Hi I'm Harry, one of the Store Educators at beleaf
Anxiety is something I experience myself and something that crops up in everyone’s life. It can prevail in many different ways, some people might have periods of feeling sad, angry or moody, while others may experience high stress, panicking and headaches.
If you are experiencing high levels of anxiety you should always seek professional medical advice but for those bouts of mild anxiety there are many methods that can be explored to help.
Feeling overwhelmed is a problem that is completely natural but can feel like there is no chance of achieving anything. This is something I have to deal with and I’d love to share my experience on how I go about overcoming it. General day-to-day living can be encompassed with anxiety if you don’t keep building and improving on your own personal coping methods. This may sound like something which requires a lot of effort but in fact reading one page of a book is still improving yourself. You just have to make a start.
What follows are 4 methods I use to get myself out of an anxious ‘rut’. I hope sharing them might inspire you to give a few a try.
- Make your bed as soon as you wake up
This may seem extremely odd to helping with anxiety, but in actual fact achieving success in an action every morning tees your day up to achieve success daily. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. By the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. And if not, atleast that one task has been completed and not zero. Making your bed will also reinforce that the little things matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. This theory stems from US Navy Admiral, William H. McRaven and can be watched here.
- Slow it down
Some say “for fast acting relief, try slowing down”. In a time where everything in life is so high paced, there isn’t much time to slow down and appreciate life. Far too much time is taken worrying about what people think. Taking a moment in the day to just focus on your mental state and how you feel will drastically change your mood. It’ll help you acknowledge the emotions you are feeling. A way of describing this best, is to imagine a bucket of water. The bucket representing your mental capacity to handle your emotions, and the water representing the emotions. Without focusing on your mental state you can subconsciously allow the bucket of water to get heavier. Subconsciously your mind is having to carry this heavy bucket of water around every day. This is impacting your mood, how you feel and how you act. If you don’t find a way to add a tap to the bucket, to drain the water you can be overcome with emotion and stress. A way to help add a tap to this metaphorical bucket is to give yourself a chance to acknowledge these emotions and to deal with them. The methods I use are meditation and yoga. Meditation is brilliant in helping control my racing mind and acknowledging my emotions. If you struggle with meditation, I would recommend yoga. Finding 10 minutes a day will help tremendously in your ability to drain the emotion in the subconscious. Rather than being weighed down by underlying emotion you’ll begin to feel mentally lighter. Several platforms I have use to help are Headspace and Yoga with Adriene
- A realistic to do list
This may seem to be a tad simple in helping resolve anxiety but sometimes the simplest methods are the most effective. As mentioned, everyone feels overwhelmed in life at some point or another. I have found that when I have several large problems to tackle, I feel as if I can’t do any of them. I find myself procrastinating in order to avoid doing them as I fear failure. Since using Microsoft to do, it has helped massively with making the tasks at hand seem realistic and achievable. Seeing the tasks written down clearly rather that jumbled up in my head is a huge help and creating a realistic plan for what needs to be done can decrease my anxiety hugely.
- Making someone smile
The simple act of making someone smile can stimulate neurotransmitters connected to feelings of positivity. Smiling is contagious. Making another person smile can not only make you feel good, and send relaxing signals to your brain, but also does this for the other person. Laughter is the only time your bodies fight or flight system completely ‘turns off’. Time to get practising your best jokes!
I hope some or all of these methods resonate in some way but if not, explore what you think will help you. Do the things that make you feel good and ditch the rest.