It’s natural to sometimes feel anxious or stressed when receiving criticism however we should never underestimate the impact anxiety and stress has on us. Both stress and anxiety can have far-reaching effects which can seep into almost all areas of our life, leaving us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.
I always used to get confused between anxiety and stress but my therapist gave me an insightful way to distinguish between them. Whilst anxiety is invariably related to our perception of the future stress is a reaction to the present.
If you think you may be suffering with anxiety or if you often feel anxious when receiving criticism please read my article titled ‘Wars of the mind: How to effectively overcome anxiety’ which uses tried and true cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help reduce and even overcome anxiety.
Last week we discovered the signs to look out for when we are at risk of a set back or a breakdown. This week we look at what to do to reduce the severity of either a set back or a breakdown and how we can begin building up our resilience pro-actively.
What to do to if you are showing any of the signs listed in last Monday’s series post and how to prevent things getting worse
If you are or do experience any of the risky signs that you are headed for a breakdown I cannot emphasize enough how vital it is that you seek professional help by both going to your doctor and a therapist. Please go to the UKCP (UK residents) or APA (American residents) sites which have ‘search for a therapist’ facilities on both websites. If for whatever reason you cannot seek professional help in the form of therapy (and please do absolutely everything you can to make it possible) I would recommend visiting your doctor and potentially getting him or her to sign you off work for stress.
If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or stress to whatever degree I would also encourage you to look through my best resources page which is packed with excellent CBT based free online courses – all of which are recommended by top therapists. Likewise, my further reading page has some amazingly good CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) based books which are recommended by top therapists and will help you on your journey to recovery more than you could imagine.
Similarly, if you are suffering with stress I would also highly recommend reading my CBT based stress management article titled ‘Tis’ The Season to be Stressed; How to Leave Stress Behind You for Good’ which holds true no matter what time of year and could substantially reduce your stress levels. It explains exactly what to do when you feel overwhelmed and goes into detail as to how to reduce your demands and increase your resources which should result in a considerable reduction in stress.
But how can we develop greater resilience as a preventative measure against future upsets? In the passages below I have outlined the tools for resilience that I discovered in therapy and have also added several additional tools and beliefs that I have adopted since beginning my own personal development journey. All of the tools helped me develop high levels of resilience and I am positive they will help your resilience soar to new heights so you can quickly get back on track when hard times hit.
I have to admit, anxiety still grips me sometimes; my mind racing through many equally horrid outcomes. Whilst my mind races in destructive patterns of thought, I fuel my fear which is immediately accompanied by an impending sense of dread. It’s true that I have made several lifestyle choices to reduce the effects of anxiety but, being a huge advocate of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT) as I’m sure you know, I decided to investigate a more structured approach in how to tackle anxiety.
Today I share the lifestyle choices I learnt with you and explore the CCI InfoPax featured on my best resources page named ‘Panic Stations’, so you too can live a lighter life, one where you control your mind, rather than being held hostage by it. So take heart, when it comes to wars of the mind, this is a fight you can definitely win!
The Difference Between Stress and Anxiety
I’m really excited to reveal that next month’s hot topic is anxiety. Having suffered from anxiety myself I know just how debilitating can be. It’s important to remember that anxiety is different from mere worrying (which admittedly is awful too).
Whereas worry is considered by psychologists to be normal and tends to relate to something specific, for example, your performance on a test, anxiety is more generalized and all pervasive and is considered by psychologists to be more severe by nature.
If you tend to worry a lot please sign up to my mailing list to get your free downloadable eBook ‘Don’t worry, be happy’.
For those of you that are unsure as to whether you have experienced or are experiencing anxiety there will be a ‘How anxious are you?’ questionnaire as part of my linear posts in the first week of the series!
In next month’s anxiety series we will cover:
If there’s one thing that stifles creativity it’s stress. When we are stressed our concentration, memory and ability to deal with things all diminishes and everything begins to feel like a burden, even fun creative pastimes. In order to reduce stress, thereby boosting your creativity and getting the most out of your free time try these stress busting activities to help you unwind and regain your equilibrium.
- Plan a time management strategy and write it into your diary (you will feel more in control)
- Tidy your surroundings, making for a more calm environment
- Take the evening off all activities