There are many reasons people feel anxious. Some people have specific triggers that set off their anxious thoughts, while others have more trouble pinpointing exactly what makes them anxious.
Anxiety is anxiety, no matter its level of severity or frequency. It can make getting through a single day feel like the most trying task ever bestowed upon one person. Overcoming it often seems impossible … but it isn’t.
Combating anxiety is a combination of remaining mindful of how you are feeling, both physically and mentally, as well as making sure you are taking care of yourself and engaging in familiar, but healthy habits daily.
Here are two things you can do every day to overcome your anxiety and live as manageable of a daily life as you possibly can.
Take the time to meditate
Feeling anxious is not very easy on the brain. Either you have racing thoughts that won’t slow down or you just can’t seem to pull your thoughts together into something that makes sense. This makes it much more difficult to carry on conversations, make decisions, process information and remain self aware: all things the majority of us have to do on a daily basis.
Thankfully, there is a fairly easy method to combating the way anxiety seems to alter the way we organize thoughts and process information. Sometimes, getting through the day can be made simpler just by taking a few deep breaths.
Meditation can help anyone cope with anxiety throughout the day. You can pretty much meditate any time, any place, for as long as you are able at any point throughout your day. It can be as simple as closing your eyes and counting your breaths for a minute, or thinking about what you are going to do next, despite your anxious thoughts and feelings.
Meditation comes in many forms. Overall, it is just a way for you to slow down and assess how you are feeling and why you are feeling that way. When you are anxious, there is often a specific reason. Whether it seems rational or not, that doesn’t mean it matters any less.
So throughout the day, take a moment or two to mentally check in with yourself. How are things going? How is your day playing out, compared to your expectations? Focus on the positives: you met your deadline, or you had a productive conversation with a co-worker. Keep your thoughts on all the ways you managed to overcome your anxiety, instead of fretting over things you think you did wrong or poorly.
It might also help to set a designated place and various times you can retreat to throughout the day to give yourself a mental break and “recharge.” Anxiety is exhausting, regardless of the source. Being able to tell yourself, “Okay, in 20 minutes I can stand up, get some water and walk around a little.” These thoughts will help you push through the minutes and make sure you are still getting things done without completely wearing yourself out.
Mind your health
Anxiety and stress affect everyone differently. Some who experience anxiety have a hard time sleeping, while some find it hard to get out of bed in the morning. Some overeat; some completely lose their appetite.
When dealing with anxiety on a day-to-day basis, it is important to not only pay attention to your body, but also to take care of yourself as best you can. It is necessary to establish healthy habits that you can continue to perform even when anxiety makes it harder to function normally.
Control your caffeine intake. Caffeine and anxiety don’t go well together, so when you’re anxious, do your best to limit how much coffee or other caffeine-containing beverages you drink throughout your day. Drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated. Experiment with how much caffeine you can handle. Maybe one cup in the morning and one in the late morning or early afternoon is all you really need.
Take breaks when you need them. It can be hard to focus when you are anxious, so try to get your work done in short bursts so that you can continue to be productive without working yourself too hard. Try to take a 10 to 15 minute break every hour so that you have a continuous incentive to push through your tasks even when your anxiety is making it seem much more difficult than it actually is.
Plan out what you’re going to eat. Anxiety can make your body and mind feel extremely fatigued. It’s important to make sure you are taking in energy through food, whether you are hungry or not. Planning out what you are going to eat throughout the day, even when and where, can help make sure you keep your energy intake in check without having to do too much extra thinking or worrying.
Pay attention to your energy levels. If you are feeling tired or fatigued, it’s because your body is begging you to rest. Don’t try to push through it more than you have to. Let yourself rest when you get home from work. Do something you enjoy, like watching T.V. or reading a book. There’s nothing wrong with getting to bed a little early if that is something you need to do.
No matter what is making you feel anxious, there are things you can do to overcome it, at least to the point where you can still get your work done efficiently and be present when and where you are needed.
Remaining mentally and physically healthy is essential when trying to keep your anxiety levels as low as possible. Take time to meditate, even if it’s only for less than a minute at a time. Make sure you are eating well and resting, as well as limiting how much caffeine you are consuming every day.
These things will help you overcome your anxiety. Remember, your health is important. Make it a priority, and you will see results. Your anxiety cannot make decisions for you or control your life. That is still up to you. You can do this.