The Healthy Side Of Anxiety, From A Clinical Psychologist

The first step is to get clarity about the root of your anxiety so that you can understand what actions it is guiding you to take. The most helpful thing to do in this situation is often to journal, and/or talk with a trusted friend or therapist to help you reflect and understand your feelings better. Spending time writing or talking about your anxiety in a non-judgmental way can help you get in touch with it, and determine what next steps will serve you best.

For example, you might come to discover that you’re anxious because of a conscious or unconscious belief that you must always be perfect. This type of anxiety could benefit from healthy steps like actively working on your self-esteem and learning to override the pressure of perfection. Or perhaps you’re anxious from a general lack of social support, or a dissatisfaction with your job. In those cases, building social connections or finding a new job could help.

Many people lose awareness of the source of their anxiety because of a belief that anxiety is always bad: This leads them to block out the anxiety, thereby losing insight regarding its source. You may find that by opening up to the possibility that your anxiety could have a healthy purpose, it becomes easier to understand the sources of anxiety in your life and what is the best way to respond. Of course, some anxiety truly seems to come without a productive reason, and is best handled by simply redirecting your thoughts, or through medication or other support from a trained professional—certainly don’t hesitate to seek help if you feel stuck. The perspectives here are just ideas to consider, but only you know what’s best for you.

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