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We all struggle with anxiety from time to time.
Some struggle constantly with it while others do every once in a while.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to experiencing anxiety.
Each person is unique, which means what causes their anxiety is unique.
I personally hate being in public spaces by myself and feeling eyes on me at all times (even if no one is actually staring).
Other people get anxious about doing good enough at school or work.
And there could be multiple things causing your own anxiety.
What I work on making happen with this blog is getting you to see that your anxiety is not a bad thing.
It’s a part of who you are and yes, it can make you feel awful at times.
But just because you have it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to feel awful forever.
And you can also have anxiety while keeping it at bay… so it doesn’t fully take over and cripple you from doing anything.
You want to know a secret? Even though I constantly write about how to overcome anxiety I STILL deal with it on a daily basis.
I’ve come to terms that it’s not going away for me.
There are some days where it’s barely there, but other days it pulls the rug out from under me and I feel anxious over the smallest things.
I have a love-hate relationship with anxiety, and sometimes it is really frustrating.
However, I have spent enough time dealing with it that I’ve learned to just accept it for what it is.
Anxiety no longer has a strong hold over me like it used to.
Since I’ve learned how to do this, I want to teach you to feel the same way about it.
Anxiety can be that stubborn friend that drives you crazy most of the time ,but you refuse to give up on. Because when you decide to give up on your anxiety you are also deciding to give up on yourself.
Here are a 20 survival tips for living with anxiety.
1. Take the Pressure Off Yourself… Let Go of Perfection
Each time you try to strive for perfection you are just feeding your anxiety.
Imagine giving a little monster in your head food to keep it strong and powerful.
You want to starve that freaking monster, and one way you can do that is by letting go of trying to be perfect.
You’re going to mess up sometimes, that’s just part of being a human. And if you can learn to accept that and move forward then you will lessen the hold anxiety has over you.
2. Talk Openly About How You’re Feeling, Don’t Hide
If you’re anxious, I want you to scream it to the freaking world!
Ok, maybe not. Just stop feeling like you have to hide it. If you’re anxious, that’s OK.
And if you’re uncomfortable about doing something because of your anxiety then you can speak up to people about it.
Whether that’s at work or just letting a family member know how you’re feeling.
Don’t be afraid to speak up about your mental state because you deserve to have support from others close to you.
3. Make Sure to Take Frequent Breaks
Do you know how much energy it takes to get through a single day when you have high anxiety?
Doing simple tasks just like getting out of bed in the morning and taking a shower can feel like you’ve ran a half marathon.
Going to work, socializing with other people, and being a responsible adult is like climbing Mt. Everest.
Take frequent breaks to avoid completely burning yourself out. At work that might mean a quick bathroom break every hour.
And each night when you’re in the comfort of your home make sure to take some time to unwind and decompress.
Allow your anxiety to rest for a little bit.
4. Eat Anxiety Reducing Foods
If your diet consists of mainly eating junk food or foods high in sugar, this could be contributing to your anxiety.
What you eat has an effect on your hormones and mindset.
It’s ok to eat your favorite ice cream every once in a while, but eating anxiety reducing foods most of the time will help keep your mindset strong.
5. Challenge Your Brain Daily
You know with dogs how they need enough walks and playtime every day to keep their brains stimulated?
The same goes for your own brain.
Challenging your brain allows you to make it stronger. And it not only helps with anxiety, it helps keep your memory sharp.
Some ways you can challenge your brain are:
- Playing games like Sudoku
- Cooking up a meal
- Doing math in your head, not using a calculator
- A challenging hobby like learning a new language, instrument, or doing a puzzle
6. Find the Right Job for Your Wellbeing
I spent two years at a job that was the worst fit for my overall mentality.
I became anxious daily and that turned into depression.
If you feel this way about your job, you can make it your priority to spend time finding a job that does work for you.
We spend most of our time stuck at work throughout the week. Then we come home exhausted and don’t have the energy to focus on the things we love.
Find a job that encourages your mental wellbeing to be strong. And trust me, it is out there. There isn’t any reason you have to stay at a job you hate forever.
7. Work on Accepting the Fact Not Everyone Will Understand What You’re Going Through
It’s so easy to assume that no one cares and that you’re all alone.
When you suffer from anxiety, your brain can convince you of anything.
What’s really happening though is your mind is making up false stories in your head.
It’s hard finding the right people to talk to about your anxiety because not everyone will understand. So it can definitely feel as though nobody cares.
What can help you is learning to accept that not everyone will understand what you’re going through. You are unique and have your own unique struggles that cause your anxiety.
A lot of other people struggle with anxiety, but different things make them anxious.
That doesn’t make what you’re going through any less important. It just means YOU have to be the one who supports yourself.
Have your own back and forgive others for not fully being able to understand. You matter and you just have to believe that.
8. Work With Your Anxiety, Not Against it
Stop fighting your anxiety and wishing it never existed.
It’s here in your life for a reason. To make you stronger and to keep you aware.
Try to start working with it and listen to what it’s telling you. If you get really anxious about talking to other people, how can you make that work in your favor?
