At the rate things are going, one might be led to believe that the world we live in is becoming crazier by the day. With vaccine mandates, toxic politicians, never-ending problems, creeping inflation, etc. trying to escape stress is becoming a Herculean task.
If we allow stress to get the better of us and let feelings of fear creep into our minds and fester, we’ll end up become anxious and even paranoid. At its core, anxiety is a fear of misfortune, danger or impending worst case scenarios. It’s just fear of what may happen in future.
The best way to avoid anxiety will be to ensure that you have good habits in your life which help to manage your stress. Very often, what you do NOT do is just as important as what you actually do.
Below you’ll find 7 habits to avoid if you’re prone to anxiety. Cut them out of your life and you’ll find that your anxiety dissipates and disappears in no time at all.
1. Social media
Avoid social media at all cost, if you’re constantly upset or fearful of the news and debates taking place on platforms like Facebook.
What was once supposed to be for fun and entertainment has become a breeding ground for vitriolic debates, overly sensitive people and generally bad news or fake news making the rounds.
Taking a 30-60 day break from social media will do wonders for your mind and soul.
2. Hanging out with toxic people
Some people can find a problem for every solution. These toxic people will always leave you aggravated, fearful or feeling negative. The longer you stay around them, the more upset and anxious you’ll become.
While the self-help books will tell you to be the bigger person, sooner or later you need to ask yourself if always being the bigger person means that you’re hanging around with ‘small’ people.
Upgrade your social circle. Hang out with those who are positive and make you feel good. You’ll be less anxious and also much happier.
3. Watching the news
The media can be summarized into one word – agendas. That’s it. No longer is the news about informing people of current events.
These days, the news is used to make people fearful of pandemics, political issues, crime rates, and a myriad of other talking points designed to stir up fear and panic – to achieve ulterior motives.
It’s easy to be anxious if you’re watching the news all the time. This is one of the worst habits to have. Cut out the news and focus on being the best possible you that you can be.
4. Consuming stimulants
Stimulants such as caffeine, sugar, alcohol, cigarettes, energy drinks, etc. may make you feel good temporarily, but they’re harmful to your health in the long run.
Reduce your consumption of them… and for habits like smoking, it’s best to eliminate them totally. The ingredients and substances in most stimulants have been shown to cause anxiety directly or indirectly.
5. Sedentary lifestyle
Leading a sedentary lifestyle makes people feel lethargic, depressed and weak. Our bodies were made to move – even if you think you don’t have the time or mood to exercise.
Spend 15-30 minutes a day exercising. Your body will release endorphins that make you feel happier. You can’t be anxious and happy at the same time. This is one of the biggest benefits of exercise.
Furthermore, your stamina will increase and so will your strength. You’ll be less tired all the time and you’ll feel much better about your life.
6. Not getting enough sleep
Do NOT burn the candles at both ends all the time. Society has made it seem that material success and wealth are the be-all and end-all of life.
But if you’re in a constant state of anxiety because you’re sacrificing sleep just to work, not only will you be more tired, irritable and high-strung, but your productivity will suffer too.
Get 7-8 hours of sleep daily. Give your mind and body a rest. It’s one of the best things you can do to reduce anxiety.
7. Comparing yourself with others
Comparing yourself with others will almost always make you feel worse about yourself. If you think someone else is better off than you, you’ll be dissatisfied with your own life and envious of them.
If you think you’re better than others, generally, you’ll be feeling insecure deep down inside, and your thoughts are a reflection of you not feeling good enough.
Either way, it’s not a good prognosis.
The goal is to always compare yourself with the previous you… and strive to do better. Always aim to beat your personal bests, but don’t beat yourself up to do it. Make measurable progress in reasonable time.
You’ll find happiness when you’re not comparing yourself with others. Don’t run if no one is chasing you.
Apply the pointers in this article and your anxiety levels will drop. You may also wish to spend time meditating, finding ways to destress (E.g. gratitude journaling, watching comedies, praying, etc.) and try to stay optimistic.
Find what works for you and do it consistently. Always remember that life is to be lived… and not controlled. Surf the waves of life taking each wave as it comes rather than trying to control the tides.
The latter will only lead to anxiety. Let it go.
“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” – Kahlil Gibran