Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Eileen in Johnston, Ohio. My anxiety is bad in the afternoon. What can I do about it?
Well, the fact that you are aware of the time of the day your anxiety is worse has both advantages and disadvantages.
Anxiety disorder is an irrational response of anxiousness or fear to a stimulus believed to be triggered by faulty patterns of thinking. Cognitive behavioral theories claim that these faulty patterns of thinking influence our behaviors and choices often reinforcing the faulty pattern of thinking. It’s also believed that the fear of anxiety is in itself a trigger for anxiety.
The awareness of your tendency to become anxious in the afternoon may, in itself, be a trigger for feelings of anxiousness as afternoon approaches. On the positive side, by being aware of the time of day that you are most anxious, you are better able to understand what specific triggers during that time of the day may have caused you to feel anxious in the first place, so ideally you need to change your routines and behaviors during that time of the day. Preferably engaging in activities that have a calming and relaxing effect on your physical body or that offer a stress relieving distraction to your mind.
For example, some people may find going for a run releases endorphins and provides a time and space to clear one’s mind. Others prefer doing meditation or engaging in a hobby. Of course, taking time for yourself is not always possible, especially if you have obligations to fulfill, so you need to look at what obligations you do have during this time and determine whether these are contributing to your anxiety and if it is at all possible to adapt the how, when or with whom you engage in these activities.
There is no universal solution to dealing with anxiety. The key is to identify your triggers and then either change the way you experience or engage with them or to adapt some relaxation strategies to help you cope with your anxiety.