7 Tips to Tame Your Anxiety
Updated: Nov 25, 2019
If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts you’ll already know that, despite the discomfort, anxiety is a part of what makes us human - a survival instinct that’s there to help. That said, excessive anxiety isn’t normal and it’s crippling! (read my blog Anxiety? Panic? Worry? Fear? for details) The trick lies in getting the balance right.
How? Well, that is the question we’re out to answer!
So…here are seven (because 7 is somehow, the magic number!!) suggestions to help you take control of your anxiety.
1. Expand your comfort zone
A life with healthy levels of anxiety is a life that grows – and that includes a growing comfort zone. The more you suffer from anxiety, the more your comfort zone is eroded. The more your comfort zone shrinks, the more you’re allowing anxiety to dictate what you’re doing….and every day it’ll chip away at your confidence... until it’s completely gone.
We have to stop our comfort zone from shrinking by doing the opposite…. expanding it!
How? Let's start with a simple question: What have you been avoiding?
Is it a conversation with someone? Leaving your house? Confronting your boss? Paying a bill?
Facing whatever “it” is holds the key. When we take action by making small steps, we expand our comfort zone and the more capable we are of dealing with the challenges that life inevitably throws at us - including anxiety.
We can take control and expand our comfort zone a little every day by doing these three simple things.
1. Identify what it is that you've been avoiding.
2. Come up with the next small step that you can take towards getting it done.
3. Take that small step, and once you accomplish it, move onto the next small step.
Keep making steps until your comfort zone has expanded to where you want it to be. (You'll know where that is because you won't feel as anxious about doing the thing you were avoiding.)
Your comfort zone will naturally expand as you continue to take those small steps !
2. Try something different
Here’s a challenge - Do one thing that you wouldn’t normally do - something that takes you out of your comfort zone - something different…..it doesn’t have to be a big thing, just a different thing. Do something new & different and notice how things start to improve!
3. Care less about what people think
What other people think is none of your business. Focus on yourself. Concentrate on you and what you can control and being the very best “you” possible. The fear of what other people think is way up there when it comes to causing anxiety - not helped by social media. With improved self-confidence, you'll worry a lot less about what other people think, feel better and the anxiety levels will drop away.
4. Laugh & Giggle a bit more
There are things in life that are serious, but focussing on the downside won’t make things better. When you feel things getting on top of you, lighten the mood. Watch your favourite comedy, visit some silly websites, pick up a book of jokes.… Whatever tickles you. The science has long confirmed that “laughter is the best medicine", so…make time to laugh more!
5. Get outside
Your brain likes routine, and having a routine is good for reducing anxiety. But Groundhog Day, including being stuck in the house, is a guaranteed way to induce anxiety. Get out the house. Stop looking at the same four walls. Take a break. Get in the car and drive somewhere you’ve never been. Take a walk and get some fresh air. Book a weekend away. Do something spontaneous – something that will help you break the monotonous pattern.
6. Stop doing things you hate
We all need to do things we don’t like doing. Life is far from perfect. But life is also short. It is way too short to continue doing the things you hate with a passion. When you look at the last 12 months, what causes a bad taste in your mouth? Change it. It might not change overnight, but just identifying that you want to change and taking action to change it means you’re already steps ahead. Just keep making those small steps and keep taking action. Change will be inevitable.
7. Be grateful
Think about the times when you were angry, resentful, and jealous. What did these emotions do for you? Make you feel good? Make you feel less anxious? Nah. Don’t get me wrong – it’s normal to feel these things every now and again. But let these emotions take you over, and it’s game over. Here’s a massive tip….. focus on being more grateful. You can’t be anxious and grateful at the same time. Make a list of good stuff and add to it as you notice things. A little bit of gratitude a day goes a long, long way.
And because 7 is the magic number….
I would have also included eating better and exercising more, but you’ve already seen this advice a thousand times already. That said, its good advice for a reason! Just by making a small improvement in your diet and doing more exercise can massively lower your anxiety.
The other good news is that our bodies have incredible resilience and amazing capabilities to restore the natural balance. Resetting your anxiety levels, rebalancing your body’s responses and resolving the underlying issues is not only possible, it’s what we’re designed to do. For more information on resolving excess anxiety, quickly, gently and permanently visit www.pstbythesea.com