In today's fast-paced environment, dealing with stress is inevitable. Sometimes it manifests itself as situational anxiety.
You may have heard the term “situational anxiety” before and wondered what it meant.
Situational anxiety refers to fear and stress that is brought on by a situation or environment, rather than a mental health condition. It's common, and most people will experience situational anxiety at some point in their lives.
You might feel anxious when you're in a social situation like a job interview, or you might feel anxious when you're in an enclosed space like an elevator.
This type of anxiety is temporary, and you can usually manage it by using coping strategies before and during the event.
The following tips can help you deal with situational anxiety:
1.Know your triggers
What is a trigger?
Simply put, a trigger is a sensory input that reminds you of past trauma and/or causes anxiety. When you encounter a trigger, your brain reacts by going into fight-or-flight mode, conjuring up intense emotions and physical reactions that can be difficult to control.
People with situational anxiety often have many triggers. However, knowing what your triggers are will help you to learn how to deal with them.
One way would be to take note of the things going around you when you have an anxiety attack. What were you thinking about? What were you doing? Were there any other people around? Was there something going on in the environment? While it is not always necessary to identify what was going on at that moment, it can give you a good idea of what triggered your anxiety attack.
2.Confront your fears
It is a very natural response to be fearful of things that you perceive as dangerous or threatening. However, when that fear becomes irrational, it can take on a life of its own, resulting in anxiety. This is especially true when your fears are based on situations or circumstances rather than actual events that have occurred in your life.
Situational anxiety has the potential to immobilize even the strongest of individuals and can create a fear-filled environment in which you are unable to function at a normal level. Therefore, it is important to confront your fears and take steps to overcome situational anxiety.
By facing these fears head-on and neutralizing them, you will become more confident in yourself and less inclined to allow your mind to make up situations that don't exist. Here's why confronting your fears will help you deal with situational anxiety:
It forces you to come face-to-face with what scares you most so that you can learn how to deal with it.
It helps you develop coping mechanisms that can be used in any situation so that there's no need for panic attacks or heightened levels of stress or fear.
It gives you control over the situation instead of allowing it control over you.
3.Get out of your comfort zone
The key to dealing with situational anxiety is getting out of your comfort zone. The more you do things that scare you, the more comfortable you will be in uncomfortable situations.
This is because the brain loves repetition. It loves predictability. When you do the same thing over and over again, your brain learns how to deal with it and how to prepare for it.
4. Talk about your fears
It may sound counterintuitive, but talking about your fears can actually help you overcome them. And if you struggle with situational anxiety, it's something you should consider.
The root of situational anxiety is usually the fear that you're being judged — or the fear that you'll be perceived as incompetent. And while avoidance may seem like the best solution at first (why would anyone put themselves in a situation in which they feel so uncomfortable?), it can actually do more harm than good in the long run.
It's easy to think that talking about your fears is a way of making them worse. In reality, however, there are many benefits in sharing your feelings with others.
For one thing, talking about your fears can provide you with an outlet so that you can deal with that feeling better. According to psychologists, fears are often rooted in the brain's response system: when the brain perceives danger or stress, it causes the “fight or flight” response that warns us of danger. This can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, which also give us a sense of anxiety and nervousness.
By talking about these emotions, we can actually lessen the effects of “fight or flight” by not giving our brains the chance to perceive these as something dangerous.
Talking about our fears also helps us process them better and find ways to cope with them effectively. By expressing ourselves, we can understand what really triggers these feelings and what we should do when they happen again.
5.Visualize yourself overcoming your fears
While there are many ways that you can deal with situational anxiety (such as medication or therapy), visualization is one method that often gets overlooked. Visualization is the process of creating pictures in your mind of what you want to happen. For example, it's picturing yourself giving the presentation in your head rather than thinking about the worst case scenario such as tripping over the wire and falling off the stage.
Visualization not only helps with situational anxiety but also helps improve performance in sports and other activities because it creates mental images that help athletes focus on their goals and eliminate distractions. But this can also be used with people who are experiencing situational anxiety.
