The truth is there’s no silver bullet or quick fix to get you on the other side of anxiety. It’s about making choices on the daily to do things differently from what you’re doing now. Like anything in life, the more effort you exert, the better your outcome. Here’s 7 random calmness hacks…
1. Change Your Mindset
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
Remember to put the glass down.
2. The 5-Minute Rule
You can complain, bitch, and moan for five minutes. After that, choose to 1) Accept your situation, or 2) DO something different.
3. NOW Matters More Than Tomorrow
Resist the procrastination mindset of “I’ll exercise tomorrow,” or “When I have xxx in the bank I’ll take a break,” etc.
4. Healthy boundaries Are the Key to Happiness
~Don’t succumb to emotional blackmail around family obligations, holiday plans, or friends and coworkers who don’t respect your time.
~Ask do I want this?
~If you feel guilty ask, are their alternatives to saying no?
~Remember with no, it’s all in your tone of voice.
~Click this link for a thorough video of boundary setting.
5. Pre-emptive Worry…Not
The belief that if you constantly prepare yourself to be disappointed, the actual result of your actions/situations won’t be as bad as what you created in your mind. “If I worry about it, it won’t happen.” It’s an awful state to live in, really…
Because anxious people have the tendency to catastrophize (default to the worst-case scenario), it’s important to realize the world is basically a safe place, where most people possess good will.
Take this awesome roller-blader, for example. After noticing this thirsty injured seagull, he lent a helping hand.
*Most people are inherently good*
6. Create a Morning Success Ritual
a) Exercise daily. Get the oxygen flowing to your brain and body. To be calm you must reach your peak mental and emotional states. When you’re feeling unmotivated ask, What do I loathe more, exercising for 30 minutes a day, or living with this stress?
b) Schedule “calm time” daily. If your personal development level is a 3 (out of 10), there’s a disconnect with your success goals. The idea is to become a better self today than you were yesterday.
c) “There’s not enough time in the day.” (It’s not that you need more time, it’s about deciding how to spend your time). Wake up one hour earlier than typical to “work” on yourself. Meditate, read, practice calming thoughts, exercise. Make your morning routine “me” time. Mornings represent new beginnings. Find your ritual, your hour to start a successful day.
d) Set your intentions before you go to bed. The last thought you had before going to bed is the first thought you have upon waking. Actively taking charge of your thoughts/bedtime affirmations. Set your alarm clock to be far away from your bed. Drink a full glass of water (we’re dehydrated after sleep) upon waking and then leave your bedroom.
e. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (even weekends, if possible).
Remember all discomfort is temporary. The first 10 days of any habit can be tough, unbearable even, but it gets easier.
Think of the gym — it’s packed on January 1st, then the volume tapers off… Find your rhythm.
It may be day 23, or day 66. Keep going and don’t take a day off.
Live your life in 30-day challenges. Implement new habits until you find your calm.
7. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts Cycle
You do so by documenting situations that trigger you, identifying the automatic thought your mind registers from the anxiety, and shifting these thoughts to more objective and realistic thoughts.
Click the link for the printable, downloadable PDF –> Automatic Thought Record
The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD by Jon Hershfield, Tom Corbey
Calming Your Anxious Mind by Jeffrey Brantley
Natural Relief for Anxiety by Edmund J. Bourne
Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield
Got any anxiety tips to add?
Share your valuable feedback below. You never know who you may be helping…
Yours in calm,