Simple Steps to Manage Anxiety

5 Simple Habits to Manage Your Anxiety

It takes effort to stop and catch ourselves riding the anxiety loop.

Anxiety can sprout as fast as mushrooms in a dark room. It seems to multiply in the closets of our minds. And if we get lazy, it will get the best of us.

Some have a predisposition to suffer from anxiety. Others suffer from acute anxiety. So anxiety can be an affliction with the need of a qualified therapist. But all humans have some degree of anxiety affliction. The continuum goes from very little to extreme.

Here’s the point: Anxiety rears its head through affliction but grows a body through habit.

What do you do with the anxious thoughts that have started to flood your mind as you begin the year? The “what if” scenarios and dramatic “catastrophes” are not in short supply. Blindly nurturing them creates thought grooves that provide the tracks for a closed loop of doomsday thinking. Around and around we go, driving the thought grooves even deeper.

We have a choice. We can push against this nefarious thinking or we can just let it happen. Anxiety is so emotionally tiring that we avoid dealing with it.

This takes work. It takes effort to stop and catch ourselves riding the anxiety loop. Eventually new tracks will replace the old ones. Anxiety will always rear its head. As we do the work to spot the thinking creating the emotion, we can keep it from taking root and growing.

Here are five simple habits that help me.

1. Regularly remind yourself of all the good things in your life.

This daily, and even minute-by-minute, practice of gratitude will become a mindset over time. Having twice what you now have won’t make you happier, let alone anxiety free.

“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.” —Socrates

Anxiety gets a foothold when we overlook everything we have by looking for what we don’t have.

2. Narrow your choices.

Stop making possibilities endless. You don’t have to do everything. And isn’t that what wisdom is, knowing to unload what you will not need or use? The secret of concentration is elimination.

3. Do your best every day.

Some days you will do better than others. When I am sick, I don’t do as well as when I am healthy, but I do my best. Knowing that you’ve done your best should be satisfying. Make sure it is.

4.Keep choosing to push against old ways of thinking.

This is how habits are formed. Anxiety has caused me needless worry and even suffering. It can be like a virus on the end of our nerves leaving us on edge and in pain. Push back against those thoughts creating it. Don’t let anxiety become your default mode. Push back.

5. Make anxiety your ally.

Because it will show up, you might as well learn to use it productively. By staying in control of your thinking, this pesky parasite can add vitality to your life. It can help you get out of bed instead of keeping you under the covers. It can be an effective motivator. It can make you more productive. Just don’t let it make you miserable or immobile.

The key is to call it out when it surfaces. See it coming like a big wave. Don’t run and don’t let it immobilize you.

I’ve noticed my mental well being is directly correlated to my physical well being. It means getting enough sleep, eating well, and getting some exercise. Sounds simple but it’s quite difficult at times. It requires a lot of discipline. Thank goodness for improvement :o) When my physical body is in good form, it provides an awesome foundation for energy to seek opportunity and the ability to self-discipline. It also allows me to create more value for myself and others.