The 3 worst ways to cope with the physical symptoms of anxiety
Sweating, trembling, clammy hands, tightness in your chest, blurred vision, and even stuttering can be typical physical signs of anxiety. And though the physical signs are not comfortable to live in most cases, they are in fact pretty common, and anyone who experiences any level of anxiety can experience any of these physical symptoms.
And though this is common most people do not want to experience the physical symptoms.
- Avoiding your fears will create more anxiety
- The easiest way to deal with anxiety can be the worst way
- The simplest way to deal with physical anxiety symptoms is sometimes the hardest in the short term but you can overcome this by using an exposure plan
- Action and decision is all it takes to change your life and reduce your anxiety symptoms
So how, can you do with them effectively?
Before I go into that, let me talk about the three worst ways people try to deal with their anxiety to physical symptoms.
Worst way 1: Hiding
The first way is to try and hide their physical symptoms. You may notice that people with long hair may cover their face with their fringe for instance. They may wear a cap to hide part of their face. They may even where certain types of clothes, like hoodies for instance that gives the impression of’ don’t approach me.
This may not be a conscious act, but there are certain types of clothing that will give an impression of I don’t like to be approached, and wearing a hood tends to be one of those types of clothing.
So I said, the first way which is one of the worst ways to hide physical symptoms is through your clothes or your hair.
Worst way 2: Avoidance
The second worst way to cope with the physical symptom of anxiety is to try to avoid situations which produce the physical symptoms in the first place. In a previous article, I talk about facing your fears, and how by not facing your fears you will increase your physical symptoms.
What tends to happen however is that despite the knowledge that avoiding a fearful situation only increases your physical symptoms of anxiety, most people if not everyone with anxiety will try and avoid that triggering situation?
This is a mistake. Not only because it can be impossible to avoid situations that trigger anxiety, but because it increases your physical symptoms, it also increases your fear, decreases your social confidence, and your self-esteem.
So the second worst way to deal with the physical symptom is to avoid a situation which triggered in the first place.
So what can you do in this situation instead?
A simple and quick way to deal with physical symptoms
The simple and quick answer is to face that fear through putting yourself through an exposure plan, which I’ve spoken about in another article, this allows you to expose yourself gradually to a fearful situation, when you do this, you will be sending a strong message that you cope.
The longer answer to coping with physical symptoms
The longer and more complicated answer is to identify what is going on in your mind what happens as a result of what you’re thinking about yourself in that situation, what strategies you have to calm down your physical symptoms, what strategies increase your physical symptoms and so on. When you’ve cycled through this formula, you will have a way of handling yourself in a social situation, and done correctly, will help you to reduce your physical symptoms.
So as I said the worst thing you can do is to try and avoid that situation because you will be setting yourself up to feeling panic when you find yourself in that situation again in the future.
Why panic attacks occur
As you have just read panic attacks occur because you have avoided certain situations that cause physical symptoms of anxiety, and because of that you have increased your fear and anxiety to a high enough level that when you find yourself in that situation you are much more likely now to have a panic attack.
If you can understand that facing these fearful situations to not only reduce the physical symptoms but also to reduce your anxiety, will not only increase your confidence but will stop you from feeling and creating panic attacks for the future.
There is nothing worse than feeling out of control, and avoiding situations that trigger a physical symptom in the Long-term makes it much more likely you to have a panic attack.
Worst way 3: Using negative coping behaviors
The third worst way to handle physical symptoms of anxiety is using a disempowering or negative coping behavior.
- Coping with anxiety what you should never do.
- Never use alcohol to reduce your anxious feelings.
- Never use food to reduce your anxious feelings.
- Never use drugs soft or hard, to reduce physical symptoms of anxiety.
Because using any of the above, and of course, other things will increase your physical symptoms.
Though I know, in reality, you will use any or all of the above, the reality is that you are making your physical symptoms worse if you do. And this isn’t because of the effects of alcohol on your body; it’s because of something else.
What negative coping behaviors really mean to your recovery
By indulging in an activity that is in the short term designed to make you feel better, but doesn’t address the real need, will only serve to increase your anxiety, and as we’ve just spoken about, this increases the likelihood of you having a panic attack and other physical symptoms of anxiety.
There is no getting away from the fact that physical symptoms occur, for everyone, at various times in their life. And though someone with anxiety experiences this on a daily basis, the answer is still the same, you must face your fears.
The best way to deal with physical symptoms
So I’ve spoken to you about the three worst ways to deal with physical symptoms of anxiety. So what if any are the best ways?
The best way to date is simply to face that fear by using an exposure plan. The reason why this will be of help to you is that it keeps you and puts you in control.
Do you like to feel in control? Here’s how
Whilst you’re taking action in various situations, you’re also sending a message to your unconscious mind, that you can handle whatever happens to you. And this is the crucial message you need to send to yourself if you are to overcome your physical symptoms.
This will put you back in control, and you don’t need to do this alone.
Part of the recovery from anxiety and social anxiety to social confidence is to use the above strategies, and others that you will find, but you do not need to do this alone. If you can find someone to support you through this, you will find yourself experiencing less and fewer situations where you feel anxious, and therefore less physical symptoms of anxiety.
And it all starts with you deciding that it’s time to face your fearful situations one step at a time.
Once you have decided this, your life will change the better.
Let me know how you get on.