Thursday 6 July 2017

How to Deal with Anxiety

The smallest things get to me and I have experienced general anxiety pretty much ever since I can remember. I don't necessarily go into fight or flight mode, however I go into 'freeze' mode. I can't seem to do anything, it's almost as if my anxiety immobilises me. As a result I leave most things till they become urgent and I feel I am never really working my true potential. That then snowballs into stress and I find myself in a never-ending anxiety-stress-anxiety loop.

Over the years however, I have learnt to work with my anxiety and have discovered a lot of ways to help myself deal with it. Some of them are listed below and hopefully you will find them useful too.

  1. Plan, plan, plan and prep. Have a routine. Have a vision. Have purposeful days. I have realised that the days that are not planned bring about anxiety. But if you wake up with a clear vision for that day then you will be generally focused and calm. To get contemplating about your vision I would highly recommend the 6 phase meditation by Vishen Lakhiani.
  2. Try and become more of a morning person. Have a morning routine. This sets the tone for the rest of your day. When you have enough time in the morning to exercise, meditate, eat breakfast and get dressed, you generally feel less and less anxious about the rest of your day. You are also at your most productive self first thing in the morning, make the best use of those glorious morning hours. 
  3. Go for a walk and get close to nature. When you are close to nature and you are walking at a steady pace whilst focusing on breathing, your mind and body will calm down instantly. 
  4. Get out of your head and get into your body. Get a move on. Dancing, yoga, running, hiking or a HIIT circuit will all help. But choose something that you love, otherwise it's not going to help much.
  5. Meditate. Guided meditation apps such as Calm and Headspace are brilliant. They have some amazing free mediations for you to begin with. Even 5 minutes on one of these apps can completely turn around how you feel.
  6. Gratitude. Shift your focus onto things that you are grateful for. And at least in that moment of gratitude, you will not feel anxious.
  7. Speak to your close ones. If you live in another city or country then just some assurance that your family and friends are safe and doing okay can really help.
  8. Pay close attention to what you are eating. When you are stressed or anxious its very tempting to binge on junk food and sugar. The minute you eat junk though you start feeling like crap.
  9. Drink enough water. A dehydrated body can induce anxiety as your cells start communicating to your mind that there is some kind of threat. 
  10. Decaffeinate. Drinks with caffeine can also spark anxiety and it's always a good idea to replace caffeine with water. 
  11. Say no to substance and/or alcohol. If you suffer from general anxiety the worst thing you can do to yourself is turn to alcohol and substance as they can kick off full blown panic attacks.
  12. Journaling can be extremely therapeutic. The next time you are going crazy with insane thoughts bouncing off in your head, just purge everything out on a piece of paper. This will really help you relax and get back in right frame of mind. 
  13. Don't numb your anxiety. Acknowledge the pain and acknowledge the feeling of anxiety. Sit with that. Don't try and numb it with food, sex or binge watching Netflix. And if you are someone affected by anxiety they worst thing you can do to yourself is turn to substance and alcohol. You will get even more anxious after consuming alcohol & substance.
  14. Do something creative. When you do something creative, obviously something that you like and love you will start feeling much better. Its kind of like channeling all your nervous energy into something productive. 
  15. EFT or Tapping- Emotional Freedom Technique is a psychological acupressure technique where you think about your specific problem or pain whilst repeating positive affirmations and gently tapping onto specific meridians on your head and chest area. This is based on the traditional acupuncture practise but without the use of needles and is a very effective to treat emotional as well as physical pain.
  16. Get a good night's sleep. Just getting sound sleep for 8-9 hours can work wonders for dealing with anxiety. When you are well rested you are less irritable, you also feel calm and focussed. 
  17. Social media detox. Avoid getting online especially first thing in the morning and last thing  before bed. Avoiding social media will help you keep negativity at bay and also help you stop comparing yourself with others. You can end a lot of your anxiety if you stop comparing yourself with others. 
  18. Love yourself. Get a massage, a pedicure or have a bath with some luxe bath products. Listen to some music you love and allow yourself to take breaks often. 
  19. Invest in yourself. Do something, do anything that will help you grow and becoming the best version of yourself. Maybe watch an inspiring video, listen to a podcast, get a book/audiobook.  You will feel so much better just buy listening to an inspiring thought leader you really admire.
  20. Focus on what you can control. When we get anxious we also start worrying about things we have no control over. Try and focus on things you can control and try and do something about those things.
Which of these tips resonated with you the most? If you found this post useful, don't forget to share it with someone you know who will find this helpful.


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