Controlling Insecurity: Five Methods

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.

steps-of-insecurityI. Tune Down the Stress,  “De-multitask

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:

Next, see the Linden Method for anxiety for an effective treatment that retrains one’s emotions or consider more on controlling insecurity.

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