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Five Ways to Kill Anxiety

Five Ways to Kill Anxiety

Anxiety is a dark, negative mental prison which many individuals suffer from each day. Some have feelings of anxiety every once in a while, such as when faced with stressful situations, and others have the daunting, relentless feelings every single day. Known as chronic anxiety, sufferers feel trapped with feelings of worry, sadness, low self-worth, exhaustion, and difficulty in relationships. Fortunately, there is a sliver of hope for anxiety victims by adopting specific techniques to stop it before it festers in the mind and gets out of control.

1. This Too, Shall Pass

When something occurs that causes you to become overly anxious, or if anxiety creeps in for no apparent reason, stop what you are doing and focus on your mind. Breathe in and out, deeply and slowly. Then, immediately tell yourself (out loud if you have to) that it is only temporary. Repeat this over and over again as many times as you need to in order to calm down and convince yourself of this. Think about all of the times in your life that you have been anxious and reassure yourself that you have always been just fine in the end. Do not attempt to ignore the anxiety; acknowledge the feelings you are having and tell yourself that you are going to be okay.

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2. Focus on your Inner Being

Learn about anxiety and what it entails by asking your healthcare professional, counselor, or by researching credible sources. Doing so will greatly benefit you when anxiety begins to rear its ugly head. When you are suddenly faced with a circumstance that jolts your anxiety into high gear, you will be more prepared to deal with the physiological changes so they do not spiral out of control.  Knowing what to do when this happens beforehand will allow you to face an abrupt period of anxiety.  Learn about deep breathing methods, self-talk strategies, and other forms of immediate relief and see what works for you when anxious moments begin.

3. Self-Talk and Affirmations

Never underestimate the power of positive self-talk and affirmations. These are a few ways many people effectively deal with any anxiety issues they face. Reading positive affirmations and reciting positive self-talk, repeatedly, to yourself can work wonders. When adopted as a useful tool, they work instantaneously to bring a sense of calm in many situations. Finding quotes that pertain to specific situations and writing them down, downloading them through an app on your phone, or even by sticking Post-It notes in places where they are easily seen, will remind you of how to think about daily challenges. Life is hard for many people, and finding ways to deal with the stress is purely based on an individual level.

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One of the effective ways many people choose to deal with stress is to look into the meaning of the things that initially resulted in the rising stress level. At any given moment, you can choose to be stressed or you can choose to be empowered. You can allow stress to destroy you, or you can let it help you grow. You can choose to feel grateful, by first learning and understanding that you don’t need an excuse to feel good. As Tony Robbins says, “You can feel good for no reason“.

4. Get Healthy

Seemingly obvious, getting healthy is, for some people, also difficult to do.  Many people that have constant anxiety may have specific vices that may not be so healthy to help mask the problem. These may make anxiety worse or only help temporarily. Eating healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising will go a long way in terms of controlling anxiety. Foods rich in vitamin B, such as beef, chicken, leafy greens, nuts, and citrus fruits can help keep anxiety at bay. Keeping yourself hydrated with plenty of fresh water each day can help as well.

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5. Get your Zzzzzzz’s

For many anxiety sufferers, getting a good night’s sleep may seem an impossible task. Many people who suffer from this illness tend to stay up late, thus allowing an overtired body and mind to become more susceptible to anxious thoughts the next day. With the many healthy sleep methods out there, as well as the plethora of strategies for good sleep that are available from your health professional, it can be a reality.  Being awake and alert throughout the day can ease anxiety and help you think much more clearly and realistically.

Anxiety can be debilitating for many, and educating yourself, finding what works for you, in keeping yourself armed with certain techniques can help you remain proactive and able to fight any unnecessary, negative feelings that creep into your mind. Empowering yourself with these methods can help you keep your anxiety under control and lead you to a more productive, healthy, and happy life.

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Featured photo credit: woman-happiness-sunrise-silhouette via pixabay.com

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Beth Hedrick

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

Do you forget stuff every now and then? Are you trying to enhance your memory but not sure how?

All you need is the right memorization techniques to make the most of your memory.

The human brain is fascinating. More specifically, the vast interconnections within our mind. Mendel Kaelen compares the human brain to a hill covered in snow,

“Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, and thoughts as sleds gliding down that hill. As one sled after another goes down the hill a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into preexisting trails, almost like a magnet. In time it becomes more and more difficulty to glide down the hill on any other path or in a different direction.”

The intent of Kaelen’s discussion is to think of new ways to temporarily flatten the snow. Kaelen remarked,

“The deeply worn trails disappear, and suddenly the sled can go in other directions, exploring new landscapes and, literally, creating new pathways.”

The idea here is to temporarily rewire your brain, or as Michael Pollan remarked in How to Change Your Mind,

“The power to shake the snow globe, disrupting unhealthy patterns of thought and creating a space of flexibility-entropy-in which more salubrious patterns and narratives have an opportunity to coalesce as the snow slowly settles.”

So, how can we rewire our brain allowing deeply worn connections to disappear and new connections to form? The answer is quite simple. We must change the way we store information in our mind.

    Let’s examine 5 specific memorization techniques that will change the way you think and remember information.

    1. Build a Memory Palace

      What is it?

      The method of loci[1] (aka memory palace) is a method of memory enhancement using visualizations with the use of spatial memory. It uses familiar information about your environment to quickly recall information. It is a method that was discussed by Cicero in an ancient dialogue called De Oratore.

