Overcoming Anxiety: Baby Steps That Can Make A Big Difference
To some degree or another everyone experiences anxiety on a regular basis. It is a fear or nervousness about what might happen, and is usually helpful in small amounts. It preps your mind and body for difficult situations and encourages you to work through your problems and concerns. When anxiety gets out of hand, however, it can be detrimental to normal life. This post includes both physical and mental steps you can take to positively manage your stress and to make it work effectively for you.
1. Get Enough Sleep - Running low on sleep limits the body's natural ability to deal with stress. Making time for a good night’s sleep will increase your productivity and help reduce anxiety levels.
2. Act - Doing something, anything really, can help you to take control of your worries and concerns. It is important to think about what you can do and go to work than to worry about what you can’t control. Even baby steps towards solving a problem are more positive than doing nothing.
3. Smile - Smiling might be the last thing that you want to do when anxieties are high, but laughter sometimes really is the best medicine. Make an effort to smile and laugh, and to be grateful for the little things.
4. Talk to Someone - Somehow things seem more manageable when you can say them all out loud. Take a few minutes to talk about your worries with someone who will listen.
5. Exercise - Do what works for you. The key here is to get your mind and body focused on something else. Whether this means a slow walk or a rigorous workout is entirely up to you.
6. Avoid Extra Anxiety - If you know that a certain activity increases your anxiety, don’t do it. For example, if watching scary movies gets you stressed, change the movie, turn off the TV, or leave the room if you have to.
7. Be Present - Feeling anxious usually includes worrying about multiple things at once. Make a mental effort to really focus on the task at hand and put everything else aside for a later time.
8. Plan Time to Worry - Anxiety can cause you to worry at times when you need to be doing other things. This might increase the stress you already feel. Instead, write down your worries and set aside a separate time to think about those problems.
9. Differentiate Solvable and Unsolvable - Some problems you can solve, and others you just can’t. It is important that you differentiate one from the other and take steps to prepare for and resolve the solvable problems. Try to accept unsolvable worries as out of your control, but if they are still bothering you, be sure to write them down and plan another time to worry.
10. Learn to Accept Uncertainty - Some things will never turn out exactly as you hope. Do what you can to plan ahead and then remind yourself that worrying about worst case scenarios will only stop you from enjoying life right now.
There will always be one thing or another that you can worry about. The trick is to effectively use those feelings to increase your productivity and abilities to solve problems as they come. This might seem impossible at times but these tips can make the difference. You can reduce anxiety and increase confidence in your life.