We may feel insecure around a boss or a successful and attractive member of the opposite sex. Or we may just feel intimidated by crowds and have no greater goal than making it through the experience without unduly embarrassing ourselves.
Causes of insecurity and the effects of different methods used to reduce it will vary. Here are five areas that may help.
Sometimes we feel insecure because we live such busy, stressful lives. Aside from old fashioned stresses like education, family, relationships and career, a more recent source of stress has been multitasking on the internet and using our electronic servants like smartphones and the iPad.
I am not here to argue against the advantages of modern technology, only that some of us may need to make hard choice about limiting their use for our own emotional (and cognitive) well-being.
Maybe its OK not to get up and answer the text message right away … even multiple text messages. If emails are only answered at certain set hours of the day (say between 9 – 10 AM and between 3 – 4 PM–and no other–is that going to make your business and friendships go away?
And if you are working on a deadline for a project, is it possible you can avoid glancing at the news or hottest YouTube video for a while?
Research is increasingly suggesting that uninterrupted mental focus is best for creativity and sustained logical thinking. Multitasking is entertaining and a little bit addictive, but how does your blood pressure and memory fare on a steady diet of mental ping pong?
Does stress increase your nervous tension and feelings of insecurity? Even if you like multitasking, does it have a downside?
II. Stop the Stimulants
Why are coffee and caffeinated beverages popular? Sugar and caffeine in their own way are stimulants. Aside from taste, we like the mild euphoria, the increased productivity, the zest they give us.
But stimulants can also increase the general level of anxiety, and in some of us, that may be a bit too much. If we are already prone to insecure feelings, such stimulants may push us over an edge. Best to cut back.
III. Improve Sleeping Habits
Are you more calm following a long and good night’s sleep or after a brief and fitful night’s sleep?
Our central nervous system seems to need sleep, but our frenzied attempts at productivity, our love of entertainment and our undisciplined choices tend to push sleeping hours later than is best for our long term well being.
Getting things done on time to get to bed early may seem self-indulgent, but the opposite is true, at least in the long run. Often we prolong the hours before bed by entertainment. That may help us relax, or it may stimulate us, depending. Often we eat a late night snack because we stay up a long time, and that not only gives us added strength to stay up longer, it also has an unfortunate effect on the quality of our sleep and on our weight.
An anxious person may not sleep well anyway. Early relaxation and improving the discipline of sleep habits may improve daytime feelings of insecurity.
IV. Add Things that Relax and Calm
Some of us who are chronically stressed or nervous may find some help in prescription drugs used for anxiety or depression. Or for those wishing to avoid many of the negative side effects of drugs, some vitamins, herbs, aromatherapy essential oils, or homeopathic remedies may be of some help.
Do not take both drugs and natural substances for feelings of insecurity before consulting your doctor, and especially so if you are a pregnant or nursing mother. And while adding calming substances may help, they should probably best be considered as occasional or temporary solutions used in conjunction with other things.
Regular exercise of all kinds tends to moderate anxieties. Yoga is one popular means of exercise used especially for its calming effects.
V. Identify the Negative, Practice the Positive
Knowing precisely the surface and underlying reasons for your insecurity feelings is often a first step in confronting and controlling the problems. Replacing the negative with a positive lifestyle choice may be part of your solution (like changing jobs).
Or very commonly, we feel insecure because of a pattern of self-sabotaging and irrational thoughts. Identifying these thoughts and replacing them with rational ones often helps control insecurity. Perhaps these positive rational thoughts can be written down in scripts and rehearsed deliberately until memorized, at which point the insecure person can use them at will to get through especially nervous periods and in time retrain the emotions.
A common final goal of controlling feelings of insecurity is facing them squarely and acting in a reasonable and planned fashion through the feelings toward success. Repeated success encourages the mind and cuts the power of anxiety.
David J. Phelps – About the Author:
- Health and Negativity ~ How Negative Emotions Can Harm Your Health (mediumsworld.wordpress.com)