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Anxiety

8 Keys to Accepting Things that Are Out of Your Control

By | Anxiety, Depression | No Comments

Have you ever wanted something so badly but you felt like you couldn’t do anything about it? How would you describe your state during those times?

Chances are that you experienced one or more of these emotions: frustration, neediness, helplessness, powerlessness, irritation, desperation, anxiousness, nervousness, anxiety, and possibly depression.

Before you beat yourself up for feeling this way, you should know that your feelings are perfectly normal. Most people experience inner turbulence whenever they feel unable to control an outcome that’s important to them. That’s because we dislike the unknown. We perceive the unknown as a threat to our survival.

We tend to associate control with security and even power.

Currently, things are in flux, but our response to uncertainty hasn’t changed. We still have a need to try to control our environment. The possibility of losing a job or a business deal or being rejected by someone we fancy is not going to kill us, but we may feel as if it could.

Accepting what we don’t like maybe one of the most difficult aspects of life. To solve challenges, we normally try to take positive action and change what we can, but inevitably there will be people, situations, and events we don’t like and that we aren’t able to change.

Do you find yourself trying to change things you have no control over?

If so, you probably find it difficult to be satisfied and content with life. If we can’t change a situation or an outcome our best option is to learn how to accept it and deal with it.

Acceptance has many benefits:

  • A more positive attitude
  • Less worry and stress
  • Less energy drained from trying to figure things out
  • Ability to embrace change
  • Greater appreciation and gratitude
  • A more compassionate perspective

Acceptance is not the same as resignation or passivity. We can continue to push forward despite accepting that there are things beyond our control. Here are a few tips to living with greater acceptance so you can have more joy and peace of mind. 

 

1. Let Go of the Past

We all have baggage that we carry from our past, and this baggage gets heavier the longer we hold onto it. Many people have a hard time letting go of past. We carry a mental reminder of our mistakes and losses with us everywhere we go, not realizing how much they steal from our present joy and contentment.

We can’t change the past. What happened in your past happened, so our only hope is to learn how to accept our past and move forward.

2. Learn Coping Skills

At one point or another life will present us with an unexpected turn of events. It may be a difficult loss or a failure of epic proportions that we aren’t prepared to deal with. Sometimes these events are beyond our current ability to cope. So, part of the acceptance process is learning new ways to cope with a crisis.

Keep your emotions in check so you can make a more conscious decision about how to deal with a difficult situation.

3. Make It Meaningful

Sometimes the “worst” thing that happens to us ends up being the most fundamental part of our personal growth. It is easier to accept something when we explore the opportunities and possibilities that come out of it. What can you learn from your difficulty? How has your difficulty made you a stronger person?

4. Expect Less

We live in a world that tells us to want more, be more, and do more. This isn’t always a negative message, but it often gets in the way of our life satisfaction. When something doesn’t meet our expectations, we are disappointed and angry. Life can appear purposeless, unfair, and ruthless if our expectations are unrealistic.

So, instead of expecting something to happen, or expecting a person or event to act a certain way, try to focus on accepting and creating. Focus on what you want to create instead of what you expect to happen. Creation is motivating, expectation is demanding.

5. Set New Goals

When we run into failure or setbacks it can feel like we are stuck with nowhere to turn. Life will take unexpected turns and when this happens our trajectory might have to change as well. There is a point where it is in our best interest to move on and let go of what we want. If something doesn’t work the way we planned, don’t get caught up in the outcome.

Instead of doing the same thing and expecting different results, accept things aren’t working the way you planned and do something different.

You may not be able change what you’re going through right now, but this doesn’t mean you can’t live a full and meaningful life. You can adapt and adjust to your present circumstances.

Stop avoiding difficult issues and only focusing on what you can’t change. Focus on what you can do about the situation, and if you can’t change something it’s time to accept this reality.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to accept so that I can be happier and more fulfilled?”

6. Embracing a Spiritual Outlook

Adopting a spiritual outlook provides a psychological cushion to cope with our perceived lack of control. It comforts us with the notion that there is a divine order behind everything that occurs in life and that there’s a reason why things happen the way that they do. It’s reassuring to know that there’s a benevolent force that’s got our back and supports our personal evolution.

7. Stop Worrying Unnecessarily

Nothing good has ever come from worrying. It induces anxiety and is a major energy drainer. Whenever you worry, you operate from the frequency of fear, which will immobilize you. If we’re not careful, we can go down a tailspin of “what if?” loops and scary visions of all the possible things that could go wrong.

The only way we can get out of this rabbit hole is by letting go of our fears and worries and replacing them with optimism, faith in the future, and probably learning better coping skills with a licensed therapist.

