5 Ways That Surrendering Can Soothe Your Anxiety

When anxiety is making it hard to function or making your life miserable, there are five ways that surrendering can help you cope and feel better. Chances are you are a caring individual who is working very hard to have things turn out well, but your energy is directed fighting things that will exacerbate your problem.

1. Obtain a correct understanding of surrender in the context of coping with anxiety.

Since surrender can mean giving up and conceding defeat, it is commonly associated with losing or being a loser. This is not the type of surrender that will help you. Fighting against something bad has an energy about it that few people are willing to relinquish, and you might even associate surrender with giving up and wallowing in despair.

The kind of surrender that may be your cure is more about recognizing and accepting certain realities. Adding a spiritual dimension to it could make it easier (e.g. giving things up to a higher power or learning to meditate), but it isn't strictly necessary.

2. Give up ego and revamp your purpose.

If your work and activities are motivated in a large part by the desire for professional recognition, this can fill you with anxiety over something you may not be able to control for various reasons (such as politics, rivalries, and unforeseen circumstances). If you take your ego out of the equation and substitute service to others or caring for the environment, etc., for your motivation, you may find that your work is more satisfying and less stressful.

3. Quit engaging in codependent behavior and enabling others.

If you know that someone is engaging in self-destructive behavior, this can fill you with anxiety and uncertainty. To control the person and the situation, you may twist yourself into a pretzel trying to prevent the person from the negative consequences of their actions. This may be fueled also because the consequences could also impact your life in some serious ways.

The problem with this is that your desire to control the outcome could be in fact making the situation worse and causing more harm to you and the other person. Many times what you fear the most could end up being the thing that solves the problem. A twelve step or therapy group for codependency may give you the strength you need to quit feeding into another's unwise behaviors.

4. Root out magical thinking.

Believing in the "law of attraction" has become a popular topic for conversation today and some people think it is helpful. The problem comes in when you get into practicing behaviors like controlling your thoughts and speech to always be positive and also try to banish any negativity whatsoever. This should make miracles happen, according to the New Age teachers that promote these teachings. It can also cause you to experience  disappointments continually. You may ramp up your efforts, but still don't manifest these things and then end up feeling like you are a failure.

That is just one example of magical thinking. There are other ways that superstitious thinking can negatively affect you. You may believe that if you don't engage in worry, something bad will happen because you aren't mentally prepared for it. Or you may believe that a higher power is disappointed in you, and that's why things aren't working out, so you obsess about doing things to appease a God who judges you harshly. These kind of things may have their roots in childhood indoctrination. 

You need to examine and possibly give up or overhaul these beliefs to find relief. Additionally, if you find you are engaging in ritualized behaviors to stave off disaster, this could signal a obsessive-compulsive tendency that requires professional treatment to overcome.

5. Be willing to get treatment for anxiety.

If anxiety is making you miserable, it is important to recognize that it is not a fault or a failure on your part. It takes courage to recognize that you have a condition that requires treatment and to get it. Treatment will include cognitive behavioral therapy that will help you confront your fearful thoughts and lessen their hold on you. It may also include taking an anti-depressant medication, a non-narcotic anti-anxiety drug such as buspirone, or a sedative. 

For more information, contact Psychological Associates of Pennsylvania PC or a similar organization.