Do You Deal with Anxiety? Implement These 3 Tips

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Do You Deal with Anxiety? Implement These 3 Tips

By: Camille Dargan

If you’re like me, your struggle with anxiety reached a high you didn’t even know it could soar in your mid-twenties. Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. We all have those times when we get anxious speaking in public or going through a period of uncertainty, but anxiety disorders happen when your fear, worry or concern don’t go away or worsen over time.

The way we experience anxiety is very personal and one person’s triggers and symptoms can be totally different from another person’s. This is why it’s important to pinpoint the times in your life when you feel most anxious and proactively come up with your own ways to manage your anxiety.

Two of the situations, where I have faced constant anxiety in the past, is when I give public presentations and when I have a long to-do list to work through. If you find yourself dealing with anxiety when you’re in similar or different situations, there are a couple of exercises you can explore to ease your nervousness and worry.

Create a negative thought tracker

Jotting down all your anxious thoughts in one place brings awareness to them by helping you identify what they are.

Do this over a 24-hour period and try not to be picky about which thoughts you write down – write them all. I used the Evernote app on my phone and created a bullet for each thought as they popped into my head. Don’t worry about being redundant, the repetitiveness of certain thoughts will only help you identify trends.

Remember not to judge yourself during the process and in 24 hours, it will be all over. After the documentation period ends, review your thoughts and choose one to focus on improving. Write down tips that help you alleviate the stress of that thought. Some examples include listening to music, going for a walk, journaling, or talking to a friend.

Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

This is something I’ve struggled with for years until recently. I recently started keeping a record of every big and small client presentation and internal meeting I led. I include the presentation’s name, number of attendees, and positive feedback that I receive. Now, whenever I start preparing for a presentation, I pull out the list (which I keep on my phone for easy reach), and it helps remind me that I’ve done this many times before and can do it again. ☺

Other public speaking experiences include, but are not limited to, speaking during a meeting, on call, raising your hand to answer a question, or offering a comment in class.  Document them all! You’ll amaze yourself with how much of a killer speaker you are.

Overcome Fear of the Dreaded To Do List

Something I’ve learned while working at Facebook is that ruthless prioritization is key. It’s normal to think that everything on your to-do list must happen as fast as possible, otherwise you’re a failure, but the truth is, every single demand of your time has a different priority level, and we all have the ability to determine how quickly we’ll respond to different tasks.    

I’ve found writing down my to-do list on paper to be very helpful and crossing things off as I go. I used to get upset when I didn’t finish everything on my list, but now I do something very simple. I have a conversation with myself and say words like, “it’s okay. It’s okay this didn’t get done and it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. What’s the worst thing that can happen if it doesn’t get done today?”.  

That’s it. This simple conversation allows me to address the things that were left undone and it also gives me space to think of the “what ifs” and I almost always realize they’re not that bad and even if the worst-case scenario comes to pass, everything will still be okay.

If you are experiencing anxiety and are in need of crisis support, please call the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090 or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.