5 Tips to Overcome Any Psychological Disorder

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 0 comments


1. Avoiding it.

We live in a world where, for many of us, we have the luxury (and misfortune) of stopping our discomfort when we feel it. We can take painkillers at the first sign of a headache or physical discomfort, and we can eat, drink, pick our nails, or pop an Ativan at the first sign of an uncomfortable feeling.

Sometimes, this avoidance is necessary for coping; other times, we're doing ourselves a disservice. See, one of the most important ways of coping with anxiety is learning emotional tolerance (something for which yoga and meditation are great practices). When we learn to observe an emotion (or any sensation) with compassion and without judgment, we are more able to react appropriately and feel "in control" of them.

2. Trying to orchestrate our lives in such a way that we never feel it.
Like depression, anxiety can lie to you. It's not lying to you when it's saying "Something is coming up that I'd better prepare for" or "You don't know what to expect tomorrow," but it is lying when it says "Avoiding social situations will make you less anxious" or "Don't try anything you could fail doing because that'll keep you happy."

3. Beating ourselves up for feeling it.

For many of us, we feel our initial anxiety, then we feel anxious for feeling anxious. Or ashamed. Or frustrated. Or afraid. Or pressured to control it. We tell ourselves stories that we're not coping properly, or that we're weak. Just like every other emotion you feel, I encourage you to give yourself permission to feel anxious and make space for it.  

4. Pathologizing it.

The other day I was talking to a client who was telling me how anxiety had been really high for her over the past two weeks, and she was distraught and angry with herself for "being such an anxious person." When I asked her if there'd been anything going on for her in the past two weeks, she casually mentioned that her best friend had been diagnosed with cancer, her stepson had shown up on her doorstep broke and needing somewhere to stay, and her boss announced that the company would be doing layoffs in the fall. No freaking wonder she was anxious!

5. Dreading it.

Ever feel anxious just thinking about the next time you're going to feel anxious? What happens if you get so anxious you have a panic attack? What happens if you people notice? How will you cope? You don't want to experience that (again!).   

Finally, it's kind of pointless as you can't predict or control what's going to happen next in your life that might cause anxiety, or when anxiety might show up unexpectedly. So, remind yourself it's (relatively out of your control), allow yourself to embrace the present moment, and continue to surf all those waves of emotions rather than just the good ones.
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