8 Simple Ways to Reduce Anxiety, Frustration and OverthinkingNov 18, 2022
What if you could train your mind to reduce anxiety?
What if, even in times of challenge, uncertainty and loss, you could remain calm and peaceful?
What if you didn't worry or overthink about your loved ones because you learnt to shift your attention to the influenceable?
One of the biggest problems I saw as a GP and now, working with entrepreneurs and creatives, is anxiety. If you are experiencing anxiety, know that it is transient.
In the words of the famous Viktor Frankl:
"In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning..."
Not clearly knowing your purpose, mission and future focus is a root cause of anxiety.
Here are 8 ways to reduce frustration, overthinking and anxiety.
1. Be honest with yourself
Working as a GP, I noticed that all the patients who were experiencing anxiety had one thing in common - they had faced at least one episode of mistrust in their past. They had been let down by someone.
This inadvertently caused them to continually break promises to themselves, like not going to bed on time, doing that workout or blocking off 'me time'.
The first thing you can do to reduce anxiety is to raise awareness and be honest with yourself.
Where in your week do you expect too much of yourself? Raising awareness is everything.
2. Know that we are all the same
People who experience anxiety believe they are wrong for doing so.
If you think you are different, and anxiety is part of your identity, you will struggle to change.
"We are all the same." Dalai Lama
You have the same potential for happiness and peace as anyone else. You deserve happiness and peace like everyone else.
As humans, we have a unique ability to redirect our attention. Being able to consciously shift your thinking sits at the root of reducing anxiety.
3. Keep your word
Keeping your word builds the belief that you are competent to cope and that you deserve happiness.
Block 'me time' this week and stick to it, except in the case of a real emergency.
Then celebrate the moment, knowing that you are building self-confidence - the antidote to anxiety.
If you overthink and frequently get frustrated, I can assume that you criticise yourself more than others.
What would happen if you treated yourself like royalty, just for one day?
Write down all of the things you would do if you had no worries. If finances are a concern, write down things that are free like breathwork, meditation and long walks in nature.
Your challenge is to set a date in your calendar and take a day for self-compassion. Let me know how it goes. I find it truly transformational.
5. Daydream, not daymare
The regions of the brain collectively known as the 'default mode network' are very active in anxiety. This is the 'me channel'. When you have a clear purpose, you can intentionally use the 'me channel' for idea generation and daydreaming.
By virtue, thinking about your future aspirations, instead of future fears, will reduce anxiety.
6. 4% discomfort rule
4% is the magic number - the percentage you need to be outside your comfort zone to grow and enter a flow state.
Google mathematicians teamed up with psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to produce this number. Often you will push yourself too far out of your comfort zone.
Aim only 4% out of your comfort zone this week and see how much better you feel.
7. Control your WAF
Understanding what you can control is wisdom. There are three main things you can focus on:
- Your Words
- Your Actions
- Your Feelings
Everything else is not fully under your control. Keep your focus on the influenceable or continue to be influenced by your environment.
8. Reduce your outputs
Reducing your outputs is a simple way to minimise stress. You are doing too much; we all are.
Notice how in an emergency, a lot becomes irrelevant. Use this imaginary situation to strike things off your 'to do' list and out of your calendar .
Enjoy these practices and let me know how you get on with them.
"The root of anxiety sits in an episode of mistrust, and the antidote lies in building trust."
What could you strike off your calendar this week?
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