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5 Things That People With Anxiety Want You To Know

5 Things That People With Anxiety Want You To Know

A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. This is anxiety – sounds like something we’ve all experienced multiple times in our lives? Anxiety is completely normal; it touches on many of our emotions which characterize us as human. However, when you have too much anxiety it’s known as an anxiety disorder, and it’s a lot more common than you would imagine. Roughly 18% of US citizens over the age of 18 have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, in the big picture 1 out of 13 people worldwide have anxiety.

Here are 5 things people with anxiety want you to know.

1. Have some patience

Having someone close to you with anxiety can really be confusing. You may ask, “why do we have to avoid certain places, situations, and deal with irrational logic?” It Isn’t their fault. Anxiety doesn’t have set criteria, it uses to choose the target it preys on, anyone can develop this disorder at anytime in their lives. Trust me when I say they didn’t choose to live with the extra burden of impending doom lurking around every corner.

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Emotionally, anxiety takes a lot out of you, as the victim or someone close to them. Anyone with anxiety will be first to tell you how much they appreciate you sticking through the bad times and the good. It means a lot to have the emotional support of friends and family, especially for times that are worse than others. As they say,” You’ll find out who your friends really are”  – this is such a good example of the saying. Anyone who sticks it out through it all, really is a true friend, and they really appreciate it more than they admit.

2. Don’t try to fix them

Anxiety Isn’t something you can fix, pushing someone too hard will make things worse. The last thing someone suffering with anxiety needs is someone close to them trying to solve their disorder with brute force and persistence. Let them use coping skills and work through the problem at their own pace, make them feel comfortable, without being overbearing.

Most importantly, never make a big deal about a panic attack or irrational behavior. The more you talk about or bring up an episode of anxiety and try to diagnose the issue, the more frustrated they will become and ultimately lead to further episodes. Lastly, don’t talk about their anxiety with other people, it can be embarrassing, and make them feel more uncomfortable than they already are. Let them disclose their personal issues for themselves.

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3. Know that anxiety is often misunderstood

There are so many social misconceptions on anxiety, I’ll cover the most common, which are also the most frustrating. People are lead to believe that anxiety always stems from a poor childhood, fear, or trauma. This isn’t always the case, more common than not it’s genetic, and your family has a history of anxiety, some cases more severe than others. Another big one is that people seem to believe you can just fix “it”. Anxiety disorders don’t evaporate with the morning mist, although that would be nice, it isn’t a that easy.

For many people anxiety will be with them for their entire life. With proper coping skills and conditioning you can still achieve a more than decent way of life with time. The capital offender of misconceptions is thinking you can tell someone to “just relax.” Sadly, there isn’t a switch you can use to turn off someone else’s anxiety, you’re going to have to sideline yourself and wait for them to cope with it on their own.

4. Understand that anxiety doesn’t make you “weak”

Anxiety has plagued mankind for our entire existence, overcoming adversity is one of humanity’s most valuable skills. Some of the most iconic people in our history have had anxiety disorders, even without modern medicine they didn’t give up. In modern days we have social figures with these disorders and they overcome and succeed on a world stage. Assuming someone with anxiety are weak, broken, or wortrless is ignorant. Here are a few familiar faces you wouldn’t have guessed cope or coped with anxiety.

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  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Leann Rimes
  • Johnny Depp
  • Kate Moss
  • Emma Stone
  • Joey Votto
  • Kim Basinger
  • Charlie Beljan
  • Scarlett Johansson
  • Adele

These are some of the public figures that aren’t shy about their condition and openly talk about coping skills and how they overcame anxiety and achieved their dreams. Many people are affected by anxiety, and achieve great things. I doubt you would consider any of the listed people above as “weak.”

5. Learn how to relate to an anxiety you don’t have

Plain and simple: you don’t have it, so how could you understand something that someone with the condition has a hard time making sense of for themselves? Anxiety can make those affected be irrational, and hard to reason with. Especially when they know they are being irrational and still can’t cope with anxiety.

When you experience something like a panic attack it triggers the famed “fight or flight” response, which releases chemicals in your brain such as adrenaline and cortisol. When these chemicals are released it slows digestion, increases heart rate and pushes blood into your major muscle groups. Leaving you feeling faint while your limbs go numb due to an influx in blood flow, and autonomic nervous functions, when this occurs you can push your muscles to the absolute maximum and achieve a great burst of strength and energy you normally wouldn’t be able to achieve maximizing survivability, hence the “flight or fight response”.

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If you’ve ever experienced this before you can get a glimpse into what many people live through everyday. Don’t lose hope, many have dealt with this in the past and many more will deal with anxiety in the future. Try to understand them.

Featured photo credit: Womans hands connected With Tangled String/ Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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