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7 Sure-fire Ways To Deal With Anxiety

7 Sure-fire Ways To Deal With Anxiety

All of us experience anxiety from time to time. You don’t want to automatically turn to medication, especially if your worries are temporary. Fortunately, you can do something about it using these seven sure-fire ways to dealing with anxiety.

From making a list to deep breathing, you’re bound to find something that will help curb that nervous feeling.

1. Make a List

When you have a long list of things to do, that can make anyone feel anxious. Try writing down all the things that are making your mind feel nervous, especially at night. The act of getting it down on paper can help put your mind at ease. You’ll remember what you need to do and you can check them off your list as you go.

2. Meditation

Just doing a little bit of deep breathing can calm you down immediately. Practicing a routine of daily meditation – in the morning, at night, or both – can do wonders for your anxiety levels.

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If you’ve never done this before, sit in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Begin by taking 10 deep breaths. Take your time with these. You can continue taking deep breaths, or begin to focus on a single word or phrase. The word you choose can be something positive, such as “peace,” or “love,” or a phrase such as, “I am calm.” When you feel your mind wandering, gently let those thoughts go and re-focus your mind on the word or phrase you have chosen.

At first, this exercise can be difficult. But remember, the idea is just to focus on breathing. Begin by doing this for a few minutes each day, and work up to ten or fifteen minutes.

Of course, if you experience discomfort, stop immediately and do something else to help deal with your anxiety.

3. Exercise

Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress and anxiousness. You can take your worries out on the activities at hand. If you like tennis, for example, the act of hitting the ball back and forth can really help direct your anxious energy in healthful ways.

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Walking is another good activity. You can walk around the block for a short ten-minute walk, head to a park, or walk along a trail. The act of getting outside can give you room to breathe, allow you to enjoy the the sounds of nature, and otherwise enjoy some peace and quiet.

Whatever exercise you prefer, make a point in doing it regularly – that can definitely help.

4. Aromatherapy

Just the scent of lavender can help reduce stress and blood pressure. Scientists have documented its calming benefits.

Start with some lavender essential oil or incense. Dab a drop of essential oil on each temple. Sit quietly or lie down and let the aroma help to relax you.

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Lavender incense works, as well, though it’s not as potent as the essential oil and some find the smoke from the incense overpowering – just watch out for that. Light an incense stick and let the aroma fill the room. Again, sit quietly for a few moments and breathe in the scent.

5. Tea

The act of making tea is a calming process. It makes you slow down and sip. You can’t gulp a steaming drink.

Some good varieties to choose for relaxing are lavender, chamomile, or ginger. Lavender and chamomile are both calming; ginger can help calm a nervous stomach.

Pour freshly drawn water into a tea kettle and let it just get to boiling. Pour over tea bag or loose leaf tea, and let it steep until cool enough to drink. Sit in a quiet spot and turn off all noise: cell phones, music, televisions, radios, etc. Sip your tea for 20 minutes while purposefully turning your attention away from the thoughts that make your stress levels rise.

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6. Soothing Music

Turn on some soothing music. Many different genres of music exist that can help calm the mind. Classical, Zen, meditation, Native American flute music, or other similar types of soothing sounds are good choices.

If you don’t have your own music, you can find an internet radio station for this purpose, an iPod, mp4 player, or even turn it to the meditation station if you have satellite television. While listening to music, you can sit quietly or do another calm activity to help put your mind at ease: read, create art, write, etc.

7. Yoga

Head to your nearest yoga center for complete guidance on how to do this activity. You can also find videos on the internet or if you have a game console, you can purchase a yoga video. Just keep in mind that you won’t have the precise guidance that you would with a yoga instructor.

Yoga involves breathing and precise body movements that are designed to help focus the mind. You must concentrate on the movements to perform the yoga exercises correctly. As such, you shift your attention away from daily issues and onto figuring out the correct yoga position.

Reduce Your Anxiety

Some of the suggestions on this list will take more time than others on how to manage anxiety. From soothing music to meditation, you can actively address your symptoms by trying these different activities and get on with your life.

This list is not intended to diagnose any condition. It is important to remember that if these methods don’t help, or if you experience extreme discomfort or prolonged anxiety, seek the advice of a doctor.

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Cyndi Calhoun

Cyndi is a passionate writer who writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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