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5 Simple Steps to Overcoming Anxiety

5 Simple Steps to Overcoming Anxiety

Tight chest, shortness of breath, racing thoughts, do any of these feelings sound familiar to you? Believe it or not 40 million Americans suffer from a mental illness, including anxiety.

Everyone encounters stress at one point or another in their lives, dealing with anxiety, however, is a completely different story. I have personally struggled with this issue for the better part of my adult life. I have learned many techniques to overcome this issue and I am happy to walk you through the 5 simple ways for you to overcome anxiety.

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1. The Foundation

Lets start with the basics, why are you feeling anxious? I want you to grab a paper and pen, and I want you to write down a list of everything that makes you anxious in your life. Is work a main cause? Family, or money? Write all of these down and read them over 10 times. I want you to feel anxious, have your mind fully process those trigger points so that you can understand where the anxiety is coming from, and when you can expect it to happen.

2. Understanding

Understanding your anxiety is one of the most important steps to getting better. Remember that list I had you make? Take a look at it again and start from the top. I want you to understand what key points about your anxiety create the problems. Are you feeling stressed about something coming up at work? Maybe a promotion that you are competing for? That can definitely cause some unsettling feelings and nervousness. Understand that what you are feeling, 40 million people are also feeling too, and that you are not just a number in a statistic. Understand that this issue in your life will pass and you will beat it.

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3. Tackling Anxiety

Now let’s get to the best part, tacking anxiety. We are going to confront our issues head on. The best way you can achieve this is to pick one daily occurrence where you feel anxiety the most. The moment where you know you are about to freak out. When this moment happens I want you to take a minute, step back, look over the situation as if you were above your own body, and ask yourself this one important question “will I remember this in a week, a month or a year from now?” Really take a look at why you are feeling the way you are, does this moment of panic really matter? I mean there are better things to worry about than this right? If you agree to all of this, than you are almost there my friend.

4. Acceptance

Now that you have managed to complete 3 steps to overcoming anxiety, you are now ready to move on to step 4, acceptance. Anxiety is unfortunately something that will affect you for the rest of your life, because you are human. Living with this illness is nothing to be ashamed about, but something you can look back on one day and feel proud that you overcame it. When a situation approaches you in a moment of stress, take a breath, accept that you have anxiety, don’t ignore it, and try to deal with the situation as rationally as you can. Trust me you will feel a world of a difference once you can manage your emotions.

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5. Keeping Busy

Now that you have understood the 4 steps to overcoming anxiety, it’s time for a closure to this article. So without further adieu, my most important tip of the post, keeping busy. That’s right, I said it, keep busy. Take up a hobby, learn to write, try out for a sports team, learn to draw, take up a new course at a school anything to tap into your inner self. Distracting your mind is half the battle, and if you are doing something to replace the negative thinking you are well on your way.

I overcame my anxiety by completing the above 5 steps. I really put myself in awkward situations, situations where I know I did not want to be, I stepped out of my comfort zone and I achieved some amazing goals along the way.

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The ride was certainly not easy, and everyday is always going to be a struggle, but by following these 5 steps and really taking yourself into consideration first is the key to overcoming anxiety.

So much of our time has been kidnapped by this illness called anxiety and it’s time we put a stop to it. Just by clicking on this post you have made a step in the right direction so for that I am proud.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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