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6 Smart Ways To Overcome Anxiety That You Probably Haven’t Tried

6 Smart Ways To Overcome Anxiety That You Probably Haven’t Tried

Everyone at one point or another suffers from anxiety. Anxiety is a physical and emotional response to perceived danger: We are human and therefore worry about everything, especially future outcomes and predictions. What triggers our anxiety are our own scary predictions of future events, which aren’t always real.

Anxiety does not necessarily have to be caused by great occurrences. It is often the little things that take us over the edge: not finding your keys where you remember putting them, the email you forgot to send, getting caught up in traffic jams, and so forth.

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It is easy to lose your cool because of anxiety, but with the following tips you can learn to beat anxiety and have fun while doing so.

Remember: these tips are to overcome mild, everyday anxiety. If a serious anxiety disorder prevails, it is essential you go to a specialist.

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1. Press pause and laugh

Literally, stop everything and take a break to tickle your funny bone. Laughing and smiling frequently have been proven by science to reduce your stress levels, making you less prone to anxiety. So the next time you feel stress building up, pause whatever you are doing to browse through the vine, YouTube, or any other web pages hosting funny videos and images.

2.  Indulge in color therapy

Although an ancient practice, color therapy can still be used as a means of treating anxiety. Incorporate an article of clothing or paint a wall with a cool color, such as shades of blue, purple or green. This therapy is easily practiced throughout the day by simply noticing which colors your eye is drawn to, and how the color makes you feel. Color therapy works if you have high self-awareness, so the more developed your awareness, the more you will realize how a color will make you feel.

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3. Listen to songs that you love

Listening to music each day can help overcome anxiety and improve overall health. Let your mood be the guide to your playlist: listening to certain favorites can leave you in the mood to bust a move. Coinciding with this tip, keep your earphones with you at all times. This way you don’t disturb others with your music and whenever you feel anxiety creeping up, just pop in your earphones to shut everything out.

4.  Completely disconnect

Unplug communication devices, pull up that chair, kick your feet up and do nothing. However, completely disconnect only when it is doable and make sure that people who rely on you know that you will be unreachable during that time. Spend the disconnection wisely: that means no TV, no phones, no tablets. Take a long, relaxing bath or indulge in some aroma therapy. Basil, anise, and chamomile are great choices; they reduce tension in the body and help increase mental clarity. This will resurrect you emotionally and physically so you can deal with stress.

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5. Meditate

Scientists have discovered that meditating increases gray matter in the brain, which makes it easy for us to cope with stress. Scientists have also carried out various studies on meditation’s effects on stress and anxiety disorders, with the outcome almost always positive. Take meditation a step further by enrolling in yoga classes or doing it at home daily. Yoga is a combination of physical exertion, meditation and breathing exercises that has helped anxiety patients and given them a new, brighter outlook on life.

6. More omega-3 and vitamin B, please!

Anxiety affects our entire mind and body; therefore, the recovery should be of both the mind and body. To give them the nutrients they need, try eating foods rich in omega-3 and vitamin B. Studies have linked vitamin B with good mental health, and omega-3s may help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Also, cut down on sugar, processed food and caffeine for a better, stronger mind that can cope with and fight stress, as these foods have been observed to increase symptoms of anxiety.

Featured photo credit: Anastazja Stanowska via flickr.com

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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