aware of all of this, you have a decision to make: “What will I do about it?”

Let’s consider your options, using the mind gym as a metaphor:

Do Nothing

Forget about mental fitness, and hope for the best.

  • Pros
    • Takes no effort.

  • Cons
    • Nothing will change. If anything, the situation tends to get worse over time.


Medication

Take the “lose weight while you sleep” pill!

  • Pros
    • Takes no effort, and can give some immediate relief.

  • Cons
    • Doesn’t address the underlying causes, but just manages the symptoms.
    • Often includes side-effects such as: fatigue, upset stomach, drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, muscle weakness and sexual dysfunction.
    • There is a risk of becoming dependent, and each time needing higher doses to achieve the same effects.
    • Ongoing costs ($30 a month and up).


Therapy

Hire a personal trainer

  • Pros
    • Very individualized and supported.
    • Can be effective if you find the right professional for you. 

  • Cons
    • Can take a lot of time and be very expensive.
    • Sometimes involves a lot of talking, but no practical tools to really overcome anxiety. 


Books & Apps

Buy the weights to exercise by yourself at home.

  • Pros
    • Low cost
    • Can work really well if they are high quality, and you have the discipline to stick to a daily practice on your own. 

  • Cons
    • No support and no accountability.
    • There can be a lot of trial and error before you find the good sources.
    • Most people give up after some time, before experiencing the real benefits. 


You may find, like many other people, that none of these options are that great. 

There is a different way: meditation and conscious living.

These are natural methods that positively affect your life as a whole.

Continue on to Part 3 for the final piece of the puzzle !

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