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  • Writer's pictureJo Fleisher

10 things people with anxiety need to do every day.

You have anxiety and have probably been living with it your entire life. I completely understand. That's because I've struggled with this condition for as long as I can remember.

Here are 10 small things you can do each day to help stay calm.

You may think a few of these are silly. That's okay. Try them anyway.

What do you have to lose ??

1. When you wake up in the morning and your mind starts rattling off a "to-do" list, take a deep breath. Focus your awareness on the moment. Using your 5 senses, identify what's going on around you. This can help soften the grip, and remove the sense of dread you might be feeling.

2. Find some humour by visiting a meme page on Facebook or checking out a comic strip in the newspaper. There are even apps you can download to get your "funny" on. The idea is to laugh and get out of your head.

3. Practice gratitude by finding something to be grateful for. It could be a friendship, your health or simply having an extra loaf of bread in the freezer. This will help to focus your mind on the positive instead of the negative.

4. Do one task at a time. Don't allow yourself to play the game of trying to accomplish everything at once. Not only will this make your anxiety worse, research tells us most of us aren't good at it.

5. Lean into your anxiety by doing something productive. This could be cleaning the sink or mopping the floor. Trying to pretend you aren't feeling anxious only makes things worse. Do something constructive with that energy that benefits you in the long run.

6. Carry apples with you. The hard truth about living with anxiety is nervous eating. In many cases, this means reaching for whatever is in front of you (even when it's unhealthy). If you are going to snack, why not consume something healthy ? Apples are great because they give your mouth something to munch on while delivering fiber and vitamin C to your body.

7. Put some money in your piggy bank each day. This can help you feel like you're doing something about financial stress; a common source of anxiety. It could be $1 or $10. The amount doesn't matter. What does matter is the peace of mind you will gain by knowing you are saving.

8. Move your body. This could be a simple thing like walking around the block or doing some quick jumping jacks. You don't have to start a gym routine (although that doesn't hurt). I have discovered that going for a strenuous walk for 30 minutes everyday is a great way to use up all the anxious energy and it will also help you to get in better physical shape. By becoming more physically active, you give all the energy your are carrying a place to be discharged.

9. If you drink coffee, try having just one cup. Better yet, switch to 50/50. Sure you could move to decaf but that could feel like punishment. The point is to reduce the number of stimulants you put into your body. Think about it. You are already wound up - do you really want to amplify it.

10. Don't be ashamed of your anxiety - instead, learn to accept it. Shame does nothing but make you

feel worse. Additionally, it makes anxiety stronger. By accepting that this is something you live with, anxiety's grip lessens.

Wrap up.....

Yes, it's difficult living with anxiety. I understand this all too well. That's why you need to find joy in your day, and do what you can to manage in healthy ways. Hopefully, one or more of these suggestions will help you on your journey.

Take care of you.

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