Dealing With Daily Anxiety
I’ve talked a good bit on here about anxiety is the past; what it is and how to deal with it. Anxiety isn’t in itself a negative thing. It’s an evolutionary response that tells us what behaviours and thought patterns to avoid. You can benefit from the conclusions you may draw from anxiety. It’s a sort of mental compass that allows you to identify things you may be doing that are harmful.
That being said, anxiety can be harmful if you’re engrossed by it too frequently. If you find yourself anxious over everything, or for long periods of time, then it can wreak havoc on your mental health. What’s more, although you can learn ways to reduce anxiety, the actual feeling itself rarely becomes easier to deal with, nor does it lose intensity, at least for me anyway. If I become anxious over something it always feels the same. It always feels like a restless pressure in my chest. I’ll know a period of anxiety is coming because it always starts with intrusive thoughts that most people hate me.
It may be true that some people dislike me. In fact, it’s definitely true. That’s a part of life though; not everyone is going to appreciate who you are. That fact can sting but it shouldn’t be something that troubles you to a maladaptive degree. If you’re anxious however, this aspect of life might become problematic. You may start to believe that most people dislike you instead of only some. This is what happens to me whenever I start to feel anxious, and it’s a good early indicator that some adjustments need to be made to my lifestyle.
The adjustments are always quite simple too. Often it’s a lack of something that will cause me to feel more anxious. I’ll need more and better quality sleep. I’ll need good food. I’ll need to exercise. I’ll need more face time with friends. This last one is a little trickier at the moment but it can still be done online or from a distance. The point I’m making here is that daily anxiety can be managed effectively with an awareness of your own mental state, and knowledge of what works best for you.
When I talk about a ‘mental health routine’, it’s not some vague thing that can’t be attained. Any routine is a mental health routine. The brain craves regularity and rhythm. That’s why you might find your mental health to be better when you’re working a day job, and why it may feel a bit shaky now that you’re away from work. Giving yourself a routine allows you an element of consistency which is important for maintaining your mind-frame.
The adjustments I mentioned above are the main elements of the routine I use. If I feel myself teetering towards anxiety or a low, I make a quick check to see if I’m hitting all my bases. If I notice that one of them is lacking I make sure to double-down on that aspect. If I’m not getting enough sleep I begin to go to bed earlier, I exercise more regularly, I try to see some friends etc. It’s not difficult but it does take effort. You can’t be passive about your mental health and expect it to remain in shape. If you don’t exercise you’ll likely become fat and unhealthy because you didn’t put in effort to maintain your health. The same goes for your mental health. A small few good habits a day will help you too upkeep your headspace and minimise excessive levels of anxiety and sadness.