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5 Unusual (But Effective) Techniques to Overcome Anxiety

5 Unusual (But Effective) Techniques to Overcome Anxiety

Being nervous or anxious is something that happens to everyone from time to time. Whether it’s fear of public speaking or stress from a personal struggle, anxiety is a fairly common occurrence. Unfortunately, occasional anxiety can develop into something more serious as the time goes on, and this is how it becomes a disorder. It can become so bad that it takes over your life and becomes a daily struggle.

Luckily, there are many ways to fight anxiety. In very serious cases, you should consider consulting a qualified therapist. Alternatively, you could try out some of the solutions below. These are the things you could do at home in your free time or at any time you want.

1. Sing your favorite song

Music has a calming and relaxing effect on human beings. More importantly, music can heal us. We listen to it when we are sad, happy, or while working or cleaning. Everywhere we go we tend to be surrounded by music. That being said, we as individuals have our own favorite types of music or a specific song that we enjoy. And each time we hear this song, we tend to feel much better.

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So, next time you feel anxious or nervous about something, putting on your favorite tune might be a good idea. Try singing along and getting into the groove. Singing loudly is a great way of letting all those pent up emotions out. Choir singing in particular has been shown to significantly improve your mood.

Give singing a shot. It will improve your mental state and make you happier, and you’ll eventually be able to use it to overcome anxiety whenever you feel it coming on.

2. Start drawing or coloring

Art therapy is another way of dealing with anxiety. Drawing has an incredibly relaxing effect on us. It keeps you calm and focused. Also, you get lost while drawing or painting, so you forget about your worries for a moment. Therefore, if you are feeling uneasy, pick up a pen or a brush and start creating.

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For example, you could buy some watercolors and watercolor canvas, or you could simply buy an adult coloring book (these are trendy at the moment) and start filling it in. In addition to being a wonderful therapy tool, they are great for killing time and unleashing your inner child.

3. Get a punching bag and a set of gloves

Another interesting way you could fight off anxiety is to literally fight it off. Any form of physical exercise is good for you, but actually punching something seems to work wonders for both fitness and stress relief. This will give you the opportunity to get rid of all the negativity and bad emotions, and the heavy bag can take a whole lot of punishment without complaining. Just remember to get the techniques down first, stretch beforehand, and properly protect your hands.

4. Focus on household chores

Our emotional state depends on the people around us as well as our physical surroundings. If your house or apartment is organized, you will feel the same way. If you live in a messy environment, however, then your emotions will be all over the place, too. This is why cleaning your house – that is, focusing on household chores – is a nice way to fight anxiety.

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Just think about it: don’t you feel better when your house is clean, when there are no clothes on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, or dust all over the place? Clutter just makes you feel more stressed and under pressure, as if there is a heavy load hanging above your head, waiting to explode. Tidying up is good for you, so get down to business as soon as possible.

5. Hear out the voice of doubt, then prove it wrong

Being confident is key when facing anxiety. If you do not believe in yourself, getting better only becomes more difficult. More importantly, letting others get you down is out of the question and should not be tolerated. Fortunately, there are methods you can use to silence your critical inner voice and overcome anxiety.

For example, you could practice being in uncomfortable and intimidating situations. This will give you an insight into the proper reactions and solutions. Being confronted by a friend or critiqued by a boss are just some of the many examples. Moreover, you can take up a new course where you will be surrounded by new people. This is a good way to push your limits and build confidence. And lastly, you can find a support group and share your thoughts with them. Let them help you and give advice on how to overcome anxiety.

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Before attempting any of these options, you should consult a professional. When you get the green light, feel free to do anything in your power to fight this issue. Finally, remember to be hopeful and positive through it all – it’s the only way to prevail.

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Aleksandar Ilic

Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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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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