Quit These 5 Habits To Stay Anxiety-Free
We tend to associate anxiety with an element of irrationality, because we believe the feelings of doom, uneasiness, or apprehension are imagined.
Maybe so, but anxiety stems from habits and experience too, and here’s how they need to be handled such that anxiety is reduced:
- Stop believing it’s in your head – Overthinking breeds anxiety. But even over-imaginative colouring of facts stems from exactly that – facts! In the same way that there’s no smoke without fire, right? You subconsciously pick up ‘lessons’ from life experiences that lead you to ‘imagine’ possibilities. You treat this imagining exercise as a self-defence mechanism, trying to save yourself from pain, with advance anticipation. What tends to happen is that you succumb to the anxiety surrounding the 'what ifs'. You pretend the anxiety doesn't exist, to save yourself the bother of dealing with it, which completely defeats the purpose of learning from past lessons! Instead of doing this, expend your energies towards understanding if those thoughts, and the past contexts from which they come, are relevant to your current situation. If they’re N/A, just ignore them!
- Manage your time better – Take it from the queen of procrastination, who freezes into panic-stricken immobility when she realises she has so much to do, and such little time. If you’re like me, focus on how difficult it is to produce quality work when your brain is numb with the ifs, buts, and what ifs that you could've avoided if you’d been more systematic. Yes, we all go through phases when everything’s up in the air because of unpredictable or difficult circumstances. Try not to get swallowed up by the quicksand though!
3. Stop depending too much on people – Everyone needs help along the way to achieve what they set out to do. But when you give too much control and influence in the hands of too many ‘supporters’, you’re opening yourself up to situations that affect their lives too, which might get in the way of your work getting done. Have you ever noticed how annoyed you get at yourself when you realise you could've finished something faster if you’d just done it yourself? There’s some truth to that!
4. Avoid micromanagement – If you’ve decided to trust the personal competencies of a few others, then beyond giving the necessary instructions, you’ve got to give them the time and space to work in their own ways. When you occupy your brain with issues that should be occupying the brains of others, you’re automatically taking on more than your fair share of anxiety and stress.
5. Evaluate your lifestyle habits – Too much caffeine, too little sleep? That’s an extremely deadly and vicious cycle. You need the caffeine to be productive because you can’t keep your eyes open. You can’t keep your eyes open, because you haven’t slept. The stimulation you’re experiencing is artificial, and in overdrive. It isn’t self-perpetuating in a healthy way, and is likely to cause you to self-combust from pushing yourself in all directions in an erratic, reactive fashion. You’ve invited anxiety with arms wide open, because you might get the job done, but you’ll probably start hating what you’ve done to your body and its biological rhythms, at least the ones related to sleep. And then you start getting anxious about those!
Battling anxiety, like all things related to your emotional state, isn’t a matter of overnight results. You’re only human, which means that you may set out with your intentions in place, but might lose motivation along the way. Since anxiety affects daily life, it’s about using self-introspection to take one step at a time, everyday. And, you’re so not alone in this!