How To Reduce Anxiety – 4 Tips

Anxiety – how do you reduce it? How do I reduce it? Great question. I recently started to experience it again; whether that was a lack of sleep, my current finances or just a couple of bad habits, I’m not sure what brought it on. I started to apply things again, though, and started to feel great again. However, I had a couple of people reach out about their anxiety, though I knew it was key to focus today’s blog on. Today I have outlined some of my experience but also four tips to help you manage your anxiety.
My anxiety experience has never been severe enough to end me in hospital, but I have had moments whereby I got into panic attacks. When I was 13 years old, I suffered from derealisation whereby I would be sitting in a classroom in year eight looking around me like I was in a dream. I would be terrified of going into certain lessons. When I got into university, I had moments of panic in understanding who I was and cruel thoughts in my head. It was on and off in my twenties, particularly when faced to challenging work environments, I would be kept up late, often thinking about challenging work situations. In 2018 I was fortunate enough to get a fantastic job in a fantastic company I work in now, but behind my appearing confidence, I was miserable and scared of putting a foot wrong inside, constantly on edge. Admittedly a couple of these moments were not helped by partying and heavy alcohol consumption at weekends.

So now here are four things that, for your and my benefit, I have listed that I have found helped. I think it’s key as I always say to make daily habits to feel your best self, which is likely to reduce your anxiety. It’s important though to have a setback plan – a small set of actions (maybe 5 minutes max) to do when things get too much. I have learned that it is a MUST to change your behavior when anxious or else no feelings change.

1.Prime yourself daily
Most of you know I am a massive Tony Robbins fan, he always goes on about priming. This is so true; to be in the best position for your day it’s VITAL to prime yourself. Not a ‘nice to have’ I am talking about this being of equal importance as brushing your teeth or having a shower. Do something that gives you a feel good factor: incantations, a power pose, listening to uplifting music, a short bout of 10 minutes of exercise or anything to lift that mood. If we go into the day not preparing, then the challenges that come in will be considerably harder to deal with. In my 1:1 with my coaching clients examining habits to serve them is always a must, yes they all have different ones to suit them, but you must look at what suits you best.

2.Looking after your body
Several things were floating around in my head for this one (sleep, diet, exercise, breathing), but I decided to focus on the general looking after your body. I certainly noticed an increase in anxiety from a lack of sleep recently. I also noticed that when I ate poorly or too much sugar, there was an increase in anxiety. Studies show that increases in sugar can increase anxiety and speaking to my friend who is a Sleep Coach, a lack of sleep can contribute to increased depression and anxiety. When running or exercising, I’ve also noticed a decrease in anxiety / stress / anger / feeling down and many more. The other area is breathing, your breath can change how you feel, even doing 10 power breaths this morning helped my focus so much. Jay Shetty in his book ‘Think Like A Monk’ goes into the importance of breathing but a lot of personal growth sources do.
So my advice is to journal how you feel when you are neglecting in one of these areas. Then start making time in your day for 20 minutes of exercise, getting more sleep (7-8 hours minimum is recommended for most people), monitoring / planning diets and short intervals of breath work (10 deep breaths in and out is a good starter).

3.Plan but with flexibility
I am a massive planner. I love a good plan; that’s probably the Project Manager within me. There are some people I know who say ‘I live in the moment’ and although I agree with the philosophy of being present than living in the past or future, I don’t believe if you are trying to achieve something truly special in life and up level your life that you can just ‘blag’ each day. Don’t just take my word for it so many influencers I know: Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, Rob Dial, and many more plan their days. It is of course essential to allow room for flexibility as life happens and we want to take advantage of spontaneous/exciting moments at times. If you don’t have a bit of a plan for the day that’s realistic: when are you going to work, what are you going to do to make you feel good, when are you going to work on something important to you, and when are you going to spend time with someone or some people special to you. Then you run the risk of things piling up and being overwhelmed. One technique is to write down what you plan to do the night before or use Google calendar to allocate time.

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4.Listen to uplifting information
If you constantly program your brain and mind with negative information, then guess what? That is how you feel. This is why I am so anti news. This year, I know (some close to me) continuously report how worried they are, there is usually a pattern of how much time they are looking at the negatives in social media or the news. Although I rarely look at the news unless essential, I noticed this too, I looked to review the gym situation and caught myself reading more. It made me feel anxious and I was on there for about 2 minutes!
When I listen to uplifting podcasts and information, though, I always feel good. I feel like I am in the company of calm people which makes me feel relaxed too. This is one of the things that got me into podcasting my own show. One recommendation I have is The Mindset Mentor by Rob Dial.

Conclusion
Anxiety is a normal thing to experience, but it can get to severe levels. If it gets to extreme levels please seek professional help, but before you get to that stage, take my advice on board, review your habits and empower yourself to have ones that work for you to make you feel excited about life rather than anxious.

 

Jonny Pardoe © December 2020
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