3 tips on dealing with anxiety about the future
The past couple of years have been hard for all of us. Going through global events which can shift our way of life adds a great deal of uncertainty into the mix. So here are a few tips for dealing with the anxiety that comes with it – hope this helps.
Our mind is a powerful tool, and it absolutely loves to get caught up in thinking and trying to solve complex problems. One of our mind’s favorite activities is to try and predict the future by calculating possible outcomes. This ability started a long long time ago with our ancestors, and it was developed for purely survival purposes.
If you plan ahead you can secure food, water, and shelter to ensure your survival in the world. Or you can quickly calculate what action you need to take to avoid danger. Without this mechanism, we wouldn’t have made it till now. But as with everything in life, there is another side to things.
As we evolved over thousands of years our technology also advanced with us, and we added more and more complexity to our lives. Nowadays we are all constantly connected with one another even across the globe. We can know everything that is happening anywhere around us within a few seconds.
This abundance of information means that our brain now needs to process a lot more than it did before. This means that we don’t only use this functionality for predicting whether or not we will have food the next day. But to also try and predict what’s gonna happen in years from now, in our personal lives, our communities, and around the world. This bombardment of information in combination with our brain’s appetite to analyze things can be draining and really have an impact on our mental health.
So what can we do about it?
Take a break
There is no better way to deal with this than taking a break and stepping back from anything that is going on in your life or the world right now. There is nothing wrong with taking a break. No matter how urgent a situation might seem — you need this!
Things will keep happening and the world will go on no matter if you’re watching or not. Getting caught up in the news and social media, being constantly updated about things will not help you or others, especially if you’re not in a life or death situation at the moment.
So take a deep breath, sit back, relax, meditate if you like. Do something you love, something that relaxes you. Don’t forget to go outside, in nature, there is nothing that relaxes us more than being in connection with nature. If you can meet or talk with the people who you love. It always helps to be around people who can support you or take your mind off things.
Last but not least, don’t forget about taking care of yourself. A good night’s sleep and a nutrient-dense diet are some of the most important things you can do to support your body and your mental health.
Shake it off
Anxiety often triggers our brain’s fight or flight system, which as a result prepares our bodies for action. Your blood flow increases, your muscles tense up, and a cocktail of chemicals rush through your body.
Having the tendency to fight anxiety and try to suppress it creates tension in the body that cannot be released if we just sit down and get more stressed. This tension can create blockages and stiffness in our bodies over time. Making certain movements or postures quite uncomfortable.
Try to move every time you feel your heartbeat a bit faster because of stress. A short walk, a swim, a run, whatever makes you feel nice can work. You don’t even have to go outside. Any type of movement to shake your body off for a while can help to shift your mood and make you happier while preventing stiffness in your body.
Sometimes it helps to take a step back and see the bigger picture of life. No matter the situation and everything happening in the world, always remember that you are just sitting on a rock spinning around the vast emptiness of the universe. Life just happens.
A billion things that you haven’t even thought of yet will happen. The question is if you are going to be happy no matter what. We are all here to just enjoy life and learn from one another. You were not born to suffer. Being bothered by life’s events is only gonna make things worse. So don’t try to chase the thoughts, just let them pass through. We’re all here for a short while and we are not going to win anything by closing up and getting caught up in thinking. Try focusing on the present moment and ask yourself, am I actually in danger right now? If not, then you can work it out and find peace within.
If a situation is affecting you greatly then take a moment to think if there is anything you can do about it, then take action. Working on resolving a problem is far better than getting captured and paralyzed in thoughts about it.
Written by: Yannis Abelas
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