CSMS Magazine Staff Writer
Although anxiety can be an uncomfortable and frustrating sensation, it is not a hopeless malady. If I were to ask you about the last time you were battling this vicious feeling, you would probably tell me that just a few days, a few weeks, or a few months ago. Although prolonged anxiety can do serious harm to an individual, the interesting news is that you can fight it and ultimately win!
Experts agree that anxiety can be the cause of many phenomena: anticipation of a final exam, waiting for test results, flying an airplane etc.
Even though it is believed to be conquerable, it will not be accomplished by luck or magic. To win over this beast, here is what the experts are saying:
Chase all negative thinking
Whether you realize it or not, your thoughts—good and bad—influence your life. The way we think is related to how we feel about ourselves, how we get along with other people, and how well we perform, especially when facing challenging situations.
Positive thinking will subdue all negative thinking
Psychologist Andrew Flacher tells us that it is impossible to think two opposite thoughts at the same time. You have one idea and then think about another, but one is always going to “win” over the other. When you practice positive thinking, you are replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. The more you are able to think positive thoughts, the less you will be troubled by negative ones.
There is more than one side to the story
Remember this old saying? I guess most of you do. As we are plugging along and sometimes feeling the blue, it is not hard to have positive thoughts as negative ones. If we agree that there are always two opinions on any given subject, we also have to agree that usually there are multiple ways to interpret almost every situation in life. Of course, some ways are more helpful than others.
Dr. Flacher uses the example of a can of soda pop. Draw a line down the middle of a blank piece of paper. On one side, put the heading, “All the bad things about this can of soda pop.” On the other side, put another heading, “All the good things about this soda pop.” Now, write appropriate descriptions or comments under each heading. For example, you could write, “this can of soda pop is a lot smaller than a two-liter bottle,” which is negative thinking. Or, you could write, “This can of soda pop is just the right size to stay cold and fizzy until I finish it.” It easy to look at the soda-pop can and think bad thoughts. But you are also able to come up with many good things. If you spent all your time focusing on the negative aspects, you might believe the can of soda pop is bad. It is better to look at the positive side of things.
Success over anxiety has a lot to do with how you look at every situation. If you can learn to control your anxiety and beat it back each time it makes an advance on you, you already set the stage for a healthy and enjoyable life. It may be hard, sometimes, for the positive thinking to come around, especially when facing tough moments in adversity. But you must try as hard as you can to think positively. Nothing last forever, remember that! A moment of anxiety is just that: a MOMENT.
Note: Dr. Ardain Isma is also a novelist and chief editor for CSMS Magazine. He teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at Nova southeastern University.
Also see Contemporary Novel: http://www.csmsmagazine.org/news.php?pg=20050626I9
And see Best tips for emerging writers