9. Spend Time with Non-Judgemental Animals (or People)
Sometimes all you need is to be around living things that place no judgment on you.
You can do this by going to your local animal shelter and hanging out with the animals there.
Or some people find a lot of peace at a horse stable.
If you know certain people in your life who never judge you, hang out with them!
You are already judging yourself more than anyone else, there’s no reason to be around people who love to bring you down.
10. Remember That You are Not Alone And Work Daily at Convincing Yourself of This
What can really get to people is believing they are all alone in how they feel.
I’ve been where you have, and I know a lot of other people who have too.
Anytime you do think you’re all alone, just work on changing those thoughts. Think “I’m not the only one going through this, and I know I can get help from people who are experienced in this.”
You’re NOT alone. Keep working on telling yourself this.
11. Take it Day by Day, and Hour by Hour
There are days where you need to take each moment as it comes.
When you wake up in the morning it might feel really overwhelming to think about all you have to get done that day.
Instead, work on focusing on the moment right in front of you. That means getting out of bed. Then taking a shower, then eating some breakfast.
Focus on the present moment and let the rest of the day happen when it happens.
12. If a Certain Technique Doesn’t Work For you, Don’t Let it Cause You More Anxiety
When I was really anxious I tried to do CBT, which is challenging your thoughts.
It helped a little, but I was so devastated when my anxiety came back and I couldn’t fight it.
I had to start taking medication before I could work on CBT. If you are trying a technique to help your anxiety and it’s not working, don’t give up hope.
Not every technique will work for everyone, but that doesn’t mean nothing will work for you.
Believing this will only cause you more anxiety.
13. Practice Gratitude Often, Even When You Feel the Opposite
Every day work on finding at least 3 things you are grateful for.
No matter how you’re feeling. This might not always help in the moment, but if you do it enough times your brain will start to see the good in things.
During the times you’re feeling really anxious, close your eyes and picture the things you love and are so grateful for having in your life.
14. Engage in Exercises that Help Anxiety
Strength training can really help reduce your anxiety because it allows you to focus on putting that anxious energy into something else.
Same thing goes for yoga, kickboxing, and running.
All forms of exercise can help different people. Try to do some sort of exercise most days of the week.
Even if that’s just a 30-minute walk. Take care of your body so your brain can benefit from it.
15. Use Your Anxiety to Your Advantage
Despite all the bad associated with anxiety, there is some good.
You can start using it to your advantage by using that energy and taking action.
What makes anxiety worse is letting the fear stop you in your tracks.
When you’re feeling anxious about something, take action towards whatever it is that’s making you anxious.
If you’re feeling anxious about going to the grocery store, drive to the parking lot and visually see what it’s like to be there.
Embrace your anxiety instead of wishing it was gone.
16. Have a Backup Plan
This is always helpful for someone with anxiety. If you are scared about going to the grocery store, set your limits.
Make your grocery list and think about where your items are in the store.
Then, set a goal for yourself. If you can get just 5 items on your list, it’s a win.
And rate how anxious you feel on a scale from 1 to 10 when you’re in the store.
If you hit above a 7, then it’s time to leave.
Remember, work with your anxiety not against it. Don’t force yourself to jump into the deep end if you know you’re not ready.
17. Don’t Let the Mental Health Stigma Prevent You From Getting Help
It’s getting better, but there is still a stigma around mental health struggles.
Some people just can’t wrap their head around depression or anxiety.
They’re the ones that tell you to “just get over it”.
If you come across people who believe in the stigma, please ignore them.
Believe in yourself and believe that you deserve to get help. What you’re feeling is valid, it’s not just made up in your head.
Never give up the fight to get help. When you have a lot of anxiety, it becomes very uncomfortable.
Nobody deserves to stay in that state of mind for the rest of their lives. There are people out there who can help, you just have to believe that.
18. Keep in Mind That When You Struggle With Anxiety, There Are Positives
Your anxiety allows you to be more aware as person.
That means when you’re having conversations with people, you can sense how they are feeling.
You listen better, care more and understand when people are struggling.
Your anxiety gives you a type of power that other people don’t have.
You are more in tune with yourself and how you feel, which makes you an emotionally intelligent person.
There is a lot of good that comes out of being an anxious person, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
19. Don’t Rely on Unhealthy Coping Strategies to Pull you Through… You’ve GOT This
When you feel anxious, don’t try to completely push it away.
Using alcohol, food, or drugs to help you get through it will only make it worse. Unhealthy coping weakens your mental strength.
The next time you’re feeling anxious, challenge yourself to lean into feeling uncomfortable.
Do something that will help your anxiety, not temporarily cover it up.
20. Never Give Up Hope
Don’t ever give up hope. There is a spark inside of you that is just waiting for you to listen to it.
It’s 100% possible to reduce the anxiety in your life and feel great again.
There’s a reason why you struggle with anxiety, and you just have to work on finding what that reason is.
If you’re feeling hopeless, here are some resources for you to go to talk to someone who understands what you’re going through:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Or call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Did you enjoy this article or have any questions? Leave them in the comments below!
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