While some of us just wish to go on holiday, some people dream of a life without anxiety.
Fear could cause anxiety. But who cares what causes it? Anxiety is so brutal that it randomly creeps up anytime. There’s no definite schedule of when, where, or how. It just happens when it wants to. It steals your peace, happiness, confidence, and power over yourself. It alters how you think. It alters how you see the truth despite the positivity you have mustered. It cripples people.
With today’s Covid-19 situation, we see a lot of people wearing masks to protect their physical health. But we might have overlooked that others, too are wearing emotional masks and not showing their true selves. People do so to hide out pain and fears. And not everyone feels comfortable hiding behind a mask. Many of them who can’t keep up struggle with anxiety, including me.
Dealing with mental health is just as important as physical health and it also needs to be discussed. Besides, we should be kind to ourselves and look after our mental health, too. That’s why I’m sharing some tips for managing anxiety:
Meditation worked to calm my anxiety. I make it a routine through scheduling. I started with 10-15 minutes of meditation in the evening before going to sleep. I’m not using an app but there are a lot of apps offering guided meditation. If it works for you, just continue using it. Here are the steps I follow for meditation:
- Find a place that is quiet and comfortable (chair, garden, bed, anywhere you please).
- Set your phone to alarm after 10-15 minutes.
- Sit or lie, then close your eyes.
- Breathe naturally and focus on your breathing. Bring your focus back to your breath when it drifts.
That’s it. Meditation cleared my mind and gave me a similar feeling of peace like what I feel when I’m sleeping. (I would also be writing a new article about the importance of sleep, btw.) I can say that I’m still in the process of working out my anxiety through meditation. Meanwhile, it has helped me somehow (not fully but in the future, I’m sure it will) to become consciously aware of my thoughts and emotions and trained me to control negative feelings as they arise.
Focus on yourself
I wanna be clear here, focusing on myself doesn’t mean that ‘I would only focus on my priorities so screw everyone else!’. Let’s try not to be self-absorbed and selfish. What I mean is ‘I want to make myself a priority before I start losing myself’. How to do it? By giving myself the love it deserves. I ignore the things are ‘none of my business’ and focus on ‘my business’ only. To start, here’s what I did:
1. Deactivate Facebook account for good
There are a lot of people added to my Facebook account that I’m not really friends with. Like a lot! And to spare me from the stress of ‘unfriending’ them, I decided to just deactivate my account. I did it to shift my mindset on focusing on myself and only the important people that matter to me. I don’t wanna get distracted by other people’s lives. There are nice things posted on FB but tbh, there are also a lot of toxic things. If you’re like me and you can’t contain things like this, do yourself a favor.
Forgive me, guys, I still do have my Instagram account (where I only follow a few people that I know personally). Peace.
No one is perfect, my advice is to not blame or criticize yourself over something that has happened in the past. We all sin (Romans 3:23). But, if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9).
I try to acknowledge my wrongdoings and understand that things really do happen for a purpose. Sometimes we need to make mistakes and get hurt so we could wake up and be a better person. But we should also make sure to repent and move on. Someone said to me that we all make mistakes and we learn from these to become a better version of ourselves.
3. Check career path and get some training to fulfill it
This I do not do regularly but I squeeze it in my schedule when I have some time available. Lemme share my experience. One time, I tried applying on a job that I do not qualify for. When I got invited for the interview, I got tongue-tied trying to explain even the basic things I’ve memorized about that job. And apart from that, I didn’t ace the exam! So, I told myself that if I really want that job, I need to study harder and experience it first to improve myself. And this is what I am doing now. I may not have the chance to do it all the time but let’s look at things positively. Even if I only got to do it twice or once a week, I still know I’m on the right track.
Never stop learning.
4. Love your skin
We are all wonderfully made by God. Though we have imperfections, there are plenty of ways to better ourselves. And remember, these imperfections don’t define us. Don’t let people make you feel that way.
If you need skincare products, go buy some. If you think you need makeup, go apply them on your face. If you think you need to improve something on your body, do it to make you feel good. Tbh, I’m not a fan of retoke but let’s allow others to decide for themselves. After all, that would be none of my business.
