Often when we speak about anxiety, we talk about internalised concerns that never come to fruition. Generalised anxiety disorder, in particular, revolves around the manifestation of extensive and often unfounded fears over which we have no control. But, with many people also experiencing significant amounts of anxiety over very valid and possible concerns such as home theft, severe illness, etc., it’s also important to think about how we cope with anxiety when the abstract issue that we’ve spent so long worrying about comes to fruition.
Of course, for most of us, just the idea of this is enough to trigger a fight or flight response that sees us immediately turning away from the issue. However, by avoiding this possibility, we inadvertently prevent ourselves from knowing what to do if the worst does ever happen and thus exacerbating our anxiety as a result. After all, many anxious feelings come down to an imagined lack of control over events or situations. Having an action plan of sorts can therefore help, as well as making sure to offset the worst symptoms in the moment. The question is, what should that action plan look like, and how can you make sure that it helps?
Take practical steps
Whether you’ve experienced a break-in at home or an embarrassing social situation, taking practical steps after an anxiety-inducing event is crucial for helping to keep a calm head and prevent concerns from escalating at a fast rate. In the case of a break-in, for example, the best possible thing you can do is both seek the help of the police so that they can catch the criminal (thus reducing your concerns about a repeat) and also investing in security precautions like alarms and security lights such as these found at https://www.lepro.co.uk/led-security-lights. If what you’ve experienced is more socially based, it’s important to contact the people in question quickly and make specific efforts not to avoid social situations as a result. In the latter example, especially, these steps will be incredibly hard given how high your anxiety levels might be. However, the reassurance that steps like these will bring should immediately bring those high anxiety levels back to a more reasonable place.
Address your feelings
Ignoring or suppressing anxiety almost guarantees that these feelings will worsen over time, especially when they’re founded in a real-world event. To avoid this escalation, it’s important to address your feelings around whatever happened. Activities like journaling can help here, as can talking the event through with a friend or loved one. Of course, as is always the case, the best possible option that you can take during difficult times is to speak with a trained counsellor like those found on www.counselling-directory.org.uk who can both talk to you about what happened and help you to resolve/work through those emotions.
Anxious or not, no one likes to think of their fears coming true. Make sure that, if you are unfortunate enough to experience this, you know precisely what to do to stop anxiety from escalating as a result.