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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 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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