8. Focus on What You Can Control

Anxiety caused by the excessive need to control circumstances will wear down your mental energy and focus. You can regain power by surrendering your control over a situation. You’ll realize that although you have no way of controlling the events or people involved in a certain situation, you do have control over how you feel and how you react.

Based on what you know, you can create a plan and proactively follow through with it. You’ll feel more empowered knowing that you’ve done the best you could and you’re open to all possible outcomes.

Summary

Letting go of control is, essentially, an act of faith whether spiritual or otherwise. Faith can get us through foggy times of uncertainty and help us navigate through the dark valleys where we can’t see where we’re heading. Faith will illuminate our path and lead us down to our destiny if we allow it to.

We are always here to help the people residing in McKinney, Plano, Dallas, Denton, Allen, Garland, and the surrounding communities found throughout Texas. If you are suffering from spiritual challenges, constant worry, anxiety, depression, or need assistance with coping skills, or you know someone who may be, please contact our certified therapist team at Foundations Counseling today.

How To Overcome Social Anxiety and Social Phobia

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Social anxiety is the fear of social situations and interaction with other people that automatically bring on feelings of self-consciousness, judgment, evaluation, and criticism. Social anxiety is the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.  If a person usually becomes anxious in social situations but seems fine when they are alone, then “social anxiety” may be the problem.

Social anxiety disorder may also be related to having social phobia which is a much more common problem. Millions of people all over the world suffer from this devastating and traumatic problem every day of their lives, either from a specific social phobia or from a more generalized social phobia.

Safer At Home

Agoraphobe is a social anxiety and panic disorder. So, “safer-at-home” is what many dealings with the phobia were built for. What many were not prepared for though was just how debilitating it would feel to watch the internal, irrational fears of imagined threats become someone’s external reality in facing an actual threat to a varying extent.

While the rest of the world is struggling to believe in this terrifying post-pandemic world, people with anxiety disorders are struggling to maintain their disbelief in the seemingly impossible apocalyptic scenarios that they may been dreading.

On the other side of agoraphobia, those with separation anxiety are likely feeling nightmarishly alone because of social distancing. People with contamination-related anxiety disorders like germaphobia and certain types of OCD are obviously getting hit particularly hard.

Disordered eating may be triggered by the stressors of quarantining at home. Those with generalized anxiety and panic disorders aren’t being spared, either, especially since shortness of breath is a symptom of both COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus) and panic attacks. All that compounds with hypochondria, which may be likely amplified.

A specific social phobia would be the fear of speaking in front of groups, whereas generalized social anxiety indicates that the person is anxious, nervous, and uncomfortable in almost all (or the majority of) social situations.

Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

People with social anxiety disorder usually experience significant emotional distress in the following situations:

  • Being introduced to other people
  • Being teased or criticized
  • Being the center of attention
  • Being watched while doing something
  • Meeting people in authority (“important people”)
  • Most social encounters, particularly with strangers
  • Making “small talk” at parties
  • Going around the room in a circle and having to say something

This list is certainly not a complete list of symptoms because there are other feelings that may be associated with social anxiety.

 

Physical Symptoms from Social Anxiety

The physiological manifestations that accompany social anxiety may include intense fear, racing heart, turning red or blushing, dry throat and mouth, trembling, swallowing with difficulty, muscle twitches, shaky hands, excessive sweating, and eye contact problems.

The social anxiety physical symptoms may actually be constant and an intense anxiety that does not go away.

Oftentimes, people with social anxiety disorder actually do know that their anxiety is irrational and does not make rational sense. The fear is not based on fact. Nevertheless, “knowing” something is never the same thing as “believing” and “feeling” something. Thus, in people with social anxiety, thoughts and feelings of anxiety persist and show no signs of going away. We would suggest that the anxiety being felt is now considered to be chronic in this situation.

The Right Kind of Treatment is Successful

The good news is that cognitive-behavioral therapy for social anxiety has been extremely successful. People who have had this anxiety problem for long periods of time will blossom while in therapy. After therapy, people with this problem will experience a changed life that is no longer totally controlled by fear and anxiety.

Social anxiety, as well as the other anxiety problems, can be successfully treated.There is no rational reason to continue living with social anxiety. There is no rational reason to believe you must “manage” it the rest of your life.

On the contrary, you don’t need to live with social anxiety disorder for the rest of your life. The decision to get better belongs to the person being afflicted by a social anxiety disorder.

Seeking Effective Treatment

In seeking help for this problem, we recommend working with one of our counselors who understands this problem well and knows how to treat it. Foundations Counseling helps people become informed clients and we encourage everyone to ask questions.

It is true that those people who have lived with social anxiety do realize that their mind is over-exaggerating, but it still feels like others are watching and judging. The feeling of self-consciousness is very real.

