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Stress can come in many forms

Stress can come in many forms

It often arise from something beyond our control, whether a breakup or loss of someone dear. We can even feel anxiety when trying something new.

We tend to desire a quick-fix for problems, but when dealing with anxiety, it's better to think of it as a practice where you build muscles.

@joshuamar

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Anxiety tends to build over time. Through awareness, we can help minimize its effects.

Our anxiety is trying to help us. Our body is trying to tell us it has new needs. Start noticing what makes you anxious and what takes you out, as well as when it happens.

Meditation as a practice is useful to tune into awareness and to calm your nervous system.

To start, take a minute or two to pay attention to where your mind wanders. When you're able to begin noticing problematic situations through the practice of awareness, you can stop doing them.

You can choose to approach life anxiously, or you can choose to approach life calmly. When negative thoughts arise, ask yourself, "Is this a thought that serves me?"

The brain is malleable, where a thought is like a groove in your brain. We can change the pathways of those grooves.

When you find yourself overly critical of yourself or your work, pause and ask what you would tell your younger self. Try to be compassionate with yourself without repressing your inner critic.

A tool, so the thoughts don't stay trapped inside you, is to write your worries down or speak them aloud. During a separate block of time, let your mind wander, allowing play and escapism.

Movement is important to help us get out of our heads. Movement can include exercise or going for a walk or run.

Vigorous movement and exercising allows your brain to feel like it's getting away from what's bothering you.

What you put into your body will affect your energy and how your mind and body feel. Limiting your intake of coffee, alcohol, and sugar can make a big difference.

So much of our personal fear and anxiety is generated by the information we absorb. Consider an "information diet," whether social media or the news.

During stressful times, reaching out to a friend or trusted family member can ease anxiety.

You can also consider how you're supporting others in your life through the words you say to them. People often just want to be heard. Ask, "What can I do to be a better friend to you right now?"

The most straightforward anxiety management technique is deep breathing: Five seconds on the inhale, five seconds on the exhale. It will stop your racing mind and calm you down. Deep breathing can also be incorporated into your daily routine.

When we're anxious, sleep is also a great tool. Not only will you feel more rested, but it will also help strengthen your immune system.

In order to have clarity of thought and a calm mind, it sometimes involves taking things off your plate.

Reducing your pressures will create a cushion and protect you from anxiety.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT helps people learn different ways of thinking about and reacting to anxiety-causing situations. A therapist can help you develop ways to change negative thought patterns and behaviors before they spiral.

Acknowledge that all emotions come from within

It is not outside forces that make us feel something, it is what we tell ourselves that create our feelings. 

Many of us want to place blame and responsibility on external objects because it’s easy to do, but the truth remains that all conflicts start internally, in our minds.

The next time you run into an obstacle and feel resistance, don’t look at what’s around you. Instead, look within.