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10 Ordinary Things That Make Nervous People More Nervous

10 Ordinary Things That Make Nervous People More Nervous

Having a vivid imagination is both a blessing and a curse. If you are in a creative business, it will work to your advantage and people will think your ability to come up with new, out-of-the-box ideas is pure genius!  But when that same imagination takes hold during everyday life, you may be judged differently. Being a creative person who has had my share of unfounded nerves and the occasional panic attack, I know how bad it feels to have others say things like, “You worry too much!” or “It’s nothing! What’s your problem?”  What’s my problem? My problem is that I see impending doom more vividly than you do friend!

Here are ten ordinary things that make nervous people more nervous – see if you can relate to any! (For the record, they will also make the same nervous people laugh, when their nerves aren’t running the show.)

1. Threat of Snow

Meteorologists must love the control they have over nervous people, knowing that the second they stand in front of that map and say, “We may have snow…” hundreds of people panic and head to the nearest store for milk, toilet paper and comfort food. While they are often wrong, a nervous person knows, “They might be right!”

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2. Traffic Jams

Some people can sit in traffic every day with no problem, they know it’s a fact of life. Traffic jams instantly make me hungry, thirsty, worry that I will be late and need to pee. If I’m in a traffic jam in hot weather, I also worry that my car will overheat and I’ll die of exposure.

3. Public Speaking

While many people get antsy at the thought of speaking to a large group, nervous people can break out into a sweat talking to their book club. Will every intelligent thought escape their brain the second they open their mouth or will what comes out make sense? My palms are sweating just thinking about it.

4. What to Wear to a Party

Parties are supposed to be fun. But the second a nervous person is invited to something she or he hasn’t been to before, the stress begins. “What should I wear? What will others wear? What if I’m too dressed up or too casual? Do I bring a hostess gift? If so, what?” The fear of standing out for doing the wrong thing takes hold like a death grip, often until the event is over.

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5. An Unexplained Rash

Rashes happen. But when a rash appears on a nervous person or their child, their mind jumps to the worst case scenario. They add to the panic but doing research on the internet and proceed to diagnose a rare and often fatal disease. Does some anti-itch cream usually clear it up? Yes. But that doesn’t stop their wild imagination from wreaking havoc before the cream takes effect!

6. Entertaining

Like parties, having people over for dinner is supposed to be fun. But I can tell you from experience there can be a lot of pre-party panic. What should I cook and if I try something new, will it be good? How much food do I need? What kind of drinks? And the most stressful of all, for me at least, is trying to time everything to be done at the same time so everything can be hot and ready together. Let’s just say that Martha Stewart, I am not!

7. Noises on an Airplane

Airplanes are mechanical things. There are flaps, and gears and doors and wheels – things will make noise. But on most flights I take I end up telling someone with white-knuckles that the noises are not the plane about to break apart, it’s just the landing gear door opening and the wheels coming out so we can land safely.

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8. Sirens

When I hear a siren, I get an immediate adrenaline rush and check to make sure I’m not speeding. My gut reaction, and that of many other nervous people, is to think the siren is about THEM. The average person calmly pulls to the side of the road and let’s whatever emergency vehicle is in a hurry pass. No paranoia, adrenaline rush or unfounded guilt – lucky them!

9. A Gas Tank Below Half-Full

I have friends who drive until the gas light comes on and they still don’t worry. They just remark that, “Oh, I need gas soon…”  SOON? You needed it about 100 miles ago! I was brought up to hit the panic button if the gas went below a half a tank. I guess my parents thought we might take a wrong turn and end up in the middle of nowhere without a gas station within 100 miles, so better safe than sorry.

10. Bees

People seem to be deathly afraid of bees or not at all – there is very little in between. Even most intellectually know that a bee will die if they sting you – so they aren’t flying around looking for people to sting – they still run, scream and flail at the sight or sound of a bee. That makes the bee panic and see them as a threat and the thing they dread most happens; they get stung.

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Featured photo credit: Maxwell GS via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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