5. Improve hobbies.
Focusing on things I like not only allows me to discover myself of things that I can do well but also helps me with my ‘mental status’. One of my hobbies is writing. And here’s what I’m doing now. I started my own blog to improve my writing. I also learned to play a musical instrument, violin. But I’m so guilty because I stopped practicing. Now my fingers are no longer wired to the strings and I no longer memorize the notes.
I’ve realized that improving a skill takes time. I put more hours on things that I love to do and do it repeatedly as long as I’m not pressuring myself. Sometimes when I can’t learn the things I want asap, I get frustrated and feel that I’m not good enough. To clear my mind, I relax and go back to Step 1, meditate.
Too much for the topic ‘love yourself’ but there really are a lot of ways to express love for yourself. Feel free to comment on some of the things you do below. 😊
Start and end each day positively
Some people say most of the time that they hate Mondays because it’s the start of the week of work. But Mondays really don’t suck, our mindset about Mondays does. Being positive is a choice. How about motivating yourself to think of good thoughts instead of filling it with stressful things? Let’s try changing our mindset every day. How I do it?
1. Start and end the day by talking to God.
I thank God for giving me another day, another opportunity to enjoy and make life better. Praying is a part of my life. I pray anytime, out of the blue. I thank God for all things, good and bad. And I put in mind that whatever happens, I’ll always need Him. And it’s true, days become better when praying.
2. Make bed in the morning.
I make it a habit to make my bed every morning. I believe that this one small act of accomplishment leads to more good actions throughout the day. It’s just nice to get rid of the clutter and stare at a tidy space. Plus, I work in my room 5 times a week and this helped me feel good and organized.
3. Listen to positive songs
To manifest good vibes, I always listen to positive songs whenever I feel like I want to – during work, when I’m on my way home, while at the shower, during breakfast, lunch, or dinner and even before sleeping. Listening to a positive song makes me feel happier and encourages me to do positive things especially on frustrating and trying times.
One of the best singers and songwriters I’ve known is Jason Mraz. I often listen to his songs on loop, my favorite is ‘Livin’ in the Moment’.
4. Try not to complain
We are all humans and it is unlikely for us not to rant. But what I observe is complaining creates a pattern of negative spirals that brings a domino effect of negative results. Complaining doesn’t solve a problem. And to stop a spiral of negative thinking, we need to meditate on our thoughts. Let’s look at the reality that we can’t control some of our problems and if there are no available solutions to it, let’s not waste our time and energy dealing with these things. Know that there are some alternatives where we can get our frustrations out. What works for me are writing, creating art, exercising, and playing a musical instrument.
5. Take note of the good things that happened to you
Take a moment to list good things that happened in your day. Acknowledge even the smallest things and if you want, name the person(s) that made you happy. I did this and it surprised me and made me reflect that life is beautiful, that miracles happen every day if we just pay attention to it. Most of all, it reminded me of God’s grace and kindness and how they appear in different forms.
Associate with positive people
Every once in a while, try to take a step back and re-evaluate your circle. The people you are around with can influence you in any way. Choose who you surround yourself with. Sometimes the company you are with contributes to your anxiety, like toxic people. Based on Google SERP, a toxic person is anyone who is abusive, unsupportive, or unhealthy emotionally—someone who basically brings you down more than up. Toxic people don’t even think about what they say, they are born to criticize you so badly ‘til you totally lose your self-confidence. They comment mean things about you that are enough to make you want to like yourself less. They act kindly in front of you but inside of them hidden are thoughts to put you down. I’ve heard enough negative words from toxic people like: ‘pa-victim, immature, paawa, walang sariling desisyon, umaasa sa sasabihin ng iba,’ and more. I do felt bad, of course, but as time goes by I trained myself to feel nothing. These qualities are a reflection of how they are, not you. They’re just hesitant to accept it as their own and points finger at other people because they are horrified at their own vileness. Because most of them are repressed and judging others help them feel like they’re a bit better than you.
Guys, let’s grow up! Let’s try to maintain healthy relationships by being considerate and not judging others. Let’s also avoid toxic people and choose carefully who we associate ourselves with.
These are just some of the simple tips that I can share about how I manage anxiety. This is inspired by my own experiences, something that I did to help myself.
God indeed sees all things. I’ve chosen to focus on God above all the challenges. And recognize that God is greater. It won’t be possible to conquer anxiety without His help.