Anxiety and addiction go hand-in-hand. Resorting to alcohol, drugs,food or cigarettes becomes a way to comfort ourselves when we begin to feel uneasy and anxious and helps us avoid dealing with the real issue.
There are many sources of stress in today’s world that we need to learn how to deal with rather than try to escape from.
The whole of life is about adjusting to changing circumstances. There are many things that cause stress, such as:
1.changing weather conditions
10.lack of sleep
11.cultural and religious demands
Our own thinking also adds to our stress and anxiety levels especially if we have perfectionist tendencies.
Sometimes the first step to eliminating anxiety and addiction can simply be getting the appropriate nutrition, resting, exercising and adopting some form of relaxation process, such as meditation or deep conscious breathing and positive self-talk.
This is easier said than done for people who find themselves hurtling through life at the speed of light, burning the candle at both ends and grabbing another coffee or piece of chocolate, just to keep going. The question we would be wise to ask ourselves is why we feel we have to keep going at breakneck speed, no matter what? Where are we rushing to?
Some ways to deal with anxiety and addiction are:
1. Slowing down. When we slow down, we can notice how we are feeling more easily, breathe and calm down, rather than unconsciously put another cigarette in our mouths.
2. Schedule a set time to worry. Keep a notepad with you and each time you notice an anxious thought, write it down to take to your worry time. Then, set the clock for 10 or 15 minutes and sit and allow yourself to worry. At the end of your worry time, find something fun to do.
3. For people who have a generalized anxiety and no specific worries it is not a wise idea to have a worry time. Rather, watch a funny video and laugh or read some jokes to relax tense muscles. Laughter actually reduces the stress hormones in the body.
4. If you have things that are worrying you, you can better manage them by writing them down to get them out of your mind. Learning how to plan, problem-solve, set goals and prioritize them will reduce your anxiety level, rather than feeling overwhelmed and turning to addiction as an escape.
Anxiety and addiction need not take over our lives. Maybe we just need to learn some management skills to help us better deal with the stresses in our lives.