Anxiety can be a real killer.
When you have a high degree of anxiety in your life, you will likely withdraw from social situations, shy away from pursuing your goals, experience a seriously diminished sense of confidence and self-respect, and see threats and dangers where, in all likelihood, there aren’t any.
Serious, crippling anxiety is something to be dealt with carefully, often through professional counselling. But all of us, to one extent or another, experience some degree of anxiety in our lives – especially during periods of high stress.
Here are a few practical tips for reducing anxiety in your life.
Get more systematic – plan things out, schedule your days, and define your goals
Anxiety is often driven, to a pretty significant degree, by feelings of uncertainty and disorder. The sense that life is chaotic and unpredictable, and that all sorts of troubles lurk just out of sight.
In order to begin pushing back against this skewed perspective, a great thing to do is to get more systematic. Schedule your days out in advance, and plan your appointments, obligations, and activities.
Define your goals, too, whether that means contacting residential architects to get the ball rolling so that you can move into the home of your dreams, or coming up with an exercise plan.
The more you actively take control of your life and impose your own structure on it, the less mysterious and frightening things will tend to feel, and the less likely you will be to experience chronic anxiety.
Get your nutrition and sleep dialled in
Often, anxiety isn’t really driven by the external circumstances of your life so much as by a skewed perspective on your part. Frequently, this skewed perspective is down to hormonal imbalances, which in turn are down to issues with things like sleep and nutrition.
The stress hormone cortisol is largely responsible for fuelling feelings of anxiety, along with elevated levels of adrenaline. Both of these hormones can be elevated to unusually high levels by things like stimulant abuse, overreliance on caffeine, low-carb diets, and other such lifestyle practices.
Likewise, sleep deprivation is well-known to cause a chronic state of stress in the body, which can, in turn, lead to elevated anxiety. You’ve probably noticed that everything seems a bit more daunting when you are tired.
Make sure that your vitamin and mineral intake, and your general nutrition, are on point and get enough sleep and regular exercise.
Challenge yourself daily, in small ways, to venture out of your comfort zone
To some extent, anxiety is a conditioned response – meaning, that if we keep avoiding things that frighten us, they will generally start to frighten us more, while our sense of confidence diminishes simultaneously.
This is similar to the psychological concept known as “learned helplessness.”
To begin pushing against this phenomenon, and moving things in the opposite direction, challenge yourself to venture out of your comfort zone in small and manageable ways, on a daily basis.
That might mean signing up to a class or club, trying out a new outfit, or going to the gym.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.