How I've Designed a Life that Reduces Anxiety
Living with mental health issues isn’t easy. You constantly encounter unexpected situations that trigger you and sometimes, you can’t even enjoy activities with friends and family. Even with anxiety, I’ve learned that there are things that I can do to make my life easier. Here are a few ways that I’ve designed a life that reduces anxiety.
I Accepted My Differences
The number one step to living a life with less anxiety is to accept your differences. Worrying over everything that you think makes you different from other people is both isolating and incredibly stressful. In the end, it doesn’t really do anything to change your situation. Instead of fighting against my challenges, I accepted them and decided to build a life around them.
I Learned My Triggers
If your anxiety is triggered by specific situations, the best thing you can do is be aware of it. Maybe you find yourself panicking once the end of the week rolls around and you still have a multitude of projects to complete. Or perhaps you stay up at night and worry about everything you have to do the next day. Learn what triggers your anxiety and then intentionally find ways to take control over those situations before they can take control over you.
I had to learn that my anxiety is spiked when I try to avoid stressors and unpleasant issues instead of facing them head-on. Whether it’s money, personal relationships, or work, it helps me to make a list of things I need to do and face them immediately.
I Was Honest with My Loved Ones
Life always seems harder when you’re trying to live a double life. While hiding your anxiety might seem like the preferable option to avoid uncomfortable conversations, it only makes your situation harder. Talk to your loved ones about how you feel and the things with which you’re struggling. They can better support you when they understand what you’re dealing with.
I Started Being Proactive
Instead of waiting for things to sneak up on me, I started being proactive about potential issues. That includes things that could impact my home. I found that investing in a home repair plan helped ease the stress of having old appliances that need extra maintenance. That was important to me because replacing those appliances would have put me in a bad place financially, so I had to find a more feasible solution.
I Began Practicing Self-Care
The thing about anxiety is that you can sometimes mitigate how it impacts you if you’re able to take a moment and counteract it. I began taking time for myself every evening to spend an hour or two doing what I wanted to do. I gave myself permission to enjoy it without worry or guilt, too. Take some time and dedicate it to treating yourself well. The more positivity and relaxation you build into your life, the easier you can handle the anxiety.
Even if you’re struggling right now, don’t worry – there are options to help you through even severe symptoms. And keep in mind that the list above was tailored to fit my life – it’s okay if those steps don’t apply to yours. Take some time and create your own list of actions to take and begin building a life that minimizes anxiety.
*** Written for Meridian Counseling by Amanda Turner. Amanda Turner is a freelance writer and recent graduate who is exploring her passions through writing.