Stress is possibly the most common mental disorder in adults today, with almost every person experiencing a certain type of stress throughout their lives. If it is moderate, stress can improve our productivity. However, if we fail to find proper ways to deal with stress, leaving it to rule our everyday lives, it will most likely turn into anxiety. According to the WHO, one of thirteen people in the world have had this happened to them, and deal with some type of anxiety disorder on a daily base.
The failure to treat this issue properly has a great number of long-term effects, both mental and physical. Anxiety can cause your brain to release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol much more often, causing constant headaches and depression. These hormones also affect your physical health, contributing to weight gain and influencing your central nervous system negatively. Furthermore, anxiety also affects your cardiovascular system, causing chest pain and speeding up the heart rate. This is especially harmful to those with heart disease as they have a larger potential of having coronary events. The immune and digestive system can also be affected, so it is not surprising that those who have anxiety usually have a certain physical condition as well.
During anxiety, one is constantly in a state of frustration and fear, which above all physical issues, complicates one’s ability to combat daily challenges. Long term anxiety prevents you from being productive and motivated, having a negative effect on every aspect of your life. However, by using some tested psychological strategies, you can not only overcome these disorders but also use them in a way that increases your productivity. In this article, we will cover some of the best tips you can use to deal with stress and anxiety throughout your life.
Accept Your Stress and Anxiety
The first and most important step of overcoming stress and anxiety is by understanding them and accepting them as they are. This means that you should try to look at them objectively, and see both their positive and negative sides. While the negative sides of these disorders are obvious, not many people are able to transform them into something productive. For example, if you’re anxious about a presentation or a call, the adrenaline that comes with anxiety will give you more energy to prepare yourself for these occasions. To be able to do this, you need to start looking at things realistically since anxiety generally makes every situation seem much more terrifying than it really is. Try to objectively imagine the worst possible outcome of an event, and if you are truly objective, you will most likely realize that it isn’t as bad as you thought it was.
Reframe Your Stress and Anxiety
Like we said above, anxiety can actually have positive effects on your productivity. However, this is not possible if you continue to be constantly negative. Recent research conducted by psychologist Dr. Alison Woods Brooks has shown that the only thing that can completely change your mindset, is saying “I’m excited” when you’re anxious. This affirmation is extremely powerful since you have the same amount of arousal, but rather than being afraid of it, you invest it into opportunities and achievements you’d like to accomplish. In most cases, it is much easier to transform negative excitement into its positive counterpart, than to try being completely calm during those anxiety attacks.
Begin Practicing Meditation
One of the core issues of anxiety is that you constantly regret things from the past and have fears for the future. Among other things, one of the main causes of this thought process is the inability to enjoy the present moment. While becoming conscious and aware at every moment is not always attainable, it would be extremely helpful that you allow yourself moments of complete presence. Try to put aside some time for practice every day, and you will instantly feel more at peace. This has been testified by countless practitioners around the world, but also by scientific studies which have proven that meditation physically changes your brain. To make it truly effective, try to visualize the goal you want to accomplish. When practicing this every day, you will become much more motivated to conduct all the steps required to achieve your goal. Meditation helps in many different ways, so it is a crucial step to add to your daily routine.
Communicate Your Issue
People who deal with anxiety, in general, avoid talking about the topic for various reasons. However, communication is actually one of the core ways to deal with it for good. Whether your fears are rational or irrational, speaking out about them will help you in many different ways. First of all, the person you’re speaking with will be able to comfort you and help you by advice or simply by hearing your concerns, while you will also be able to look at your problems more objectively when you say them out loud.
Organize Your Life
Once you’ve accepted your anxiety, and learned to manage it, it is time to jump into action. To make sure you overcome anxiety for good, it is important to deal with its cause. For most adults, stress is the main causal factor of anxiety, and it is commonly a result of procrastination and lack of organization in their lives. There are many things you can to organize your tasks in order to make them more balanced throughout your work week. It would be good to keep a journal that includes checklists you have to take care of, and that also includes a calendar with important meeting and events. Some people prefer to have a physical notebook to organize their thoughts, while others prefer using mobile apps and software to achieve this. Try different methods and find the one that best fits your preferences. In the beginning, it will seem tiresome to write everything down, but with some time of adaptation, you will see you spend much more time in being productive and substantially less time in worrying and stressing about things.