Anxiety should be our primary focus for the New Year

Anxiety is a common and often debilitating mental health condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is characterized by feelings of worry, unease, and fear and can manifest in a variety of physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, and muscle tension. While anxiety is something that many experiences at some point in their lives, it can become a chronic problem that interferes with daily functioning and overall well-being.

Given the significant impact of anxiety on individuals and society, we must make it a priority to address this issue in the coming year. In this blog post, we will explore why anxiety should be our primary focus in 2023 and what we can do to support those struggling with this condition.

One of the main reasons anxiety should be a focus in 2023 is that it is highly prevalent. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions globally, affecting an estimated 264 million people. One in every 13 people is likely to experience anxiety at some point.

Anxiety can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life. It can interfere with work, relationships, and daily activities and lead to other mental health issues, such as depression. Anxiety can also have physical consequences, such as an increased risk of heart disease and other health problems.

Another reason anxiety should be a focus in 2023 is that it is often overlooked or misunderstood. Despite its prevalence, anxiety is often stigmatized and not taken as seriously as other mental health conditions. This can make it difficult for people to seek help or even recognize that they have a problem.

There is also a lack of awareness about the various forms of anxiety and the different ways it can manifest. For example, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive and persistent worry about various topics, while social anxiety disorder is marked by extreme fear of social situations. Understanding the different types of anxiety can help us better identify and support those struggling with this condition.

So what can we do to make anxiety a focus in 2023 and support those dealing with this condition? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Increase awareness and understanding of anxiety: One of the first steps to addressing anxiety is to increase awareness and understanding of the condition. This can involve educating the public about the different forms of anxiety, the signs and symptoms, and the available treatments. It can also involve debunking myths and stereotypes about anxiety and promoting a more compassionate and understanding approach to struggling people.
  • Expand access to treatment: Another important step is ensuring that those struggling with anxiety have access to effective treatment. This can involve making therapy and medications more readily available and affordable and increasing the number of trained mental health professionals. It can also involve supporting alternative treatments such as mindfulness and meditation, which can be effective for some people.
  • Create supportive environments: We can also create more supportive environments for those with anxiety. This can involve providing accommodations in the workplace, such as flexible scheduling or the option to work from home. It can also involve creating safe and supportive spaces in schools, universities, and other community settings.
  • Promote self-care: Finally, it is important to encourage self-care and stress management techniques to help individuals better manage their anxiety. This can involve educating people about healthy habits such as exercise, sleep, and nutrition, as well as techniques such as relaxation and mindfulness.

In conclusion, Anxiety is a growing problem for children and adults. It can be an invisible illness overlooked by society, leading to fear and anxiety in those suffering from it. The good news is that anxiety can be managed, and we can work together to bring change so that more people can recover from it.

Let Ron Huxley help you deal with anxiety by scheduling a session today!

The Five Big Ideas of Real Change (New Years Resolutions that WORK!)

The Five Big Ideas of Real Change

  1. Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.
  2. If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.
  3. The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.
  4. The Four Laws of Behavior Change are a simple set of rules we can use to build better habits. They are (1) make it obvious, (2) make it attractive, (3) make it easy, and (4) make it satisfying.
  5. Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior.

It is tradition, at the beginning of each year, to set New Year Resolutions. We have great intentions for lasting change but soon lose motivation and drive to complete them. Consequently, most people will stop trying to set habits to avoid the disappointment of failure. There has to be a better way to see real change that actually work, isn’t there?

Enter the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. As the byline states, this book will help you “build good habits and break bad ones.” Sounds simple!

The key to making changes in your life that are successful is to take a new perspective of change from the one’s we are used to. The problem isn’t us. It is the systems we surround ourselves with that fail us and result in feelings of failure. See big idea #2 above.

The book lists 5 Big Ideas about how to create effective habits. You will have to read the entire book to get all the details for each big idea or you can read this summary here (Link) or watch a YouTube video here (Link). I have affiliate connections to there resources…

My focus for this blog article is on big idea #3: The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become. Repeats this big idea to yourself a couple of times. Let it soak in. It is possible that everything you have tried to do to change your life has been wrong. You might have blamed others for the way you are or blame your bad luck or situation. These could be serious issues that make your habit difficult but it is not the final reason. Or, as I like to say, “it is a reason but isn’t a good excuse.”

Real change occurs from the inside out. This is true of parenting, marital relationships, business endeavors, or anything you attempt to do in your life. A habit, by definition, is a the tendency to behave or act in a regular manner. Habits require very little energy because it has become an automatic way of reacting. Initially, they take a lot of energy and practice but soon become reflexes that take little to now thought to initiate. It is their strength and their weaknesses when we try to break them.

Many habits start out of a reaction to traumatic situations. They start off as ways of coping with stress and pain, splitting off parts of ourselves to manage or protect from further pain. This may be a very “normal way to react in a very abnormal situation.” Unfortunately, traumatic habits can end up being “abnormal behaviors” in a new, more “normal situation.” The ways you had to behavior in an alcoholic home, for example, may not serve you will now, in a healthier relationship and home.

Find a way to change or develop new habits can become extremely urgent to maintain a healthy relationship and avoid new forms of pain in our lives.

One place to start is with you. Work on your character issues instead of waiting for others to change. The only thing you have 100% guarantee of change is through your own growth. You can change other people. You can coerce them, threaten them, or manipulate them but that will always backfire on you. Stick with you and the big idea working on who you want to become.

Start with a vision of what character traits you wish for yourself and picture how these traits will bear positive fruit in your life. It is just imagination so you run no risk of disappointment at this stage. Be sure to write this vision down. It may change from day to day but continue to modify it till you have something that truly inspires you. People have motivation for things they really want and desire. Make this idea of a new you very attractive!

Problem are destined to get in the way of this new habit of being you. That is a good thing. What is predictable is preventable. Predict what will get in the way, how you will look your motivation, who will try to stop you, what limitations might pop up…Set a plan for how you will encounter them before they show up so you are ready.

Small changes every day will reap big results in the end. Focus on a 1% change every day. That’s not a lot, right? You can do one thing to be a new, better version of you each day. Taking on too much, too soon, will choke out your efforts.

Use the power of gratitude for positive things in your life every day. Science has demonstrated that gratitude changes the very structure of our brain and enhances motivation to healthy, positive behaviors.

If traumas are making you stuck and all of this feels impossible, work with a professional to help you through it. If you would like to set up an appointment with me, to deal with trauma and anxiety, click on the Link here to set a time to work on some real life change!