On an interview with Cure Joy, I was asked to elaborate on certain changes one can make to their lifestyle (as preventive measures) to help cure anxiety. By creating a different environment for yourself, one with positive and mindful choices on everything from your activity level to your social life can assure ways to help you diminish potential risks to higher levels of anxiety and stress! Set the stage for success by making conscious decisions to promote relaxation, vitality, and a positive mental outlook in your everyday life. I provided some suggestions that included:
- Learning about anxiety.
- Cultivating your connections with other people.
- Adopting healthy lifestyle habits.
- Reducing stress in your life
In this article I will continue to elaborate on the last point:
Reduce stress in your life.
Examine your life for stress, and look for ways to minimize it.
An inventory could prove beneficial to make sense of this last point. As you explore your life (you could start by thinking about this past year) take stock over the events that occurred and how you think you handled these; who was there to support you? And are there still remnants of these events causing present worry?
Looking at this very recent past can provide you with a lens into how to proactively reduce stress in your life. Even though there are plenty of stressful events that you can’t control directly, it is often possible to alleviate some of the anxiety that goes along with these type of events by tackling specific habits and attitudes that usually add unneeded stressors.
Avoid people, who make you anxious.
This is always easier said than done! Family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues all hold significant positions in our lives. Some play more important roles than others and having a social support circle is of course very important.
Although you did not get to choose your family members, you can always choose whom you spend your time with or how much of it you choose to give. You can learn to speak up about what your needs are and/ or establish some boundaries. The same goes for friends, you will do well to remember that in any relationship you get to choose who to spend your time with. YOUR time is valuable!
Analyze your support system.
As you take this inventory, ask yourself… through these events, whether joyful or challenging… who was there to support me? Who stuck around through thick and thin? Who was there when I really needed someone to talk to? What was the quality of their support…did they get angry or annoyed at my choices? Did they mock or belittle my feelings as I felt distress? Would they truly make time to hear what I had to say and asked if I needed help or advice? Did they challenge me on an idea that I believed to be right in a manner that made me feel respected?
There is a wealth of information in your recent past that can help make important decisions about the quality of friendships you can rely on in your present. When it comes to colleagues a similar approach is needed, as well as establishing clear boundaries. How much you share of yourself to others in this area is very important. This is an area of your life where you need to be extra careful about how much you share and who you share it with.
Say NO to extra responsibilities.
This is a challenging concept for many! Especially if there is a hidden desire of wanting to be liked or aiming to please whether it is your spouse, your children, a colleague or your boss. Being able to set limits around what you are able to manage on any given day is pivotal to minimizing stress and anxiety.
ALWAYS.. and I can’t stress this enough, make time for fun & relaxation in your daily schedule!
Do activities that you Enjoy.
Make an effort to find activities that you might enjoy and pursue these. Pencil these in to your schedule. Make it a point to do this at the very least once a week. Once you start to do this proactively you will start to find enjoyment and in your every day schedule and your anxiety and stress will diminish greatly!