Being anxious can really hinder a guy from reaching his potential. Unchecked anxiety can lead to killer stress, fewer friends, and a generally lower quality of life.
Anxious people have more headaches and stomach problems as well as a greater probability of cancer, heart disease, and even accidents. For some guys, figuring out how to stop their maddening anxiety will change their entire lives!
If you have severe anxiety, consult a doctor. However, if you have lesser forms of anxiety, like social anxiety or a tendency to worry too much, then our tips should help you. With that in mind, here are our four tips which explain how to stop being anxious.
Make Meditation Your Foundation
Anxiety for most people isn’t just a passing feeling. Rather, it’s a pervasive part of who they are. Being anxious often means staying on “high alert” in many situations (like work, social life, etc.). The best way to combat worry is to lay a solid foundation of relaxation and stress relief.
This can be done by creating a regular routine of quiet time and meditation. Meditation doesn’t have to involve lots of sensory aids like candles or music (although it can). To meditate simply go to a quiet place, breathe in and out, and relax. You’d be amazed how simply paying attention to your breathing can ease anxiety.
Try to give ten to fifteen minutes each day to simply being quiet, meditating, or praying. If you can’t do that, then try to use your breaks or free time to just do nothing but relax and take it easy. If you’re like the average person, you need it (and deserve it).
Take Charge of Your Brain
Being anxious is a brain chemical response to stress. Believe it or not, anxiety can often be good for survival. If we see ten alligators and our anxiety causes us to leave the scene, our brain has done well. However, our brain wiring (from the less developed brain stem) hasn’t necessarily caught up with the modern world. In many cases, anxiety doesn’t protect us from the bad, but keeps us from what is good.
So, take charge of your brain. You have an evolved frontal cortex, so use it! Basically, whenever your brain stem tells you it’s time to flee, freeze, or fight, talk yourself down (unless it really is a dangerous situation). Remind yourself in anxiety inducing situations that you know how to stop being anxious. Calm down, take a few deep breaths and tell your stress to take a hike. You can take charge of your brain.
Use Your Support System
In many cases being anxious is highly irrational. Only about 85% of what we worry about actually happens. This means that in roughly 85% of cases our anxiety is ill founded. Sometimes, we just need someone (or our own mind) to tell us that! This is especially true for people who get themselves worked up easily.
If you have a best friend, family member, or even therapist, explain your situation to them and ask them to call you out when you’re being irrationally anxious. I have a tendency towards anxiety that I’ve largely conquered and my good friends know this. But, if I’m being irrational, they call me on it immediately. And, it always works. I relax and forget about it.
Get A Hobby (Lose Stress)
I believe the modern Western world is so stressful because people have very little to occupy their time. Sure, most people work long hours and use electronic devices a lot. But, few people have meaningful passions they can pursue or deep friendships to nurture. If we keep busy doing what we love, it leaves little time for worry.
On the flip side, find ways to eliminate stressors from your life. If your job is awful, find a way to get a better one. If a family member is annoying, confront her. Eliminating stressors may cause short term anxiety (e.g. confronting someone is difficult), but it will relieve long term stress.
I hope you know now how to stop being anxious, or at least you can manage your anxiety better. Start living your life to its absolute fullest and don’t let your annoying (but very useful) brain stem run your life. You’ve evolved! Act like it.