      How to use it?

      Ron White discusses in How to Memorize Fast and Easily: Build a Memory Palace, that it’s essentially a room or building that you have memorized and you use locations in the room to store data. Ron informs us,

      “You memorize locations in a room and then you later go back to those locations to retrieve the data that you want to remember.”

      Example

      An easy 5-step example, in the form of a Wiki, can be found at Artofmemory.com. Let’s examine the the steps:

      • Step 1. Choose a place that you know well. For example, your house or office.
      • Step 2. Plan the route and pick specific locations in your route. For example, your front door, bathroom kitchen, etc.
      • Step 3. Decide what you want to memorize. For example, geography, list of items, answers for a test, etc.
      • Step 4. Place one or two items, with a mental image, and place them in your memory palace. Exaggerate your images. For example, use nudity or crazy images forcing it to stick in your mind.
      • Step 5. Make the image into a mnemonic.

      You can learn more about this technique here: How to Build a Memory Palace to Remember More of Everything

      2. Mnemonic

        What is it?

        A mnemonic is a memory device that aids in retention and/or retrieval of information. Mnemonic systems are techniques consciously used to improve memory by helping us use information already stored in long-term memory to make memorization easier.[2]

        How to use it?

        Mnemonics make use of retrieval cues to encode information in our brain allowing for efficient storage and retrieval of the information. The trick is to learn how to easily create mnemonics. If you find that you struggle with creating your own, try the following website: Mnemonic Generator.

        Example

        I recently came across a video using mnemonics to memorize countries. Memorizing Countries using Mnemonics is a video created as an introduction to a class for using memory techniques to learn the names of countries on maps.

        I actively search for videos that provide enormous educational value, yet receive very little exposure. At the time of this writing, this video has received less than 4k views. Let’s examine the video.

        Goal: Create a mnemonic to memorize the countries in the Caribbean (just the countries you need to learn).

        Step 1. Looking at a map – write out each country (for which five were chosen).

        Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico.

        Step 2. Write the first letter of each country vertically.

        C

        J

        H

        D

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        P

        Step 3. Create a sentence or phrase.

        Cubs

        Just

        Hate

        Doing

        Push-ups

        Cubs just hate doing push-ups. (Cuba Jamaica Haiti Dominican Republic Puerto Rico)

        3. Mnemonic Peg System

          What is it?

          According to Artofmemory.com, a mnemonic peg system is a technique for memorizing lists and it works by memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent.[3] These objects are the pegs of the system.

          How to use it?

          The trick is to create a Number Rhyme System with each number having a rhyming mnemonic keyword.

          Example

          Let’s look at an example of a Number Rhyme System:[4]

          0 = hero

          1 = gun

          2 = shoe

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          3 = tree

          4 = door

          5 = hive

          6 = sticks

          7 = heaven

          8 = gate

          9 = line

          Another technique like the Peg system is the Number Shape System.[5] Here you are assigning mnemonic images based on the shape of the number. Watch the following video for an example of this system: Number Shape System for Memorizing Numbers.

          4. Chunking

            What is it?

            Chunking is a way to remember large bits of information by chunking them into smaller pieces of information. We are more likely to then remember the information when we put the small pieces back together to see the entire picture.

            How to use it?

            In the video Chunking – A Learning Technique, we can see that there are several ways to chunk information.

            Example

            Let’s examine a simple example using a nine-digit number.

            Step 1. What is the number you are trying to remember?

            081127882

            Step 2. Cut the number into smaller pieces through chunking.

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            081 – 127 – 882

            Let’s look at one more example from the same video.

            “Piano teachers will first demonstrate an entire song to students. They will then ask their students to practice one measure at a time. Once the part has been learned and the neural connections in the brain have been built, then students go on to the next measure. After all chunks have been played separately, they are combined until the entire piece is connected.”

            5. Transfer of Learning

              What is it?

              Transfer of learning is a way to learn something in one area and apply it in another. Authors of Thinking at Every Desk, Derek and Laura Cabrera inform us about the transfer of learning,

              “If a student has a high transfer skills, she can learn one thing and then teach herself 10, 50, or 100 additional things.”

              How to use it?

              There are two specific ways to use it:

              1. Vertical Transfer (aka Far Transfer). Think of learning something in grade school and applying it another grade or later in life.
              2. Horizontal Transfer (aka Near Transfer). Think of learning a concept in history and applying it in math.

              Example

              I provide a detailed step-by-step example for this technique in this article:

              Learn How to Learn: How to Understand and Connect Difficult Ideas Easily

              The Bottom Line

              The key to using the techniques discussed here is to remember that we must actively think about information.

              We cannot simply drill information into our brain through rote memorization. We must change the way we think about memorization. We must find a way to “shake the snow-globe” in our mind or flatten the snow so that we can create new learning paths.

              Or as Derek and Laura Cabrera point out, we must insert “Thinking” into the equation,

              “Information X Thinking = Knowledge”

              More About Enhancing Memories

              Featured photo credit: Nong Vang via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Remember Everything: Memory Palaces and the Method of Loci
              [2] The Learning Center Exchange: 9 Types of Mnemonics for Better Memory
              [3] Art of Memory: Mnemonic Peg System
              [4] Art of Memory: Number Rhyme System
              [5] Art of Memory: Number Shape System

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