As a rule of thumb, remember that the true licensed professional will always welcome your questions. Those people who have or have had social anxiety need support, encouragement, and a relatively stress-free environment while progressing through active cognitive-behavioral therapy.  We like to remind our clients thatthis is your time to get better and heal. This is also your time to move forward in life, away from the effects of anxiety, fear, and avoidance.

 

Overcoming Social Anxiety

While you’re in the middle of this problem, it can definitely feel hopeless. As a matter of fact, it can feel like you may never get better. Life is just one gut-wrenching anxiety problem after another. But this can be stopped, managed, and reduced in a relatively short period of time. It is important to find a cognitive-behavioral therapist who understands and specializes in the treatment of social anxiety.

Remember that millions of people experience social anxiety and social phobias. It isn’t easy to overcome but many who seek professional help will be able to put their fears behind them and live a healthy life.

How to Conquer Social Anxiety

  • Possess the understanding and awareness of an existing problem.
  • Having a commitment to carry through with cognitive-behavioral therapy even when it seems difficult.
  • Practice, practice, practice to get that information deep down into your brain so that the strategies and rational beliefs you learn become automatic.
  • Participation in a social anxiety therapy group in which you can slowly and gradually work on problems that cause you anxiety in the real world.

Everything is voluntary. A person must be ready to do an activity before they do it.

Our experience also tells us that it is simply impossible to stop a motivated person who refuses to give up practicing. The role of your therapist is to know specifically what to do and how quickly to do it. This sounds easy, but it is not. You must be practicing the right material and you must proceed at the correct pace for your own anxieties. You are more in control of this than your therapist.

Today, cognitive-behavioral therapy is used to treat all forms of social anxiety. We focus on present-day problems and symptoms and use many small strategies, techniques, and methods to eradicate anxiety thinking and anxious feelings.

This is where learning, motivation, and practice come in. The more you can practice these small strategies at home, and then begin using them in real-life in conjunction with your therapist, the quicker social anxiety and social phobia can be reduced and will be overcome.

We are always here to help the people residing in McKinney, Plano, Dallas, Denton, Allen, Garland, and the surround communities found throughout Texas. If you are experiencing social anxiety or social phobias today, or you know someone who may be, please contact our specialist team at Foundation Counseling.

How to Cope with Adjustment Disorders Caused by Major Life Changing Events

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Adjusting to change can be difficult, as even positive life transitions tend to cause some stress. Over the course of a lifetime, a person can expect to experience a significant amount of change. Some of these changes, such as marriages, births, and new jobs, are generally positive, although they may be accompanied by their own unique stressors.

Other major life transitions, such as school closures or home schooling, working from home, new social distancing norms, moving to a new city, retirement, or entering the empty nest phase of life may cause a significant amount of stress.

Those who find themselves experiencing difficulty coping with life transitions may find it helpful to speak to a therapist in order to become better able to adjust to changes they cannot control.

How Can Change Be Beneficial?

Certain changes, such as going back to school, starting a new job, or starting a family, can often be exciting, even when they cause some amount of stress, because they are generally considered to be positive changes. Many people look forward to obtaining a degree, rising in their chosen field, or having a home and family.

Changes, and especially difficult changes, can influence personal growth, and dealing with a change successfully may leave one stronger, more confident, and better prepared for what comes next in life. In other words, even those changes that are neither expected nor wanted might still produce some beneficial outcome.

Change can encourage the development of skills or knowledge, and might also bring about greater awareness of a condition or group. For example, the family of a person diagnosed with schizophrenia might become more aware of severe mental health conditions and their effects. Or the parents of a child who has been diagnosed with depression might become interested in learning more about the topic to increase awareness.

Change can also make clear what is important in one’s life and allow for greater self-discovery and self-awareness.

Coping with Change

Because change can cause stress, it can have an effect on one’s daily life. A person facing a big change may experience depression, anxiety, or fatigue. The individual may also have headaches and develop trouble sleeping or eating well or abuse drugs and alcohol. Persistent symptoms of stress might improve with treatment in therapy.

Planning for changes in advance, as much as possible, and in conjunction with a therapist is always the ideal scenario.

  • Researching an upcoming change.Often, stress can develop out of fear of what is unknown. When one is well-informed about a change, it may be easier to face.
  • Attending to one’s physical and mental health.Being healthy in mind and body may make it easier to cope with changes in life. Sleeping well, exercising, and eating nutritional foods regularly may all be beneficial in improving both physical and mental health.
  • Taking time to relax. Remaining calm in spite of stress may be easier when one’s life is well-adjusted and includes time for leisure as well as work.
  • Limiting changes as much as possible.It may be helpful to avoid making a large change immediately after another change. Generally, adjusting to a change takes some time, and making multiple changes at once, even smaller ones, may not allow enough time for an adequate adjustment period, which can cause stress.
  • Discussing any difficulties adapting with another person.Family members may be able to help one adjust to change, but professional help may also benefit those experiencing difficulty or stress as a result of life changes.

