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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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