Even relatively moderate anxiety can significantly impact our lives, wreaking havoc before we realize what’s happening. Making anxiety management difficult.
It can cause us to make poor decisions, raise stress levels that hurts our health both short-term and long-term. It impacts our relationships and performance at work, and even make us just downright miserable.
It’s natural, therefore, that when many people look to treat anxiety, they justifiably want a quick, immediate fix. They want to solve the problem quickly, and for that to be all there is to it.
While that would be incredible, in reality, that’s not quite how it works. You don’t simply get over anxiety once and for all with a few quick tricks. Instead, anxiety management will be crucial, and learning resilience is the key to success here.
In this post, we’re going to discuss exactly what I mean by resilience and why it’s so crucial in anxiety management.
What I Mean By “Resilience”
When working with clients, I put a big focus on resilience for anxiety management.
Resilience is the ability to go through difficult and challenging times and coming out strong on the other side. It comes down to being adaptable, learning how to face new challenges as they’re presented to you. Life isn’t static, after all. New struggles, fears, and anxiety-inducing events will pop up and continually emerge overtime.
Here’s why resilience is so important for anxiety management…
Anxiety Isn’t An Isolated Incident
Let’s talk hypotheticals for a minute.
Let’s say you make an appointment with a counselor to discuss the anxiety you’re having about whether or not you’re ready to have a baby. The counselor helps you through this, and then you’re no longer anxious about this specific fear. You know you want a bouncing bundle of joy of your own.
Then, however, you realize that you’re anxious about the pregnancy. What if something goes wrong?
Then you have a happy, healthy baby. You’re anxious that they could get sick, or that they aren’t developing fast enough, or that you won’t be a good mother.
If anxiety impacts one area of your life, it can (and often does) easily spread to others. What may first present itself as worrying about test performance in high school can easily manifest later in your work, marriage, parenting, and anything else it can touch.
This is because anxiety is not an isolated incident. It’s not like a phobia, which is singular and highly specific. You aren’t afraid of spiders, and you just don’t like seeing one scurry across your house.
Anxiety is much more generalized, and it will impact multiple areas of your life if not managed well. Resilience allows you to learn the tools you need to overcome anxiety in any way it manifests instead of just addressing singular challenges head on and one at a time.
Resilience Tackles The Underlying Causes of Anxiety
One tell-tale sign of anxiety that many people experience is being plagued by always-present “what if” thoughts that may never come to fruition.
If you’re trying to manage your anxiety on your own, you may be familiar with this. You may have also tried to “logic” your way out of the problem.
“I’m staying home,” you might think. “So, I’m unlikely to catch this coronavirus and I’ll probably be okay.”
This is logical, and it allows you to address fears one by one.
Sometimes, though, tackling individual anxiety issues by over-reasoning may actually feed into the problem. This is particularly likely to be the case for those with high-functioning, high-achieving anxiety.
When this happens, your well-being suffers, and you can easily find yourself overwhelmed and struggling to make even relatively simple decisions.
By learning how to become truly resilient, you’ll be able to address anxious tendencies. And thought patterns as a whole instead of giving in to individual worries. You’re addressing the root cause of the problem instead of swatting away a single symptom over and over.
Resilient People Are More Able to Adapt Appropriately
In many cases, people who experience anxiety may lack resilience that prevents them from adapting to new situations in healthy, productive ways.
Let’s look at an example. Think about a young child who is dead set on receiving a specific doll for Christmas. Maybe she gets almost what she wants, but the doll has brown hair instead of blonde. And is wearing a blue skirt instead of a pink one. The child has a meltdown because it’s not exactly what she wanted.
When we’re anxious, we can sometimes get stuck in a “this is how it’s supposed to be” rut. Which can only fuel more anxiety and prevent us from adapting to new situations around us. This doesn’t do anyone any good.
Resilience will help you overcome this. Few things in life work out exactly how we might have hoped or planned. Having the resilience to adapt without becoming overly reactive or falling immobile is important. It gives you a skill set that can help you be more confident moving forward, which can also help prevent you from making poor decisions rooted in anxiety, too.
Resilience is an important life skill that everyone should have and actively develop, and it’s a crucial part of anxiety management.
Too many stressors and anxieties all at once otherwise end up piling on, leaving you feeling incredibly overwhelmed and stuck. This can cause us to make poor decisions that hurt us instead of helping us, continuing a downward spiral into heightened anxiety.
As you become more resilient, you’ll be able to improve your decision making while better managing the anxiety. This will give you the tools you need to get through tough times and unexpected challenges with grace (and with your well-being intact!).
Remember that the best time to build resilience is right now. You don’t want to wait for this.
Building resilience and learning how to more effectively manage anxiety and stress is a key part of what we do here at Twanna Carter Professional & Personal Coaching LLC. We don’t offer a few quick fixes that don’t actually work; we assess and develop personal resilience that will be essential for you long-term, because long-term anxiety management should always be the goal.
Ready to start building resilience for improved and effective anxiety management? Learn more about our program here!