Tip #74: Learn to use your anxiety to your advantage.
The why: It may seem inconceivable to be able to see any sort of positive outcome from having anxiety. In truth, it absolutely sucks (which is the understatement of the century).
But a good method I found to cope with my anxiety disorder for me was to somehow, in all the hell it put me through, find some light at the end of the very long, dark tunnel.
Thinking positively about my anxiety, which seems like an oxymoron I know, helped me overcome it because it became less scary, less shameful, more manageable.
It stopped becoming this huge all-defining planet in my life and became more like an annoying puppy dog yapping for attention (although puppies are way more fun and cute than anxiety is).
I decided that if I had to live with it, I was going to make it pay rent.
Also, when I began to think about ways to use it to my advantage, and thinking about the positive things it could give me in life, it pushed me and motivated to get to that place. To fight it. To overcome it.
Thinking of all the ways it could make me deal with my issues better, how brave I could become, how generally I would look after my mind and do more self-care (aka drink more tea and wear more fuzzy socks), made me want to become that person.
This tactic forced me to visualise the individual I wanted to be post-anxiety, which gave me the drive I needed to be that woman.
Number One – Learn To Be Fearless.
To overcome anxiety, you are forced to constantly face your fears, and do the things that terrify you.
With this mindset toward anxiety, if you keep pushing yourself through the fear barrier, you end up doing things that you never would have imagined yourself previously doing.
You can become far braver than you ever thought possible, and live a life filled with taking risks, moving out of your comfort zone, and truly experience life to the fullest.
Things do get so much better, so long as you keep confronting whatever is holding you back.
Anxiety teaches you how to be truly fearless.
Number Two – Learn To Think Positively.
Another way to overcome anxiety is to think positively.
There are a whole host of negative thoughts that hurl themselves around your mind during a panic attack (or all the time really). Constant worries and stresses that can make you feel as though you are going literally insane.
Constantly having to force myself to think positively and change my mindset and my attitude towards things is a powerful tool that can stick with you for life, even after anxiety has been vanquished!
Through positive thinking, you can change your thoughts about yourself, others, the world, life, and through changing your thoughts, you change your reality.
You can become happier and mentally healthier than ever before.
Number Three – Learn To Let It Motivate You.
When I first developed anxiety, my world suddenly shrank. Everything became a terrifying ordeal, the earth and everyone on it was a potential threat.
I stopped going out so much, I would turn down social invitations in fear, I would stop going for opportunities because I was so afraid to fail. Life kind of stopped, or at least slowed down a little.
When I looked at my life one day, I realised that I didn’t want to be this terrified individual. I wanted to go out with my friends, I wanted to live my best life, I wanted to achieve incredible things. To do that, I had to overcome my anxiety.
It has motivated me to never let my life get that small again like it’s just been in an incredibly hot washing machine. It motivated me to live a wonderful and adventure filled life.
Number Four – Learn To Destress.
My stress levels have always been awful, even when I was very young.
Everything stresses me out, to the point where relaxing makes me feel stressed because I feel I should be doing something useful or productive or important.
I was probably fully relaxed two months ago, and before then, possibly a year.
Having anxiety has forced me to confront my stress levels, and actually do things that are good for the soul, not just for the wallet or for the career or for the praise.
It has taught me how to let things go, and how to just chill out a little (or a lottle).
Number Five – Learn To Use The Adrenaline.
Anxiety can send you into fight-or-flight mode caused by a sudden rush of adrenaline. If you find ways to use this surge of adrenaline and go into fight, not flight, mode, then this can give you the hormones you need in order to do your best work, kill that presentation, or do an awesome work-out.