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.
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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