Everybody gets anxious from time to time. It’s important to say that, because part of feeling anxious is that you might get worried you are the only one. Or you might just feel that nobody else can possibly experience as much anxiety as you, and that gets you off on a dangerous train of thought: what if there is something wrong with me, and so on, and before you know it anxiety has taken over once again. If you have a lot of experience with anxiety, and you are looking to try and do away with it once and for all, bear in mind that it will probably be a long process. But the good news: it is possible, and there are at least always steps you can take to improve your anxiety as much as possible. Let’s take a look at how you might go about doing that.
First Of All: Look After Your Health
Many people who have anxiety would never think that looking after themselves would be an important part of overcoming it, but it is actually one of the most essential things that you need to do at all. If you are not taking care of your body, then this is going to mean that your thoughts are much less likely to do you any favours.
In particular, you need to make sure that you are not filling your body with substances which are liable to make anxiety worse. So if you tend to drink a lot of caffeine or alcohol, that is the first thing to think about cutting out. Likewise, if you have any other habits that you know are likely to cause you trouble, you need to think about getting rid of them as best as you can.
Beyond that, make sure that your diet is as healthy as possible. You might not think it makes much difference – but once you start to eat healthily, you then notice that you are feeling much less stressed out and anxious most of the time, so it really is important to do this. Good diet and plenty of exercise, and your body is going to be working through your stress without you even knowing it, and you will generally feel a lot less anxious than you might expect. It really is worth starting with these basics if you want to overcome anxiety as well as possible.
Something that is always bound to help kill off anxiety is becoming more mindful of it when it arises. This is a tactic that works for any emotion or experience, and this is no different. As long as you are aware of what is really going on in the mind, you can have a better chance of controlling it. That is something that you can be sure of, and it is absolutely important when it comes to anxiety specifically, because people with anxiety often feel that their thoughts are spiralling out of their control. With good mindfulness, that is not a worry that can appear – or if it does, you can view it dispassionately for what it is and remain calm, which is the main thing that you are trying to do here.
To get mindful takes work, however, and it is not something you can hope to just turn on. You can think of mindfulness as a muscle, and just like any muscle it is going to need exercising if you hope to make good use of it. So start meditating daily, and before you know it you are going to have the ability to be much more mindful of your anxious thoughts and feelings – and so more in charge when they occur.
Rationally Examine Your Anxious Thoughts
More often than not, the content of anxious thoughts fall apart under the careful scrutiny of rational comprehension. Now, in the midst of a panic attack you are not likely to be able to calmly and logically go through and work out the kinks in the thinking that led you there. But you can do this after the fact, and over time it will help you to burn through some of the less realistic ideas that anxiety might throw up from time to time. Using your rationale to work through some of the least logical anxious thoughts is certainly going to be a useful tactic, because it is a way of showing yourself that you have that calm logic at your disposal, should you want it.
So how can you actually go about doing this? Well, it’s really all about working out what you think is genuinely likely or not. Approach your anxious thought like a mathematician or a scientist. Ask yourself how likely it is that this concern will actually come to fruition. If you want to, work out the exact probability of it happening – and see that it is actually much lower than you probably assumed at first.
The more you do this, and the more you place a light of rational thinking on those paranoid assumptions, the more likely it is that you will gradually but surely work through those thoughts, until they are just much less likely to appear. You will then get to the point where you feel they are ridiculous, and that is an important step on the road towards recovery from anxiety.
Laughter really is a hugely powerful thing. If you can manage to laugh at something, genuinely laugh at it, then it ceases to have power over you. A good goal for any anxious person is to get to the point where they are able to laugh at their most anxious thoughts, although of course this is something that can be very challenging indeed for many people, and anyone will find that it takes some time to get there.
However, if you want to take this approach, then a good way to do it is to try to find the ridiculousness in some of the anxious thoughts that you have, as we alluded to above. You should be able to do this, and then it is a short step before you can start to genuinely laugh at those thoughts. Once you can do that, you are going to feel so much more powerful in general when it comes to your anxious thoughts, so this really is going to be an important thing to consider.
Declutter Your Life
If you have too much stuff around in general in your life, this is going to be reflected in the way that your brain operates. There are many ways in which this occurs, and it is one of the most important things that you need to work on if you are to deal with your anxiety properly and for good. If your home is messy, clean it and make sure that you reduce the amount that you own. That will really help you a lot.
If you tend to spend a lot of time looking at social media, then that too is a kind of clutter which is only going to serve to make your mind much more cluttered itself, and so much more prone to anxiety and less easy to keep on top of when those thoughts arise. Do away with all kinds of clutter if you want your mind to be calm.
There are many coping strategies for anxiety, and if you are careful about it you might be able to do away with it for good. Try these tips to see if that works for you.
This post is in collaboration.
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