Living With Anxiety

If you have suffered from anxiety in the past or present, than you know the paralyzing affect that it can have on your ability to live a healthy life. Anxiety can prevent you from partaking in activities that you once enjoyed, such as hanging out with friends or attending social engagements. But worse, serious anxiety problems can prevent you from completing necessary daily tasks such as going to the grocery store or work. As crippling as an anxiety disorder may be, there are things that you can do to regain control of your life. This article will offer readers four tips to overcoming social anxiety.

1. Groom Yourself

If you are more confident about your appearance, you are less likely to suffer from pangs of anxiety. Therefore, you may find it helpful to spend additional time preparing yourself before leaving the house. Take the time to shower, shave, apply antiperspirant and whatever other grooming rituals that you have found make you feel like yourself. Additionally, completing these rituals everyday may help you add structure and order to your life and having structure may help you find the strength to leave the home.

2. Listen to Music that Calms or Inspires You

While this may not be a practical suggestion for a person who is having anxiety issues at the workplace, listening to music may help you cope with the anxiety that you feel during the course of daily activities outside of your domicile. In addition to potentially curbing the anxiety that you feel, listening to music may help you have fun while you partake in these chores. However, safety is always a priority and you should not listen to headphones while riding your bike, driving, or engaging in other activities that require your full attention.

3. Exercise

Physical activity and exercise can help you with your anxiety in two ways. First, exercising can help you improve your appearance and body image. Though these changes won't occur overnight, in time this may help you decrease your overall anxiety. Second, regular exercise will may help you improve your mood. Studies have shown that exercise causes the brain to release endorphins which may help stabilize your mood.

4. Make a Commitment Chart

People suffering from anxiety tend to break a lot of plans. They might agree to partake in an activity with friends that sounds fun at the time of agreement, but as the date approaches, anxiety builds, and the person suffering from anxiety is likely to break plans, much to the chagrin of everyone involved. Such behavior isn't fair to you or the people whose plans you are upsetting. As time passes, you may find that such behavior may damage your relationships. One way to help curb this behavior is to make yourself more aware that it is happening by charting occurrences. Make a chart with all of the names of all of the people who are important in your life. Every time that you honor your commitments with each person, put a plus sign in the box, and every time that you succumb to your anxious urgings, put a minus sign in the box. Monitoring your own behavior may give you a better idea of how serious your anxiety is as well as give you a useful tool to help you reflect on your behavior.

While the effects of anxiety can be debilitating, there are actions that you can take immediately to begin taking control of your life. Four things that may help include grooming yourself, listening to music that calms or inspires you, exercising, and creating a commitment chart.

About Donzo Morton: Dan Blair offers Woodstock counseling, received his M. A. in Clinical Psychology, has worked 20 years in social service settings. Dan is experienced as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and is a trained, court-approved divorce mediator, Nationally Certified Parenting Coordinator, and a Certified Anger Management Specialist.

Published At: Living With Anxiety

Photo: Graeme Weatherston /

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