There is one question I ask all potential clients: “What is anxiety costing you?”
For some, this is literal. Business owners who can’t “do the things” because anxiety and fear are bearing down on them lose money. Or if you’re unable to speak up at work, ask for the raise, or get in the door on time, then anxiety might also be costing you income. That’s not even mentioning all the ways we try to run away from anxiety through food, shopping on Amazon, or paying for a million subscriptions.
For most people, though, the cost gets more real when we talk about what they’re missing out on in life. I’ve had women tell me they can’t stay present during nightly dinner with their family because their brain is always panicked about the next thing. Or vacations are ruined because your brain has decided to figure out every which way a person can die on a cruise ship. Or you feel lonely because you can’t seem to force yourself to that party or date or networking event.
Anxiety help comes in varying degrees, but if it is affecting your enjoyment of life, then it’s time to get the support you need. You have to ask yourself if the literal and emotional costs are high enough that learning to deal with your anxiety differently would have a major impact on your overall well being.
Some people are totally fine chilling as they are. They don’t really want to change, and they feel like they’ve got a handle on it. For them, the cost isn’t high enough to want help. But most of us are out here stumbling around in the world believing the story that there’s no way to get better and you just have to live with the weight in your chest and the tension in your jaw. But you don’t have to hand over the rest of your life to that story. Anxiety often makes us feel powerless, but that’s a lie. You have options.
The traditional route is therapy, followed by an exploration of if medication would be beneficial. If your anxiety can be traced back to a traumatic event or if you have frequent panic attacks, this is where I recommend focusing your energy. It might be nerve-wracking to reach out for a therapist’s help, but it’s like going to a gynecologist. They’ve seen everything before. They’re simply there to help you, and you get to choose who you work with. The first try might not always be the best fit. Remember the cost of living with anxiety, versus getting help.
If anxiety is more a nuisance than a true daily obstruction, consider lifestyle changes like meditation, relaxed exercise, self-care rituals, cutting back on caffeine, and making sure you’re eating healthy foods with lots of vitamins, minerals, and good fats.
And, finally, if you’re somewhere in between trauma and nuisance, then coaching is an option. There are people like me who specialize in anxiety, but any kind of mindset coach would be especially helpful. Anxiety certainly has physiological components that are worth noting, but taking back your power means choosing to focus on the things you CAN control with your anxiety, and that means digging in deep to the gasoline thoughts that we throw on healthy anxiety levels that really obstruct our enjoyment of life.
Ask yourself the question, “What is anxiety costing me?” And if you don’t like the answer, it’s time to get help.