I've had anxiety for as long as I can remember but it wasn't until last year that I decided to accept it. Rationally, I always knew there had to be a reason I went through fits of immense fear but I was afraid to admit it because I thought being anxious meant that I wasn't normal. That wrongful thought process is what lead me to countless hours of research, trying to figure out how to make myself happy. What I have found consistently over different plains of information (sciences, religions, spirituality, and even just plain-ol' happy people) were a basic set of rules that established a lifestyle built to create a healthy well being. Seriously, I mean basic. The ideas were pretty straight-forward and I was a little skeptic about the lack of secret potions to help get rid of my bad feelings. However, after putting these ideas to practice I can gladly say that for me they have worked, bringing my anxious feelings down to a minimal and nearly non-existent state. When I've stopped living by these few rules that I am going to share, my anxiety has rushed back into my life. So I know that they work. Also, you'd be surprised these methods of living are pretty normal which helps me to believe that there's nothing abnormal about living with anxiety. I'm here to share!
Eat and Sleep Right
Words cannot explain how underestimated the benefits of a good night's sleep and a well balanced diet are. Imagine your body is a piece of land. Eating junk food and sleeping too much or too little creates awful weather conditions, which makes it hard for anything productive to take root. That's kind of how your body works! Do not underestimate getting a good night's rest and having a full belly. It establishes the sort of conditions necessary for your body to work properly; both physically and mentally.
Give Others the Benefit of the Doubt
Social anxiety ties into the broader aspect of my anxious feelings. However, I have found that when I make up my mind to silence the creeping feeling of anxiousness and I invite a new friend to dinner, or go out on that meet up I found online, or even audition for a performance, it never goes as bad as my mind would have imagined it. In fact, my experiences are almost always enjoyable and it becomes easier to disregard any anxiety and be more open.
Just like eating and sleeping well, the health benefits of meditation are too many to count. It doesn't even have to be sitting in a fetal position and humming chants to yourself. Simply taking the time to empty your thoughts or focus your thoughts a few minutes a day, can put your mind in a place of serenity and peace. Meditation has often been the fastest way to relax myself in times of anxiety and I really just can't say enough how important I think it is. Go meditate!
Don't Be Afraid to be Afraid
I still get afraid of the dark. It's so odd to say that because I am an adult. However, in my experience sometimes accepting that irrational fear is a part of being human is better than trying to constantly fight yourself for feeling how you do. Knowing this is important. If how you feel isn't harming your well being then it may be okay to just turn on the light for a night and have some peace.
Build a Strong Support System
People need people. Whether we want to believe it or not there are mounds and mounds of research that proves that we are social beings. Find people who will build you up and accept you for who you are, even when you can't accept yourself. This is a constant goal of mine and something I'm always striving to achieve. Do not forget you're not alone and find those who help you remember that. This is the most effective way I've dealt with my anxiety.