6.Take care of yourself physically
If you have situational anxiety, it is important to take care of your personal health in order to deal with the condition effectively.
The first step towards good personal health is to choose a healthy diet. The food you eat has a direct impact on your mental health and mood. Eating a healthy diet ensures that your body receives all the nutrients it needs to function efficiently. A poor diet can cause not only physical problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes but also mental problems such as depression and anxiety disorders. Eating right will improve your physical health and boost your overall sense of well-being.
Secondly, regular physical activity keeps your body in shape and improves your mental health too. Without enough exercise, our bodies won't be able to function properly. It is therefore important that we engage in physical activities regularly in order to stay fit and healthy. Regular exercise releases chemicals called endorphins into the brain which make us feel better about ourselves. It also helps lower anxiety levels and stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Exercise can help us relax and focus better which will eventually help us deal with our situational anxiety more effectively.
7.Practice relaxation exercises
Practicing relaxation exercises can be incredibly beneficial when you're dealing with situational anxiety.
Practicing relaxation exercises will help you lower your anxiety levels by physiologically and psychologically relaxing your body and mind.
Research shows that relaxation exercises can reduce muscle tension, lower blood pressure, improve sleep quality, decrease feelings of depression and anger, and decrease stress hormone levels like cortisol.
In addition to being able to do these when you feel anxious, regular practice will also build up your resilience against feeling anxious in the future.
8.Work on mindfulness
Mindfulness is a way of being. It's not a technique or an approach. You can't really do it as much as you can do it.
Many people think of mindfulness as a relaxing exercise where you meditate, focus on your breath and try to clear your mind of stress, worry, pain and all other negative thoughts and emotions. This is inaccurate.
Mindfulness isn't about stopping the flow of thoughts but about observing them without judgment. Yes, clearing the mind of negative thoughts and emotions can be one of the byproducts of practicing mindfulness, but it's not the goal.
It's about being present in the moment for what it is, neither good nor bad. It's about not clinging to thoughts or emotions, no matter how pleasant or unpleasant they are and accepting them all as part of our experience at this moment.
It's been called many things: “the expert mode of living,” or “the practice of living with intention.” In essence, it's the art of being present with ourselves and with others without judgment.
Practising mindfulness will help you get rid of all these worries by helping you train your mind to focus on one thing at a time. When this happens, your worries will fade away because your mind won't have enough space for them anymore.
9.Set goals for yourself
Setting goals is a proven way to help manage situational anxiety. When you're dealing with situational anxiety, set aside some time to work out what you want to achieve and how you can achieve it.
To be clear, when we talk about setting goals, we are not talking about the type of goal (or “big picture”) that you might set for yourself at the beginning of the year, or for a certain point in your life.
We are talking about the type of goal that you might set for yourself on any given day – a smaller scale objective that will allow you to take control over what is happening in your life.
So, why should you be setting daily goals? Here's why:
1. It makes you feel more in control.
2. It provides structure.
3. It gives you something to look forward to doing.
10.Seek professional help
You can get help from a psychologist or any professional mental health practitioner. They will help you in dealing with these problems.
You might have tried to deal with it on your own and it was not that successful, that is why many people seek professional help.
Sometimes, when you feel anxious it may be difficult to think of a solution on how to cope up with it. That is why the professional help they provide is very helpful.
They are the one who will identify the reasons or causes of your anxiety and then they will find a way on how to solve it. They are also the one who will ask you questions so that they can easily identify the problem and find a solution right away.
They are also the ones who will guide and help you so that you can easily manage your stress, depression or anxiety. If you do not seek professional help, then you might go through with this situation for a long time and you might not be able to handle it well.
In the end, there's no one “right” answer to situational anxiety. It affects individuals in so many different ways that there's no way to predict who will feel anxious in any given situation. What I can tell you, however, is that you should not let situational anxiety control your life or hold you back from anything you want to experience. Your feelings are not “wrong,” and even though no one else may understand what you're going through, it's certainly better than bottling everything up inside.