I'm not good with stress. Handling it, managing it, reducing it, living with it - stress is a byproduct of life that I had previously never been able to get a handle on. And with all that stress, comes anxiety - the million-mile-per-hour (at many times contradictory) thoughts, rapid heartbeat, uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. Anxiety for me has led to countless mini-meltdowns all because I was so worried about what COULD happen in any given situation, not focused on what was happening at that very moment.
That's right, anxiety is one big asshole, so I thought I'd share some things that I do to kick it in its big ass.
1. GO OUTSIDE.
Many times when we're sitting in an office or in our room, we give our minds too much power to think. In an enclosed space, we are mentally (and physically) shut in, and going outside has helped distract me from my own thoughts.
If you're lucky enough to be outside and enjoy a beautiful sunny day, do take advantage of it. If there isn't any sun, go outside anyway, and watch the world working around you. If you step outside of your immediate environment and place yourself in another one, you'll notice small things that may inspire you, relax you, or motivate you to be grateful for the little things.
2. WRITE THINGS DOWN.
Yes, I know that your smartphone does everything you need -- Siri can schedule your meetings for you, and Evernote can update your tasks for the day, but there is absolutely NOTHING like good old pen and paper. I tend to get most anxious when I feel like I have way too many things to do, and I'm not sure how to even get started.
When preparing to travel, I tend to freak out if I think I may have forgotten one tiny little thing. So I started writing things down -- a list that I can check off whenever I've packed a certain item.
When working, I often feel overwhelmed with the tasks that I have in front of me, and I don't know where to begin. So I started writing things down -- it helped me visualize what I needed to do on an even playing field. I can then decide which tasks hold more weight -- or have a tighter deadline - and tackle each, one by one.
3. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
Ever get anxiety about performing, presenting, or trying something new? It could be something as simple (or as terrifying) as going on a first date. The best way to lessen the hold that anxiety has over you, is to PRACTICE.
Go out on more first dates. Have your bestie mock interview you in your pajamas. Practice your craft. Do more of what you fear, and you will start to build the confidence you have lacked. Confidence is built with practice, believe it or not - so just keep pushing!