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Studies have linked anxiety to memory loss and concentration issues because anxiety has a tendency to overwhelm the mind and make it harder to think about or enjoy anything.
Overcoming anxiety takes time, patients, and commitment. There are countless treatment options available – hundreds even – and everyone that is willing to take the time to find one that works for them will someday find relief. There will be ups and downs, and you may commit to a treatment only to find that you need to find a new one someday instead, but over time you will find that perfect solution for dealing with your anxiety.
In the meantime, the best way to overcome your anxiety is to adjust your life in a way that contributes to fewer anxiety symptoms, and one of the most enjoyable ways to do this is by finding a way to focus your life on fun and hope.
Creating Fun and Hope
Anxiety makes life a little bit worse every day. It takes away the ability to have fun, because it creates an environment where what you used to find fun is less enjoyable. It also affects hope, because hope requires you to expect a great future, and anxiety causes you to experience a less great present. So the key is to get both of those back into your life so that you have less reason to be anxious or find your life less valuable. Consider the following ideas:
Turn Toxic Workplaces Secretly Fun
You can’t always quit a toxic work environment. So when work is causing your stress, you need a way to make work fun. There are plenty of ways to do this. You can come to work with secret messages on your shirt that only you know about. You can create a bingo board with things that upset you at work, and reward yourself with something amazing if you get a bingo on any given day or week. You can hide secret notes around the office, or bring in cookies to work every day to share and put everyone in a better mood. Any way to make work more fun will decrease the way work affects your anxiety levels.
There is a tendency in those with anxiety to mope or want to be alone. You don’t need to fall into that trap. Create events and activities to do not only every day, but also within an hour or two of leaving the office or school (or whatever causes you stress). These activities replace the stressful event with a memory that’s more enjoyable, giving you no time to let yourself be overcome with the way that anxiety makes you feel.
Have a Friend for Everything
Similarly, doing less alone will ensure that you’re never sitting there with your own thoughts. Find a friend to enjoy nearly every activity with. If you don’t have a friend, find activities that often have the same people, so that you can make new friends simply by seeing the same people regularly. A great place to start is MeetUp.com, where you can often join groups that hold regular fun events with the same people attending.
Plan For the Future
Create both short and long term goals – goals that you’ve always wanted to reach – and map out realistic ways for you to get there. Planning for the future ensures that you’re not just sitting around and expecting your future will be like your present. You’ll have plans in place that focus you on what you need to do. Even if you’re suffering from severe anxiety, having these goals ensures that each passing day you don’t focus on what you haven’t achieved, but see the things you plan to achieve.
Write Down the Breaks
Finally, take time to write down the happy moments in your life. Every time you have a break from your anxiety, write it out in some type of journal or permanent place. Use that to remind yourself that your anxiety isn’t controlling you 24 hours a day, and your anxiety isn’t something you “can’t fix.” Your breaks from anxiety are indicative of what you’re capable of if you learn to control the way that anxiety affects you.
You’re More Than Your Anxiety
Fun and hope are two silly words that aren’t going to magically cure your anxiety. For that you need validated, working anxiety reduction strategies that are proven to help people cure their anxieties. But in the interim, you can create an environment for yourself where your anxiety stops controlling you. To do that, you need to restore your ability to enjoy life and plan for the future. The above tips are a great place to start, and a powerful way to create a happier and more relaxed you.