By Kat Hawley Cook
Anxiety gets in the way of everything! It can keep you from enjoying your life, feeling empowered, and being proactive. Anxiety can manifest in many forms. You might be distracted and have trouble concentrating on tasks. You might be irritable and easily provoked. These parasitic thoughts will keep us from being fully present and focused at work, thriving in our hobbies, and enjoying time with friends and family. Ever present anxiety can be exhausting, so having some tools to combat it in the moment is a powerful way to reclaim your life.
Locate Your Triggers
Certain situations and experiences trigger anxiety. The first thing you need to do to beat your anxiety is determine what these triggers are. Some common triggers are feeling overwhelmed with tasks, social interactions, doing something new, and not getting enough food or sleep. If your triggers spring up when you’re at specific places, doing particular things, or with certain people, make a note of this and start tracking the patterns!
When you are experiencing a wave of anxiousness, take a moment to consider what may have occurred to trigger your anxiety. Just write it down. Over time you will begin to see correlations between certain situations and your anxiety. Simply knowing what your triggers are can be empowering. Sometimes they’e avoidable, sometimes they’re not. Even if you can’t avoid a trigger, you can go into that situation knowing the risk, and with the ability to prepare.
Make Some Lists
Gain a new sense of control over your anxiety by organizing your day and your life. Anxiety thrives on confusion and disorganization, so you are directly combatting your anxiety when you take the time to set things in order. Making lists is a great way of getting your fluttery, anxious thoughts out of your head and into the physical world. Here are 100 list ideas that can help you feel organized and in control if you need some inspiration.
Carrie Baron at Psychology today lists six amazing benefits that list-making can have for reducing anxiety and quieting your mind. It can help with small things, like deciding where to eat. By listing your favorite movies, books, or activities, you are more prepared for questions in social situations. By listing your fears, triggers, or bad memories you are taking ownership of the things that are oppressing your mind. By listing tasks or responsibilities, you are able to prioritize and be more successful and productive. The more self aware and empowered you are, the less space you have left in your brain for anxiety.
You Knew This Was Coming: Exercise
Often we look at the mind and body as two different things, but in actuality, your brain is just another organ that needs to be taken care of just like your stomach or your heart. And although we’ve all heard it a million times, exercise really does reduce fatigue, improve sleep quality, and improve alertness and concentration. It also releases endorphins in your brain that can instantly lift your mood.
A single session can be a quick fix, and when you develop a routine, exercise has proven to improve anxiety and depression over a longer period of time. This may seem daunting, but the Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that even as little as five minutes of aerobic exercise can produce the desired anti-anxiety effects. Exercise helps you feel in control of your body and your life. It improves self esteem and helps develop trust in one’s ability to accomplish difficult things.
About the Author
Kat was raised in Tooele, Utah. In addition to writing, Kat is passionate about visual arts, theatre arts, music, and social studies. She believes that the best writing is fresh and approachable, set on a foundation of good structure. She recently married the love of her life, Ryan, and they currently reside in Orem, Utah.
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