Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen a lot of colleagues talking about anxiety on social media. I’m sure COVID-19 is playing a big role and sparking fear. But, whether we’re living in a pandemic state or post-pandemic, anxiety is a mental health disorder that if it goes unchecked can interfere with a person’s day to day activities. I know we need help beating anxiety. I haven’t always had anxiety but I’ve noticed that as I’ve grown older, there are times when I’ve felt a bit more anxious. There are days when my anxiety is higher than others but I’ve finally figured out 7 ways to kick unnecessary worry to the curb. Here they are:
Deal with the issues.
1. When I feel anxiety about dealing with a person, I decide to deal with whatever the issue is. My first step might be to journal how I’m feeling but after I have my thoughts clear, I process how I want to handle it. If I feel its not anything for me to address with the person than I let it go. If I deem it worth my time, then I take the issue to the person. I used to get frustrated and not talk about the issues and this led to me having anxiety in the first place. It was hard to deal with my feelings but now that I deal with my issues head on, I feel much better.
2. Take action with whatever you’re running from or worried about. If you’re worried about something at your job, come up with a strategy which allows you to be in the best position. Dealing with a bad personal relationship, take the issue to the person like I mentioned above. If it’s a health issue, knowledge is power. Worrying without action brings about anxiety. Doing something about your concerns reduces anxiety.
Avoid fear mongers.
3. Stay away from and stop listening to fear mongers. People who are constantly telling us that the sky is falling are literally bringing about anxiety. If you’re on social media giving your attention to people who are saying horrifying things, you are gonna get frightened. You gotta guard your inner peace from fear mongers.
Stay in the present moment.
4. Stay in the present moment. A lot of folks say it, but what it means is: Think about what you’re doing right now. If you’re in a safe environment… if your belly is full, if your loved ones are safe, think about that. Worry is a preoccupation with what is going to happen in the future. By focusing on what is going on right now, it allows you to eliminate outside distractions.
Count your blessings.
5. Be grateful and count your blessings. If you woke up this morning, be grateful. Are you healthy? Be grateful. If you can pay all your bills, be grateful. Having gratitude for the blessings in your life will help eliminate feelings of anxiety. Sometimes I write a list to remind me of all the blessings in my life. Listing and counting my blessings brings me joy and makes me ultimately less anxious.
Accept the things you cannot change.
6. Accept the things you cannot change. For me anxiety and frustration have often gone hand in hand. Learning to accept the things that I cannot change reduced both anxiety and frustration. There are things in life dealing with family, health, COVID-19, Hollywood, etc that we can’t change. But, what we can do is come up with a strategy for success that works for us. No more wasting time worrying about people, stuff and things. Our time is best spent being focused on how we want to live our lives.
Let it go.
7. Finally, my all time favorite anxiety buster is: letting go. Some things just aren’t worth thinking about. Some people aren’t worth fighting for. They aren’t. Being anxious about someone’s behavior that you can’t control isn’t helping you. So, let it go. Being anxious about an obnoxious boss, ain’t gonna help you. Looking for a new job though will empower you. So, choose empowerment. Let the other stuff go.
When anxiety creeps in, I take myself through these 7 reminders. Then I ask myself, “Is what I’m worrying about currently making my life better?” If the answer is no, then I know to let it go. It keeps me beating anxiety.
Yasmin Shiraz is a Screenwriter and TV producer who has worked for Lifetime, A&E, Bravo and PBS. She’s a best selling author of more than 11 titles and the founder of Black TV Film Crew. She is the CEO of Still Eye Rise Media.