How To Cope With Anxiety – Olivia Remes
Anxiety - One of the biggest disorders that plague the world.
Anxiety is one of the biggest disorders that plague the world. It is much more common than everyone thinks, but just because it is common, doesn’t mean that people should start ignoring the symptoms. Olivia Remes, in her brief speech, shares that one in fourteen people all around the world suffer from an anxiety disorder.
There might probably be considerably more people, but this is only a rough sketch. The annual budget spent on treating people with anxiety disorders is $42 billion. With this much money, you could buy 1.4 million cars at $30,000 each.
Normal anxiety is emotion we all get when in stressful situations. Anxiety disorder is when anxiety becomes chronic.
What is anxiety according to Olivia?
“Normal anxiety is an emotion that we all get when we’re in stressful situations” explains Olivia. Olivia goes on to explain that some sort of anxiety is a natural emotion that everyone possesses. It helps people fight through dangerous situations, and possibly help them survive for longer. Anxiety helps pump blood much faster into the body and prepares one for a fight-or-flight response – though the flight response is much higher.
Restlessness, fear, finding it hard to fall asleep and being unable to concentrate.
What are some symptoms of anxiety?
Olivia says that she has noticed some symptoms of anxiety that almost everyone with this disorder goes through. She says that when people are in an uncomfortable situation – like in a party or being surrounded by lots of people in a public transport, people start feeling “hot, nauseous, uneasy”.
Some other symptoms of an anxiety disorder include “restlessness, fear, [finding it] hard to fall asleep at night” and being unable to concentrate on tasks.
When suffering from anxiety, people start wanting to “[avoid] a lot of places”. However, running away from such situations only worsens one’s situation and makes them “feel lonely and isolated” as Olivia explains.
Sweeping it under the rug only compounds the problem.
Why not just sweep this under the rug, because it is all in your head?
Many people brush this emotion of anxiety disorder under the rug, letting it rot in their head for years. This only leads to developing more unstable emotions and will ultimately “lead to depression, school dropout, suicide, etc.” Although these situations might seem a little extreme, many people who suffer from depression have had issues with anxiety at least once in their lives.
Anxiety is not something that can easily be swept under the rug. It always stays in the back of one’s head, possibly until death.
Tweak the way you are coping with daily tasks and difficult situations.
How to cope with anxiety?
Although many people will suggest that one should start taking anti-depressants or pills to help control anxiety, the issue is not as plain as that. The symptoms eventually come back, and medicine can only be effective for so much time.
Coping with anxiety takes much more than just medicine. Dr. Remes shares that “how you are dealing with daily tasks and how you handle difficult situations will directly impact your anxiety and you can lower it by tweaking the way you are coping with things.”
Why are coping mechanisms necessary?
Coping mechanisms can help dramatically improve how one handles anxiety and can reduce the amount of attacks that one suffers from. A study conducted by Doctor Olivia at the University of Cambridge showed that women who were living in poor areas were at a high risk of anxiety than women living in more well-off areas.
The interesting thing was that even if women were living in poor areas, as long as they had some sort of coping mechanisms, they did not suffer from the symptoms of anxiety. Similarly, even if women were living in rich areas, if they did not have coping mechanisms, they were very likely to suffer from anxiety.
What are the coping mechanisms for anxiety?
Doctor Olivia shares that she was able to find three simple tricks that – if followed properly – were able to help anyone suffering from anxiety cope with their anxiety attacks. Here are all three of the tricks that she was able to dig out:
Avoid being the perfectionist.
Mechanism 01: Do everything badly:
Olivia shares that “a way to overcome indecision… is to do it badly”. The reason why many of us suffer from anxiety when we are trying new things is that we are secretly perfectionists deep down. We have set such high standards for our own self, even when we are doing something for the first time, that we just feel “paralyzing and can make you afraid to even begin”.
The standards we set for ourselves are just too intimidating, and we are afraid to see ourselves lose. GK Chesterton writes: “anything worth doing is worth doing badly the first time”.
Doctor Olivia shares that we should do everything badly for the first time, so we don’t have to keep up with the expectations that our brain is unconsciously making for ourselves. Sure, we might feel bad for the first few tries, but eventually you realize that “actually it’s not that bad”. Her final advice is to “do it badly, and you can improve as you go along”.
Mechanism 02: Forgive yourself:
The reason why most of us are suffering from anxiety is because we keep on punishing ourselves for things that happen in our life. People suffering from anxiety think a lot about what they are doing wrong – even if they aren’t – and this constant worrying just keeps stopping them from any sort of future steps. In other words, people suffering from anxiety just keep blaming themselves for everything bad that happens, and they can’t stop thinking – even if there is nothing else that can be done.
Olivia shares that “forgive yourself for anything and everything and this will give you greater compassion towards yourself”. She says that unless we all start forgiving ourselves for the things we inadvertently do in life, we cannot grow as human beings.
Have a purpose in life.
Mechanism 03: Have a purpose in life:
A great scholar once said that “life is only worth living when it is for the sake of others”. A great coping mechanism to getting stuff done is to know who you are doing it for. When people have a clear aim in life, they are able to grow and do effort much more appropriately. Not having someone in our life to strive for can put us at a “much higher risk for poor mental health”.
Olivia shares a few tips like “volunteering, or it could be sharing this knowledge…. [to] those who need it most, and these are often the people who don’t have money for therapy”.
Alleviating anxiety is a gradual process.
Anxiety is not something that can be solved in one day, but one should live each day as if they are trying their best to get rid of anxiety. The process is gradual but it eventually fades out anxiety.
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