Anxiety does not just come in the form of social nervousness. Anxiety can spike during times of difficulty, stress, or even just unfamiliarity (to people, places, or situations). Even though social anxiety can be crippling to your social life, network, and relationships (Learn how to overcome social anxiety HERE), anxiety in any form can hold you back from various parts of your life. Anxiety can hold you back from asking for that raise at work, asking that girl to prom, or even just taking the trip you have been waiting for. Anxiety can hold you back from the life you want and today I share with you the 5 daily alternatives for those with anxiety.
1. Ditch The Coffee
Yes, as much as almost everyone loves coffee, it is time to ditch the morning (or daily) coffee. Although the caffeine in coffee stimulates the nervous system to give you that “alert” feeling, for those with anxiety these levels of caffeine can leave you jittery and elevate your heart rate much more than necessary. A great alternative to your coffee consumption would be to drink green (low caffeine) or black (moderate caffeine) tea as a coffee replacement. In doing so, you give yourself that energy you crave while also lowering your caffeine intake. If you need more, you can always drink another cup. Some people may need/tolerate more than others, but by drinking 1 cup at a time you give yourself a steady pace of caffeine. This allows you to find your daily tolerance without consuming too much and lets you spread out the cups throughout the day (no caffeine crashes).
2. Become Physical
How you stimulate your nervous system can either leave yourself on edge or relaxed and ready to take on the day. A big escape for many with anxiety (from my experience and the experience of others) appears to be video games. Sure, I game as well, but not during the time I struggled with anxiety (as well as quitting caffeine for a whole year). Video games stimulate the nervous system without the physical energy release needed from built tension, as well as visual flash effects can stimulate the nervous system more than recommended. A daily alternative for the time you spend gaming would be to spend that time outdoors. By going for a walk, playing a sport, or exercising outside in general, you provide yourself with fresh air and the release of energy/tension (also providing health benefits).
3. Calm Your Actions
In a fast paced world, it is sometimes necessary to slow down your actions. Instead of listening to heavy/fast paced music and hyping yourself up with adrenaline flowing tasks, try calming your actions and mind with softer/slower paced alternatives. Instead of intense strength training, go for a period of time performing body-weight exercises paired with yoga. By still being physically active yet slowing your pace of action, you allow your mind and body to relax in a form of active meditation.
4. Create Don’t Escape
A huge part of anxiety and depression is the lack of expression. Without expression, we find ourselves overwhelmed in our own thoughts and mind. Instead of reading about art or reading about a trip, go create art or take that trip. Escaping may help short term, but creating can help each and every day. Creating does not just help your mind, but also your reality.
5. Find Your Reasons
Instead of letting the excuses in your head hold you back from the life you want, provide yourself with reasons as to why you should go out and achieve that life. By switching your excuses for reasons, you provide yourself with the mentality needed to overcome your anxiety. Anxiety is a mind game and by strengthening your mind, you give yourself the opportunity to win the game.
Anxiety is a daily battle which can be won on a daily basis. By using five daily alternatives listed above, you give yourself the opportunity to win the daily war inside your own head. By switching from coffee to tea, you give yourself energy without too much caffeine stimulating your nervous system excessively. By switching from visual to physical activities, you help your body relax rather than build tension. By calming your actions rather than seeking adrenaline, you allow your body to relax while still being physically active. By creating your reality rather than escaping it, you express yourself and better your reality (rather than ignoring it). Lastly, by finding your reasons to take actions rather than excuses that hold you back, you give yourself the opportunity to achieve the life you have always wanted. Anxiety is a daily battle. When you fight back efficiently, the war can be easily won one battle at a time.