Are you trying to beat your anxiety once and for all? A lot of the work I do with clients is to support them in managing anxiety. In this article, I am going to suggest some surprising strategies that may help. One caveat, if you try these suggestions, consult my other blogs on anxiety here and are still not able to beat it, then seek professional help. This blog or anything you find online is not a substitute for therapy or coaching. Ok, let’s dive in.
Throughout my work as a coach, I have spoken a lot about anxiousness and overwhelm and would love for you to derive any benefit you can to help you thrive.
If you do suffer from anxiety then you have felt the effects of it, such as missing out on social events or just not enjoying life. You may also have issues falling asleep or have some physical issues that have arisen from your anxiety. I would encourage you to try things one at a time.
1. Does Anxiety Go away if you ignore it?
A strategy that people sometimes use (myself and clients included) is to ignore the feeling. Unfortunately, this technique doesn’t work. Let me tell you why: let’s say I tell you to stop thinking of a red truck, what happens? You are most likely thinking of a red truck. Similarly, when you try to push away the anxiety it can become stronger, or worse, come out later in other ways. When you push the anxiety away you may find yourself irritable, snapping at family/friends, or just feel like you are on edge. If you have tried to just push it away, then it’s time to try something different.
One surprising way to beat anxiety is to just do something.
I know that sounds simplistic, it is but can work for you. To clarify this is not the same as ignoring how you feel.
The process would look something like this: 1. Recognize you are feeling anxiety 2. Sit and feel the anxiety and allow it to pass through you 3. If the anxiety doesn’t pass, set the intention to do something/focus on a task instead of your anxiety. The task is a break from the thoughts that are contributing to your emotion, this is very different then just pretending it’s not there. What are some things you can do? You can fold laundry, go for a walk, wash the dishes, sweep the floor, call a friend, stretch, or anything else you can think of that is a healthy activity. So, don’t ignore the anxiety thinking it will go away, like a persistent child, it will keep coming back.
2. How can I reduce Anxiety Immediately?
What if you are in a meeting, presentation, or social event and you are feeling anxious and need an immediate solution? If we really look at anxiety it stems from worrying about the future. As the saying goes “worrying is like praying for the worse to happen.” What you are worried about will most likely never happen. Anxiety is usually worrying about the future or the past. Whatever you are worried about is not happening at the moment.
The solution: Mindfulness or bringing yourself to the present moment.
Remember, the thing you are worried about is not happening right now.
So when you need to stop anxiety for a few moments, immediately bring yourself back to the present moment. You can start to pay attention to the room you are in and take in all the details. You can also use your body by discreetly touching your clothes and feeling the fabric or even your hands. Focus on the room, the present moment.
Another technique that helps with mindfulness is postponing worry. The way this works, is you set a fixed time every day that you will worry for 10-15 minutes. When you catch yourself feeling anxious and begin worrying remember that you have time set aside for that later. You can say to yourself “I can worry about that during my worry time.” At your scheduled worry time sit down, set a timer, and let yourself ruminate. See what happens after you try this for a few days.
3. Socializing with others (if they are not toxic)
Another way to beat anxiety for good is to make sure you are socializing with people that feed your soul. That second part is vital, there are people that can make anxiety worse, and I am sure those individuals come to mind.
Think about who the people are that you when you think of them you feel happier, calmer, and maybe even a heart connection.
Now contact one person and set up a time to meet or have a phone conversation (gasp). Especially as we come out of isolation, this may take some extra effort simply because you may be out of practice.
If you are naturally an introvert or an empath then you may feel completely happy on your own (which is a gift) which may be a reason that strategy will take some intention. Remember: If you are experiencing some anxiety then connecting with others will help.
It can be so simple: call a friend, family member, and/or meet over a walk or maybe even do something creative together. As an empath, you may have to make some extra effort for this to happen, but it will be worth it.
You may have heard the saying “Laughter is the best medicine.”
When you are lost in the downward spiral of thoughts and feel consumed by your anxiety it is time to find and do something that will make you laugh.
You can use tip #4 and meet friends that make you laugh, or you can consume something funny. Watch a comedy, videos, and or listen to podcasts that make you laugh. If all else fails you can just start laughing, eventually, you will really be laughing. This technique is used in laughing yoga.
Allow yourself to enjoy the lightness of life, if you are an empath/HSP you can have a tendency to take things seriously. I know this first hand and have seen this with my clients. In fact, I recently had a podcast on this topic “HSP’s and Fun” because I recognized this pattern.
5. Find Purpose – Help others
Another effective strategy to beat anxiety once and for all is to find purpose in your life purpose and the quickest way to do that is to help others. Shift the focus on your own challenges and go help someone. There are organizations everywhere looking for volunteers. In addition to looking for organization, you can also look around your neighborhood, there are always people that need help. Maybe your friends or family could benefit from a little help. When you have a purpose then the driving force that moves you forward will give you a perspective and motivation to move beyond your own thoughts.
Helping others not only helps anxiety it increases happiness. If you are looking for your life purpose, that is a discussion for another article. My podcast on “finding your life purpose” is helpful here.
The six surprising ways to beat anxiety once and for all are doing something, mindfulness, socializing, laughter, and finding purpose by helping others. Take these strategies and start using them one at a time, as you practice them, they will become more of how you function. If you want help managing your anxiety so you can shine your light and fulfill your purpose, contact me to schedule a 30-minute complimentary clarity session.