The emotional self-control of anxiety is based on a key premise: in a world where many things are beyond our control, we must learn to take control of those areas that do depend on us. And which are they? Actually there are several, more than we actually think, but the most decisive are our emotional states.
We live a reality dominated by changes and constant uncertainty. It will not surprise us, therefore, that realities such as anxiety and stress are that barometer that reflects the psychological challenge that a large part of the population goes through. It is very easy to feel a certain sense of chaos, that one is at the mercy of external events and that almost everything escapes our hands.
However, even with a troubled and even threatening ocean before us, everything is much better faced if we manage our emotions. Giving the mind calm and adequate strategies will allow us to light an internal beacon so as not to get lost.
The emotional management is that lifeboat from which more wisely overcome many of the difficulties. Let’s understand, therefore, how to better deal with anxiety in these moments.
Emotional self-control of anxiety: what does it consist of?
Research on the impact of emotional self-control on anxiety has increased dramatically in recent years. The field of self-awareness and the regulation of these psychophysiological states are considered key, something decisive in the area of anxiety disorders. Now, there is a detail that we must consider.
When we speak of “self-control” we continue to associate with this term ideas such as “containment, repression or an effort to dominate something with a great cost of energy”. It’s a mistake.
The area of control in the field of emotions is related to identification, acceptance and regulation. You do not have to repress suffering or hide anger without understanding it first, without knowing what is behind that feeling. Only when we understand what what hurts is made of, do we have the ability to reduce its impact.
In this way, studies such as those carried out at the University of Arkansas indicate that today fear and anxiety are almost the same entity. Fear is nothing more than a defensive emotion that puts us on our guard. Therefore, educating the person in the area of regulation and emotional self-control will facilitate a better management of these psychological conditions.
Let’s see therefore a series of keys on the emotional self-control of anxiety.
It is not about avoiding, but about accepting
Few things we tend to avoid with such obsession as that which disturbs, hurts, worries… We are very skilled at avoiding uncomfortable emotions, without knowing that with this we intensify their presence even more. An example: sometimes, the emotion we feel at the threat of that which worries us so much can be much worse than the stressful stimulus itself.
The anguish that we can feel before an exam is much more disabling than the academic test itself. Therefore, the first strategy of emotional self-control of anxiety is to accept each felt emotion. You have to leave space without repressing it. We must accept it for what it is: a psychophysiological state with a specific purpose.
Fear wants us to act. The anxiety that we get going to solve what anguish. Sadness desires introspection, reflection, and decision-making. Anger, for its part, wants you to resolve that which takes away your calm.
Focus on what you can control, accept what does not depend on you
Life is full of challenges, twists of fate, and complications that no one expects. None of us are in control of a good part of these events, but there is something in our hands: to face it in the best way. And there, our emotions enter the scene.
- You have the right to feel fear, anger, stupefaction and grief … but these states cannot block or invalidate you.
- You are in control of your own person and each of your reactions must have one goal: to adapt to what is happening. Now, adaptation is not surrender, it is responding appropriately to continue moving forward with balance, ingenuity and resilience.
Emotional self-control of anxiety: the technique of extended self-awareness
When we feel anxious and distressed, we have a tendency to withdraw or to overreact (such as through a panic attack ).
A suitable strategy to work on emotional self-control of anxiety involves becoming aware of the present moment and releasing or extending those emotions in a cathartic, appropriate and healthy way. How? These would be some keys:
- What do I feel in the here and now? I look for a paper and pencil and write down every thought and feeling. Then I analyze them and try to rationalize those ideas.
- I am aware that I feel defensive and alert, as if something bad is going to happen. Faced with this situation, I choose to ask for help, to talk to someone I trust about how I feel. Together we will alleviate fears and worries.
- I have been immersed in my thoughts for a few days, I am tense, my body hurts and my mind does not stop turning to the same things. It is time to release tension… Playing sports, walking, running or doing a creative activity can help me.
To conclude, these strategies will not help us fully deal with an anxiety disorder, it is true. However, they are useful for everyday anxiety, for those states of greater stress and concern that often grip us. Let’s take it into account and apply them when we need it.
Anxiety and anguish, how can we differentiate them?
How to differentiate anxiety and distress? Although sometimes we live both dimensions in the same way, each one of them presents some nuances.