Adjustment Disorder

A diagnosis of adjustment disorder can occur when a major life stress or change disrupts normal coping mechanisms and makes it difficult or impossible for a person to cope with new circumstances. Symptoms of this condition tend to begin within three months of the stress or change and often include a depressed or anxious mood, changes in daily habits, feelings of overwhelming stress and panic, difficulty enjoying activities, and changes in sleeping or eating.

This condition may also lead an individual to engage in reckless or dangerous behavior, avoid family and friends, or have thoughts of suicide. A diagnosed adjustment disorder generally indicates that a person is experiencing more emotional turmoil than others facing the same situation might experience.

For example, a young woman who cries frequently after the death of her mother is likely experiencing distress typical to the major life change she has experienced, but a man who lost his job and stops speaking to his children may be experiencing a significant amount of difficulty adjusting to his changed situation.

Therapy for Change

There is no particular treatment for adjusting to change, but several different tactics may be helpful. Talking about changes in life with a therapist, such as a marriage, the death of a family member, the loss of a job, current economic situations, frustration, or the approach of major life-changing events, can be helpful to many. Varying types of therapy is likely to be well-suited to helping a person cope with dramatic changes in life.

When life changes prove difficult and lead to stress, anxiety, or depression, a therapist can also help treat those issues and help one explore coping strategies. When people know that they do not cope well with change, speaking with a therapist before any significant changes in life occur may be warranted.

In this way, one can prepare for changes and become better able to face them in the future, even without prior knowledge of potential changes.

We are always here to help the people residing in McKinney, Plano, Dallas, Denton, Allen, Garland, and the surround communities found throughout Texas. If you are struggling to cope with life-changing events, or if you know someone that is experiencing challenges, please contact Foundations Counseling today.

How To Deal With Anxiety Disorder

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There are many things that can put us into a state of anxiety such as possible break-ups, work stress, home life, even horror movies can trigger this state. However, it is common that the source of our anxiety is something that we can’t change. We all know that threats aren’t the only things that can give us an anxiety disorder, but also a possible upcoming crisis. Everything can become a potential crisis if you think about it too much and eliminate possible outcomes.

What Does Anxiety Do To You?

Anxiety will definitely take its toll on your body. Some of the symptoms that you may feel are trouble sleeping, eating, and concentrating. You may also get headaches and an upset stomach. Panic attacks are also symptoms of anxiety; this is the feeling where your heart is pounding at a rapid rate making you feel lightheaded. A panic attack can actually feel like a heart attack. Anxiety may also feel like depression if it gets too overwhelming. That feeling may start interfering with your daily activities and may make you want to be alone.

When anxiety gets too overwhelming, most people may not make effective choices. They tend to avoid things rather than face them and they often procrastinate because they can’t concentrate well. In this case, people suffering from the disorder may need to seek professional help for anxiety treatment.

How Can You Cope With Anxiety?

Coping with anxiety will take a lot of effort and mental readiness to maintain your focus. Set aside real risky problems that may be difficult to decide on, and focus on simpler problems with low risks. Try removing from your imagination all the negative possibilities of handling the situation and just face it. Challenge your negative thoughts rather than being paralyzed by anxiety. Always keep in mind that it will be better that you have done something than nothing at all. This will help you move forward and address the next problems at hand.

You may not notice this but when you are anxious, you may have shallow breathing or you are possibly holding your breath. Learning to relax is part of your fight against depression and anxiety and enables you to achieve that focus. Take deep breaths and then think of the solution to your problem. In most cases, the type of anxiety that you will be facing will vary on the situation that happened to you. The more shocking or surprising the situation is, the more difficult it will be for you to get past it.

Some doctors may provide you with anxiety medications, but don’t think that this will get rid of your anxiety. These medications are just there to support you and keep it under control. Fully removing your anxiety disorder will always be done by you. Anxiety counselors will also be able to help your fight because they are capable of giving you tools on how you can face your problems.

Effective Ways To Deal With Anxiety Problems

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Being worried about something is very common and is usually a part of our daily lives. There are many areas of our lives where we worry, such as finances, work, or family. Worrying is actually good for you, because it can help you make good decisions in these situations. However, it is possible for worry to become excessive and uncontrollable. The most common type of anxiety disorder is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). People diagnosed with this disorder often worry excessively about their daily events or activities, and find it difficult to regain control.

Ways On How You Can Deal With Anxiety

In order for you to deal with it, you must be able to regain your sense of control. A great way to do so is through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a form of psychotherapy treatment that has a practical approach in dealing with common problems. This goal oriented treatment helps change the pattern of thinking or behavior of the person dealing with anxiety. This is a very effective short term treatment that usually lasts about five to ten months.

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