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Read This If You Want To Make Anxiety Your Friend, Not Your Enemy

Read This If You Want To Make Anxiety Your Friend, Not Your Enemy

Having anxiety can be debilitating and can make your daily life a struggle to get through. Fortunately, there are ways that you can use anxiety to your advantage and make it more bearable to get through the day.

Use it to be proactive

Anxiety can cause your mind to always be churning with “what ifs,” and doubts on any and every topic, but you can turn all this internal activity into being productive and getting things done. Channeling your anxious energy into a specific task not only helps you check off tasks on your to-do list, but it also help quell any anxious trains of thoughts by reassuring that you are on top of things.

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Use it as an excuse to exercise

Whenever you feel your stress increase, take this as a sign to get some fresh air and take a walk or go for a run in your neighborhood. Moving around helps decrease your anxiety and of course also keeps your body in physical shape as well. Pretty soon you will get into a rhythm where it will take you little convincing to head out doors, because your body and mind will know the huge benefits from being active.

Use it as a reminder to be social

Usually one of the last things that anxious people want is to be around other people, but having social interaction can help more than hinder if done right. You do not have to go to a crowded event or attend a party filled with a lot of individuals you do not know. Instead spend time with a few close friends and family members. Spending time with loved ones can help take your mind off of whatever you are stressing about and learn to appreciate the present.

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Use it as a sign to take care of yourself

High levels of anxiety can point to areas in your life where you are not taking care of your own well-being, whether it is physical or emotional. Instead of reaching for the ice cream when your anxiety levels rocket, consider nourishing your body with a healthier alternative, like fruit. The same goes for improving your mindfulness with daily meditation or yoga practice.

Use it as a change to reflect on your present life

Anxiety can seem burdensome in your life, but it can also be used as a moment of reflection in your life for overall general happiness levels. Have you not been happy in your current position at work or has something been nagging at you with a certain friendship? It is important to take stock of these seemly insignificant issues in your life, since they can build up and create more anxiety. Try writing down three things that you would like to change in your life currently and then make a detailed plan on how to remedy each one.

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Use it as a way to be creative

One of the benefits of having high anxiety levels is that you can channel that nervous energy into being artistic. Whether you are interested in watercolor or writing, using your anxiety can be the perfect muse to creating something great.

Use it to help others

Constantly having your brain turned on with endless worries can be taxing, but a great remedy to this is using this energy to help others. Whether you are volunteering at your local soup kitchen or helping a friend out, giving your time to others is a perfect solution to taking the focus off of yourself.

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Use it to embrace a new hobby

It is easy to become paralyzed when your mind is racing, but a great alternative is to use this energy and focus on a new interest. It could be something as simple as knitting or gardening, but putting in the effort to learn something will help let your mind focus on something besides worrying.

Featured photo credit: Flickr 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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