I’ve been feeling anxious and unsettled, and I’m not sure why or what to do about it. I worry about every little thing. Do you have some advice for how I might calm myself and feel more comfortable in my own skin?
Anxiety is a natural emotion with a message. It generally tells us to “pay attention” and can motivate us to take action or be prepared. Feeling anxiety before a test can motivate you to study more. Anxiety before a job interview can generate more focus on looking professional, practicing your lines, and sharpening your pitch. Anxiety about finances can indicate you need a budgeting strategy or to look into what is going on with your spending habits.
Unexamined anxiety can leave you feeling stuck & unsettled. Worst off you can begin to be anxious about the anxiety itself! Generally, anxiety is there for a reason, it is trying to communicate your needs. Finding out what the message is can be freeing. I recommend you start questioning what your anxiety is trying to communicate to you. Start by listening to the words and needs it’s trying to convey.
Until then, exercise and breathing techniques can go a long way!
I am trying to decide on a career path, but it seems the world is changing so quickly and it is hard to know what the job market will be like when I graduate; this is creating a lot of stress in my life. How can I make a choice now, for something so unknown?
The future can not be predicted. Therefore, you can only do what is best based on the knowledge available at this given moment. Do as much research as possible and be in tune with what you are good at and are passionate about. Then choose. If you do not choose, that is also a choice.
Long term choices are hard to make, but remember you can always change. You are not stuck or locked in. You can always switch your direction and opinions later on. We all want things to stay the same since there is a comfort in knowing what will be and predictability puts us at ease. However, change can bring along excitement, opportunities, and zing.
Remember, the world might change, but so will you! Make a choice now while giving yourself room for flexibility to go with the world’s adaptations and your own changes.
My spouse is asking for a divorce, but I want us to try harder to make it work. I will feel like a failure in life and a deep shame to my family if my marriage ends in divorce. What can I say to my spouse to convince them it is worth saving our relationship?
It is crucial to determine what your goal is. Do you want to save the marriage, or do you want to preserve your image. It could be you want both, but your primary motivation will dictate your actions and approach to the situation. The first step is to outline what you really want. You can do this on your own, with others you trust, or therapy can take you through that process.
I’m feeling rushed to begin dating and find a spouse. I’m not ready to get married. How can I live life at my own pace?
Pressure leads to rushed decisions and possible regrets. Marriage is a big life choice that will influence your future. Therefore, it is vital to be in tune with yourself on who you are, what your needs are, and what works for you based on all the many factors surrounding you. Marriage is an adult job that requires adult skills. Similar to a career, some individuals go in more prepared with prior education, while others just jump in and learn on the job.
If you do not feel ready, it is important to get more clarity on what is holding you back from readiness, what would make you feel more ready, where the pressures are coming from, and how you will navigate the choices you ultimately make. You might create a “getting ready plan”, go on a “find myself journey”, or decide to jump in anyways.
Either way, I recommend speaking with someone you trust to guide you through this process toward a successful future.
I’m worried that I’m not thin or attractive enough to be desirable to a future husband/wife. And I’m worried no one will ever even want me as a spouse and I will be lonely. How can I face my thoughts each day and move closer toward a lasting relationship?
It is common to believe that if you are thin you will be wanted and are deserving of love. Inversely, if you are not thin, you are not deserving, desirable or attractive. This is false and living with this belief can be brutal. Poor body image is not one’s fault. It is fueled by social media, magazines, marketing, families, and the Western world at large.
It can be hard to fight against the negative message that only beautiful, thin, happy, perfect individuals succeed in life and relationships. Remind yourself that you are not at fault, and that attraction need not be externally based.
Self-confidence is one of the most attractive things. The more you can work toward being confident in yourself and believing you are enough, the more attractive you will be. Consider the things that you value about yourself and display that to the world. Remember that thin does not equate worthiness. We all change over the course of our lives and the person you choose will appreciate you for who you are. Spend some time seeking out other perspectives that can reinforce your own self-worth, and beliefs about body image.
Choose surroundings that will reinforce positive messages and empowerment.
When I look at my friends’ Instagram and other social media accounts, they look polished and put-together, and I am envious. How can I feel better about myself?
Step 1: Put filters on yourself. Determine the social media accounts you are willing to look through based on how good they are for your mood. Do not expose yourself to accounts that will make you feel inferior or bad about yourself.
Step 2: If you can’t reduce exposure, or you find yourself around people who appear put together, attempt to stop comparing. It is easy to believe that others have it better, however, you are only seeing a fraction of the story. An instagram picture is only 1 second of a person’s day that they can filter.
Human nature is to show the better parts of ourselves, and we usually choose the better photos that indicate success to the world. However, the photos or videos are not an indication of reality in its fullest. It can be helpful to have prepared lines for when you find yourself going through the “poor me” talk track.
Attempt to challenge your beliefs about perfection in the world and reflect on what makes you worthy.
Have you just landed on this website and wonder what it’s all about? I’m glad you found it! Click to learn more about me, Dr. Shira. Or just keep browsing to explore all the ideas, resources and community you’ll find here. Welcome!
Ask a question
All questions are welcome and anonymous. Selected questions will be responded to within 3 days and posted.