Anxiety impacts a ton of us and it can be brutal. This past year, while dealing with some big life changes, I began struggling with it myself – specifically, with social and professional comparison issues – not fun! Recently though, I’ve implemented a regimen of self-care practices that have helped me turn the volume down on some of my negative self-talk. Here, below, are five tips that have made a hugely positive impact on my life. If you struggle with similar anxieties, my hope is that these tips will help you too!

Tip #1 | Change the Channel

If you’ve ever spoken with a therapist, you’ve probably heard this trick before: when a negative thought pops into your head, consciously change the channel in your mind. Think of it like this: if you’re watching television and a show that you don’t like comes on, you’re most likely going to grab the remote and switch the station to something you do like, right? So when that first harmful thought arises, recognize it for what it is and make a conscious effort to divert your thoughts to something more positive. I know how easy it can be to fall into negative thought patterns, but you’re the one holding the remote! Make your mind a more positive place.

Tip #2 | Fill the Silence (Sometimes)

It’s a lot easier for me to create healthy thought patterns when I have great music to listen to or easy access to inspiring podcasts. Listening to uplifting stories and sounds while running errands or doing chores gives me a leg up on the positivity ladder. That said, there’s a time and place to embrace silence in a healthy way, and I like to use a meditation app for that.

Tip #3 | Routine is Key

One thing that really helps me is establishing healthy routines for the parts of my day where I tend to experience heightened anxiety. Mornings can be rough for me, but I find that if I give myself plenty of time to make coffee and meditate or read before my day gets hectic, then my mindset for the rest of the afternoon is much better. In the evening, I take a hot shower or a bubble bath, and drink some tea before bed. Having these foundational routines help me feel like a) I have my sh*t together, and b) I have something to rely on if sh*t goes south.

Tip #4 | Stay Creative

If you’re like me and have a passion for creating but also struggle with anxiety, you’ve probably gone through seasons where you don’t feel inspired to create. When I get blocked, I try my hardest to stay creative in small ways. I like to color or learn new songs on the piano. And if the activity is unrelated to my work it’s even better, because it takes the pressure off and allows me to just be creative for the heck of it.

Tip #5 | Let Go of What’s Not for You

This tip is less concrete than the others, but it’s so, so important. Let go of what’s not working for you. I’ve been through seasons of anxiety and depression where I grasp at anything to find relief, even if I know it’s unhealthy and will only hurt me in the long run. And it’s taken me a long time to call out these behaviors and replace them with healthy, healing, and productive activities. I recommend you do what I’ve done: identify toxic coping mechanisms and release them. It’s the quicker path toward becoming who you truly want to be.

I’m not an expert or a trained professional. I’m just someone who’s wrestled with anxiety and recognizes that it’s a continuous, sometimes daily, battle. But even more than that, I realize that it’s worth the fight. One of the best tips I can offer you is this: give yourself grace while you’re struggling. Not every day will be perfect, and there will always be ups and downs.

Please just remember that you’re worth it.

X,

Katie

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