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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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