So many of us were looking forward to celebrating New Year 2020 and Chinese New Year in the same month as we hoped for a better year. But bad news like the outbreak of Wuhan Coronavirus and the helicopter death of Kobe Bryant remind us that life is unpredictable and out of our control. Who wouldn't be nervous, worried and anxious?
Anxiety is different from fear but they are related. Fear is a feeling of tension that is associated with a known source of danger. Anxiety is also a feeling of tension, but in this case, the danger or the threat of danger is unknown. Anxiety is often anticipatory—worrying about the future. Without apparent reason, a person may worry about their job, fret over the well-being of a child or feel apprehensive about their own health.
Anxiety is the culprit that wakes us in the night and won't let us go back to sleep. It distracts us and makes us irritable and forgetful. Physical symptoms can include trembling or shakiness, clammy hands, dry mouth, sweating, headaches, neck pain, frequent urination and heart palpitations.
Mild anxiety is normal in our daily lives and can be eased with some basic tools. Answer the following questions to find out how well you use some of these tools.
1. When I feel anxious, I take deep breaths to ground and calm myself down.
2. To ease some of the tension, I relax my body and physically release the tightness in my shoulders, neck, arms and chest.
3. I vent my feelings of anxiety by writing or talking to someone who listens with empathy to help get the strong emotions off my chest and out of my body.
4. I channel the tension into some kind of physical activity like walking, sweeping the floor, doing the dishes, or watering the yard.
5. I get a reality check by talking to someone I trust about my reasoning or thinking or the conclusions I've come to.
6. If I know I'm going to be in an anxiety-producing situation, I plan through how I will handle it; I get myself ready.
7. I watch how others get through stressful situations and model them; I ask questions about the best way to handle situations or events or people.
8. When the same anxiety comes up over and over, I log and assess possible causes and solutions.
9. When it doesn't interfere with my normal life, I generally try to avoid people, places and events that I know will produce anxiety.
10. Sometimes, when I have to face a situation that I know will cause anxiety, I take someone with me.
11. I face and take responsibility for problems and commit to a plan of action, rather than avoiding, denying, minimizing or blaming.
12. I nurture a positive attitude.
13. I seek support from friends, family, counselors, support group, and brothers and sisters from church.
14. When I feel anxious, I go directly to my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ to ask for help because I believe I cannot save myself!
Anxiety is a normal emotion that most people experience in their daily lives. Some anxieties are healthy and can motivate us to to complete difficult tasks. However, intense anxiety is a very painful emotion and can interfere with one's daily functioning. If you are worried about your fear and anxiety, please feel free to visit ParentingABCtoday.com for help, or just let me pray with you.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
Author's content used with permission, © Claire Communications
Winnis Chiang, LMFT and founder of ParentingABC.com, is passionate about helping Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking parents to get along with, enjoy, and positively influence their American born children.