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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 November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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