Anxiety can be a huge problem, and it can effect anyone at anytime. No one is immune to stress or anxiety, which is why it is important for everyone learn how to deal with it. It’s not just the temporary jitters and down feelings these things can cause us that are a problem, however. Failing to deal with anxiety has other downfalls as well. Your quality of life can be lowered, as can your immune system. Months or years of failing to deal with your anxiety can cause you to develop an anxiety disorder, which can cause many physical and mental issues. Business-driven individuals may be at a higher risk for anxiety disorders because they tend to work too hard and take too little time for themselves. If you find yourself becoming a stressed out mess, it’s okay. Anxiety and stress can be easily dealt with.
1. Take A Few Deep Breaths
When you are stressed or anxious your body tenses up and your breathing becomes more shallow. Slowly and quietly correct this by taking a few deep breaths. Breath in slowly through your nose for three counts. Breath out slowly through your mouth for three counts. If your anxiety is causing your heart beat rapidly this breathing technique will also help to slow your heart rate down. Repeat these slow three-count breaths until you feel yourself becoming calmer. Usually a minute or two is all the time you need, and it can make a world of difference. The best part is that this is a technique you can use anywhere you go. Use it at home, the office, the grocery store, or while driving.
2. Give Yourself A Worry Period
Find five to ten minutes out of your hectic schedule and set it aside as your designated worry period. This is especially helpful if you are prone to anxious thoughts instead of only occasionally experiencing them. Spend those few minutes worrying. Yes, I know it sounds counterproductive to sit and do nothing but worry, but it’s actually very helpful. As you go through your day, take note of when anxious thoughts pop into your head. Instead of telling yourself that you can not worry about something, simply ‘schedule’ that worry into your worry period. This will help you to better control the stress in your life and be more productive throughout the course of your day.
3. Be Prepared
Worried you might forget something? Ensure you are prepared ahead of time. This can be applied to business or to your personal life. The night before a meeting you can make sure you have everything that you need and store everything together in one place. The morning of the meeting you can double check once before heading off to work. This way you will never be caught off guard or stressed out because everything needs to be done at the last minute. Here are some other examples of how you can be prepared in order to reduce your stress and anxiety:
- Worried you will forget something for a family trip? Make a checklist. Pack everything early the day prior to departing and double check it once before bed.
- Worried about being caught on the side of the road with a flat tire? Pack a spare tire and jack in your trunk for emergencies.
- Worried about cuts, scrapes, and other small maladies? Pack little first aid kids up and keep them where you need them most. In your purse, your car, your home, and your office.
- Worried about natural disasters like hurricanes or blizzards striking without giving you time to stock up? Pack an emergency box and keep it in an easily accessible area. Put in flashlights, lanterns, candles, matches, canned food, a first aid kit, a few small blankets, and a couple of jugs of clean water.
4. Live In The Present
The past has already gone by, and the future isn’t here yet…so don’t worry about them! Living in the present can help to alleviate a lot of stress. Too many of us get stuck on things gone by or things yet to come. All this does is add more stress to our present life, thus lowering our quality of life. If you find yourself worrying about something which has already happened, simply tell yourself “there is nothing I can do about that now.” If you find yourself worrying about something which has yet to happen, tell yourself “I will worry about that when the time comes.” It may take practice but this little change in your way of thinking can have drastic results in the overall stress your life contains.
5. Accept Things For What They Are
This is the biggest problem for people with anxious tendencies. They want to have control over all aspects of their life. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. There are many things you have no control over, and even more which you will only have a limited amount of control over. Practice accepting these things for what they are and moving forward with your life. It may take time and effort but it will be well worth it in the long haul.