5 reasons why you’re anxious all the time

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And what you can do about it

 

You hate when people tell you to relax.

The worst part is…they’re right.

 

You should relax, but there’s just no freaking way.

When you think about your life, there’s enough to worry about for seven generations.
That’s without mentioning the upcoming apocalypse in 2012.
Even if there was no reason, you would be tense, that’s how you’ve been so far.

If you’re in that situation, I can totally relate, I’m a stressed person by nature.
Nonetheless, even for the most anxious there are ways to ease the pain of anxiety…and eliminate it, eventually.

I managed to get a better control on my stress level by applying some rules, collected mostly in the Buddhist knowledge. They concern all aspects of my life: from the simplest daily habits to how I manage my psychology.

I’m almost sure these rules will work for you too, so I’ll take a guess and give you 5 major causes why you stress out, along with concrete solutions to hack your anxiety.

 

YOU DON’T MEDITATE

Sometimes you feel there’s a nuclear war going on in your head. If only your restless brain could give you a short break. Some peace of mind.

Please.

Meditation would be the quickest way to appease your mind, but sitting on a pillow and doing NOTHING is nearly impossible for an overachiever like you.

You always find something more urgent to do, and when everything’s done you don’t feel like sitting silently for 30 mn of boredom.

Solution: Start with very short meditation sessions (5 mn max) and renew them often. Your mind will ask you for more and it’ll naturally become a priority for you. Remember: keep it short and rewarding, don’t make it a burden!

YOU DRINK COFFEE

You’ll rest later. What you need right now is a kick to meet your deadlines, a cappuccino. Even better: a TANK of cappuccino.
That’s the quick and dirty way to release energy.

The problem is: coffee harms you in the long run. It forces your body to consume the energy that was stocked for tomorrow. AND it makes you nervous. Even paranoid if you’re the stressed type, like me.

Solution: just stop it. Cut down on caffeine uppers, replace them with tea. and notice how you feel in the afternoon. The first week, you should be more tired but also much more relaxed. Gradually you’ll be more energetic AND happier throughout the day.

YOU THINK YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH

Everyone appreciates your qualities.

Everyone but you.

You’d like to be BETTER than what you are, so you invest in self-improvement programs and you waste your time running after an optimized version of you.

Since you don’t appreciate yourself, you don’t relax and enjoy the present. There’s a gap between who you are and who you want to be.
The bigger the gap, the stronger the tension.

Solution: You are good enough, it’s a fact, make it your motto and work hard to find out WHY you are good as you are. Just focus on the qualities you already have. You can always improve, of course, but make sure you don’t do it for lack of self-esteem.

YOU DON’T TRUST OTHERS

You think people are jerks, you’re afraid they’ll take advantage if you open up.
You watch your back and always stay guarded, no way to fully relax if you’re not sure who’s in front of you.

Solution: try PRONOIA for a change, do it as a game, just switch beliefs from constant suspicion to unconditional trust. Do it for an hour, just to give it a try,  it’s a bit disturbing but it’ll expose a lot of the false beliefs you can get rid of.
Also, don’t forget that people are too busy minding their own problems to try to hurt you, generally.

YOU DON’T EXERCISE

You’re concerned that jogging outfits will make you look like a fluorescent sausage.

There’s no sport you’d really like to practise, anyway.
You try to substitute exercising with action movies and PS3 gaming sessions, but it only results in more anxiety as you prevent your body from releasing its stress.

It’s a waste, and you know it.

Solution: Combine whatever you like with exercise. You like Museums? Go there walking (or running, if possible). If nature is your thing, trek around and pack your phone with MP3 sport classes to do it with bears as jog mates. You don’t have to look corny to exercise, no need to go to a club if you don’t like to be taught what to do either!

 

One last word:

There’s no one-step cure for  anxiety, since it’s a multi-factors issue  (personality type, professional and personal situation, health habits). But if you address the causes of stress by taking the right habits, calmness will arise spontaneously, without you “trying to relax”.

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  • http://davidmashton.blogspot.com David Ashton

    Good advice! I like the approach of taking small steps in meditation because the mind will ask for more. I think the same is true for exercise – starting with a little bit and the body asking for more.

    • Gaël Blanchemain

      Thanks David :)
      I made the “solutions” very short, I intend to be more comprehensive in my next articles. Totally agree with you regarding sports and the gradual approach. As a matter of fact, I guess the gradual approach works with anything that requires improvement.

  • http://chintandave.wordpress.com Chintan Dave

    Thanks a lot David!
    I am a person fighting with various problem regarding depression and anxiety, this article indeed helped me in a short, sweet and better way to re-schedule my habits and add some good qualities in my daily routine.

    Keep posting like this! :)

  • http://theannoyinglife.com Kevin Martin

    Thank you for writing this article, Gaël. I really believe in the power of putting emphasis on the small things like writing down your goals, staying conscious of your attitude, and so on to lead a desirable life.

    • Gaël Blanchemain

      Hi Kevin, thanks for your feedback. Indeed: small things are the only way to accomplishing bigger ones (I’ve tried to go big all at once, but always failed with that approach :)

  • http://www.enlight8.com Marc

    Nice article. I can also attest to the coffee and cutting back. However, recommending tea might not be the best solution. The ingredients in coffee that causes anxiousness is most likely caffeine and some teas can have as much caffeine content similar to coffee. I personally transitioned to decaffeinated coffee and then weened myself from there. Hope that helps.

    • Gaël Blanchemain

      Thanks, Marc. I agree, ideally, that would be no caffeine at all…But I just can’t do that yet! :)

  • http://www.idontstudy.com/ Sanved

    Wonderful tips, will look forward to avoid things like coffee and will try to work on a thing which I think I am not confident enough. !

  • http://celinascourage.weebly.com Celina

    Easy advice to follow!
    I loved the part about believing you are good enough, as many individuals (including myself) feel they have to be good at everything. “Just focusing on the qualities you already have” and improving yourself both mentally and physically, great advice!
    Keep posting :)

    • Gaël Blanchemain

      Thanks Celina,
      I’m still working hard on the good enough part. And it’s easy to fall back and continue the self bashing job discreetly, in your head, while pretending to work on personal-growth. I discover self-judgement is more pervasive than I thought, it penetrates everything and it takes lots of softness and perseverance to clean it out of one’s tendencies. Conversely, because it’s such a burden, every pound dropped is a huge relief!