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Anxiety: a monster that hampers our ability to function properly in the best-case scenario.
As someone who struggles with anxious thoughts daily, I know that it can be challenging. However, we can manage anxiety by building simple rituals into our daily routines.
Here are five daily habits that can help us manage anxiety:
Exercise does not have to mean doing bench presses at the gym. While the idea of spending a lot of time exercising can be intimidating to beginners, starting small can help. We can start by walking for 30 minutes daily. If that seems too hard, we can begin with what makes us feel comfortable.
We can walk with a friend, put on some upbeat music, or walk outside in nature. This allows us to immerse in a meditative experience. If walking brings up repetitive thought patterns, we can actively try something that engages us, such as listening to a podcast or audiobooks.
Instead of walking, we can also try exercises such as yoga or swimming, or sports such as badminton and tennis.
Any movement can help with anxiety, especially when done outdoors.
2. Sit in the sunniest part of the room.
When everything seems too hard, a trick that always helps is to sit in a small spot that we love. Create a small space that brings joy, an area that is just for ourselves. It could be a sunny window seat, a chair next to a favorite piece of art, or sitting with a pet.
When we choose something that brings us joy, it is a good practice to do daily.
Anxiety springs forward when our brain is overflowing with thoughts. Our heart races, and we find ourselves unable to concentrate on anything. In this case, we can declutter our home, workspace, and, most importantly, our heads.
>> Home or Workspace: Clearing out our workspace can be fulfilling because it helps you stay organized. This will allow us to focus on only one or two priorities. We can start by choosing one drawer, shelf, or cabinet, then categorize items that have not been used in the past 12 months. Lastly, segment them into items for donation, to throw away, and to keep.
>> Brain Dumping: Clear up mental space by a technique called “brain dumping” or “morning pages.” The process is to choose a journal and write whatever comes to mind first thing in the morning. The idea behind brain dumping is to remove mental clutter and streamline our thoughts. If we want to dive deeper into brain dumping, we can even try The Four-Way Brain Dump.
In this case, we create four sections in the journal:
>> Thoughts: capture all our random thoughts here.
>> Gratitude: what are we grateful for today?
>> To do: write down the tasks to be completed.
>> Top three priorities: choose the top three priorities from our to-do list, and highlight them here.
This can help us plan and act on our pending tasks, which can help reduce your anxiety and worry.
4. Practice self-care.
Self-care can look different for everyone. Maybe our life has a frantic pace. If so, we can meditate and do some deep breathing exercises to slow down. If our health has been suffering, exercising is helpful (see point number one). If we feel a lack of purpose and passion in our life, this is an opportunity to explore what we’d like to do and take a chance at following our hearts.
Whatever it is, the important thing is to listen to ourselves and give our body and spirit what it needs at that point.
5. Talk to someone.
Anxiety can trigger isolation and make us feel lonely. In addition, we may think that we are the only ones going through a problem, which can make looking for solutions overwhelming.
Remember, we are not alone. Reach out to someone today. We can talk to a friend or a stranger in the park. When we talk about something significant and deep or make small talk, the smallest social interactions can bring joy.
Ultimately, know that feelings are not facts. It can be tricky to separate fact from fiction when anxious thoughts insist that we feel ashamed, lonely, or guilty. When it all gets too much, we need to remind ourselves that this, too, is a phase, and it will pass. Together, by sharing our experiences, we can work through these times and get out stronger.
I hope these help. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.