Things We All Do That Make Us Anxious6 August 2018
In order to create calmness once again in our lives it’s important to be mindful of the things that are making us anxious, so that we can take the steps to change how we feel.
Forgetting that the body and mind need equal care
It’s all too easy to forget that when you treat your body badly, you’re also treating your mind badly too. When you constantly stay up late, streaming your favourite TV shows and films, you might be satisfied with a few cups of coffee in the morning to wake your body up for work.
However, the mental effects will often be longer lasting, and the constant fatigue can often lead to panic, paranoia, or feelings of depression.
Stop separating the body and mind and start getting regular sleep, develop a good routine of eating well, along with getting some light and fresh air. Keeping your physical and mental health balanced is key to becoming less anxious.
Getting tempted by a phone screen
If you actually add up all the time during a given week that you spend mindlessly scrolling on your phone, you’ll probably be surprised at how often you’re distracted by it. We often keep our phones on us all the time and take them everywhere we go. We get up in the morning and grab the phone charging next to our bed ready for a reflex-scroll, the temptation is strong.
Start getting into the habit of turning your phone off at set times during the day, to get some down time from staring at the screen. Stop charging your phone by your bed, if you use it for an alarm, get a cheap watch. Consider keeping it charged in the kitchen, that way you can get up, and make yourself breakfast before getting tempted to scroll.
Social media can quite easily take over your life, and cause you to lose track of time. So always be aware of how much time you’re dedicating to it on your phone. Set yourself time slots for scrolling, and try not to exceed them. Start spending more time interacting with someone or learning new things than wasting hours on a screen.
Not getting things you want to do done
It may seem like your time is always strained, taken up by work, answering emails and phone calls, social media and just general chores. This habit of not making the time to do things that make you feel relaxed and happy, will always lead to regret and anxiousness.
Time to change things up. Start taking small steps to make a little bit of time each day, whenever possible, to do something that calms you down. It could be reading a book, writing something, sitting and enjoying a view, or even a little meditation. Put down that to-do-list, unplug yourself from stressful activities and get some you-time.
Dwelling on the ‘what ifs?’
We are all guilty of this, asking ourselves questions like, “what if I’d taken a different career path?” “Why didn’t I take that chance?” “What if it’s too late to change my life?”
It’s a common tendency to look back and question our past actions, usually about things that make us feel like we’re lacking in something, or things we think we’ve failed at. The problem is dwelling on past decisions just distracts us from what really matters, the here and now.
Seeing others people’s seemingly perfect lives on Facebook or Instagram etc, makes us constantly compare ourselves, but all this ends up doing is feeding the anxious feelings inside of us. It takes mental practice and time, but you can train yourself to start living in the present and to stop comparing yourself with others, and that includes other versions of yourself.
Creating too many choices
Sometimes anxiety is sparked when you have too many things and too many choices to make all at once. Always wanting more is habitual, and we often think that the more choices we have the better. From clothing to TV subscriptions, the excess choices often only provoke panic, create anxiety and leave us feeling unsatisfied.
Society tells us that lots of choice is good, it promotes feelings of freedom, personal responsibility, and self-determination etc. But none of these seem to help us when we’re faced with endless shelves of tomato ketchup! Never underestimate the power of stripping back when overloaded with choice. Train yourself to actually want less, and stop craving the things that you don’t actually need.
A well balanced diet that includes fresh, nutritiously rich meals will go a long way to keeping your body and mind healthy.
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