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7 Common Ways You Deal With Anxiety That Are Actually Making It Worse

7 Common Ways You Deal With Anxiety That Are Actually Making It Worse

Hardwired into our physiological makeup, anxiety is a sensation that can warn us of danger and motivate us to take action. In today’s information-saturated, work-around-the-clock world, however, anxiety can rapidly spiral out of control. In its most intense form, anxiety can even induce a sort of paralysis.

Whether you are in knots over financial worries, an upcoming presentation, or an illness in the family, there are common ways people deal with anxiety that actually make it worse. Increase the odds your stress-busting routine will actually work by avoiding the following seven things:

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1. Spending money in an attempt to alleviate anxiety.

Anxiety is often tied to worry over scarcity of resources. Expending more resources, then, does not make sense as a coping strategy. Plus, anything you buy while you’re stressed will likely result in buyer’s remorse. When you’re anxious, your brain is focused on meeting the challenges right in front of you, not on long-term planning or moderation. When the bill hits your mailbox, your stress levels will climb right through the roof again.

2. Expecting other people to alleviate your anxiety.

Like any other emotion, what you feel is yours. Expecting or relying upon others to make you feel better, in this case calmer, puts undue strain on relationships. Over time, your relationships will suffer or break because of your unwillingness to deal with your own challenges.

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3. Focusing on the feeling, not the cause of it.

You’re anxious. Okay. So are lots of folks. The more important question is: why? All the deep breathing in the world won’t help if you don’t know why you are stressed in the first place.

4. Avoiding, rather than confronting your feelings.

If you are working through panic attacks, or stress that keeps you up at night, the word ‘fine’ should be banished from your vocabulary for a while. You are not fine. What you are is a person who is struggling with a sensation and working to find a way to manage it, and your life, better. Take a deep breath, and commit to the work.

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5. Beating yourself up for feeling anxious.

Do you know anyone who is perfect? No? The driven and ultrasuccessful often struggle with anxiety, but are among the demographics least likely to admit that they have a problem. Having a problem does not mean you cannot be successful; it means you have a problem. Take a deep breath, realize you’re human, that anxiety is the challenge before you, and keep moving forward.

6. Thinking of anxiety as a disease.

Anxiety is a normal human response. While there are degrees that can be clinically diagnosed, many treatment options focus on developing the individual’s ability to identify and manage anxiety-based reactions. Struggling with anxiety does not mean you have a disease or illness; it means you are facing a challenge.

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7. Obsessing over someone else’s zen.

Magazines, television, and the World Wide Web are filled with images of gurus contorted into yoga poses, celebrities who swear by days of silent meditation, and articles proclaiming how we are all doomed to die early, toxic deaths due to a million factors beyond our control. Close the books, look away from the celebrities, reach for the remote and turn the television off. Your version of calm and tranquility may, or may not, look like anyone else’s, and the path you take to get there will be unique. Those people have financial and relationship concerns, too, and how they truly relax may or may not be the image they present to the world. Find your own zen.

Searching for calm? Try these Ten Ways to Beat Stress and Anxiety.

Featured photo credit: Kai Schreiber via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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