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6 Ways To Deal With Anxiety

6 Ways To Deal With Anxiety

Anxiety is arguably one of the more challenging parts of the human experience. Whether you are coping with frequent anxiety or you’re feeling particularly anxious about a situation, it can be difficult to overcome. So perhaps it is more about dealing with or managing the anxiety. Dan Garner offers six techniques you can use;

We all experience anxiety at times. Occasional anxiety is natural and manageable. Unfortunately, the busy pace of modern life leaves seven out of ten adults experiencing stress and anxiety on a daily basis. Sadly, chronic worry and anxiety can rob you of your happiness. When anxiety starts to interfere with your ability to be happy and have a functional life it’s time to take action.

There have been times in my life that I’ve let anxiety get the best of me, but with years of study and a little trial and error I’ve found the following methods to effectively conquer anxiety.

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Use Mindfulness to Understand Your Anxiety

Pay attention to your thoughts. Learn what triggers your anxiety and identify your concerns.When we identify our fears then we can question their validity and find solutions when necessary. Often worrying is wasted energy with your mind running through various doomsday scenarios. It is rarely productive.

Understand that although the things that trigger your anxiety may come from the outside world, your anxiety itself is self-generated. Your internal dialogue and thoughts are what maintain your anxiety. Listen to and identify your internal dialogue.

Write a list of your worries and fears, then decide if they are valid. If they are, then search for solutions. If not, let them go. When you hear the ‘tapes’ of fear and worry playing over and over in your mind, observe them but do not give them power. Watch them and let them go.

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Meditation

I’ve found quiet meditation to be the most important factor in dealing with anxiety. When we stay too busy or distracted then our fears or concerns lie below the surface and fester. It is important to spend a few moments every day meditating and becoming aware of our thoughts and emotions.

If we are used to being busy or preoccupied then quiet time and mindfulness can first lead to an increase in anxiety before it gets better. Unfortunately, many people stop meditating when they start to experience increased anxiety. They keep themselves busy or preoccupied to try and escape their heightened anxiety but it won’t go away. We must face ourselves and our fears if we are to get better.When you first begin (or restart) a meditation program, give it a few days. Try and push through the initial uncomfort and see if you don’t feel more calm with a daily meditation practice.

Talk to Someone

Some of my most enlightening moments have come from discussing my fears with someone else. After weeks or months of keeping it bottled up inside, I would finally bring it up in conversation and it was like a veil was lifted as I realized that either my concern was exaggerated or more easily solved than I originally thought. Just talking to someone will help.

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ry talking to a friend or family member about your problems. In some cases it may be prudent to seek a professional counsellor. Don’t let pride stop you from getting your life back.

Get Some Exercise

I regret it every time that I stop getting enough physical exercise. When I am maintaining my exercise routine I am calmer, happier, and I feel in control of my life. Exercise basically burns away the chemicals like norepinephrine and cortisol which cause stress. Vigorous exercise will also produce endorphins which enhance our sense of well being. A brisk walk or bike ride can immediately reduce stress and anxiety but to reap the full benefits exercise it should be routine. Make it a practice to exercise at least 30 minutes each day.

Get Adequate Sleep

I know, this sounds like a Catch-22. You can’t sleep because you’re worried, but your anxiety builds because you aren’t getting enough sleep.

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You must find a way to break the cycle. Make sure that you aren’t taking in too much caffeine. Perform a physical activity until you are exhausted. I personally do not like using medications, but talk to your doctor if you can’t solve the problem yourself. Proper sleep is essential to a happy and productive life.

Practice Living in the Present

When I say practice, I mean just that. Most of us spend the majority of our time thinking about the future so it can be very hard to be fully present here and now. Start by doing it for short periods of time -practice.  Take 30 minutes and sit in the sun not thinking about anything – just enjoy the sun. It’s hard, I know, but with practice you can learn to do it.  I’m now able to take entire days off from worrying or thinking about the future. It is great to just enjoy the moment or an afternoon with no worry or anxiety at all.

For quick, short term methods of lessening anxiety check out my article from last year – 51 Great Ways to Relieve Stress.If you need more help working through fear and anxiety then I highly recommend Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh. It is an in-depth look at our deepest sources of fear and how to get past it and live a meaningful life. The ebook version is very affordable.

6 Tips For Dealing With Anxiety | Zen Presence

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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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