Anxiety is a notorious and very common roadblock. It can cramp anyone’s style, regardless of who you are. When it comes to the general task of being a functional and productive adult, anxiety can be like throwing a wrench into a finely tuned machine. Everything just comes to a grinding halt. Adulting is enough of a challenge for everyone. Trying to “adult” like a boss when anxiety rears its ugly head can make things feel impossible. Pro tip: It’s not impossible, and you can let go of anxiety!
No one is immune to occasional bouts of nervousness, worry, and stress. Anxiety, however, is when those feelings begin to interfere in your daily functioning. Anxiety disorders range from generalized anxiety to social anxiety and beyond. Regardless of the specific disorder, anxiety makes adulting much more difficult. Across the range of variations, you might experience symptoms like:
- Sleep disturbances
- Avoiding social situations
- Muscle tension and pain
- Agitation, restlessness, irritability
- Extreme worry
- Digestive discomfort, nausea
- Loss of focus
- Irrational fears
- Trembling, shaking, sweating or chills
- Racing heart
- Panic attacks
It’s easy to see how such symptoms could slow anyone down. As we do our best to live up to the increasing responsibilities of adulthood, it is essential that we find ways to relieve our anxiety.
6 Ways to Let Go of Anxiety and Start Adulting Like a Boss
1. Resist the Urge to Avoid
Anxiety is a skilled and convincing liar. It will tell us untruths like:
- You’re better off alone
- You aren’t capable of doing that
- It’s not safe to accept social invitations
- If you try that, you’ll fail
- There is safety only in isolation
- If you can’t do it perfectly, don’t do it
Of course, everyone would prefer to avoid things that make us feel uncomfortable, anxious, or embarrassed. But, it is crucial that you do not make avoidance your default setting. Anxiety is sneaky. It makes us want to avoid things, but that’s what makes it all the more powerful. By confronting your anxieties and learning to tolerate the discomfort, you decrease anxiety’s hold over your life.
2. Practice Daily Self-Care
Self-case is the foundation in which emotional well-being is built. You’ve probably noticed that, when you aren’t able to care for yourself, your ability to be resilient decreases. Things that might not bother you on another day seem to get under your skin. You struggle to shrug off the anxious thoughts.
A strong routine includes things like:
- Creating regular sleep patterns
- Making healthy eating choices
- Engaging in daily activity and exercise
- Cultivating a range of relaxation techniques
- Setting aside time to rest (in addition to sleep)
- Incorporating activities that re-energize you
3. Keep a Journal
It may feel random, but anxiety often follows a predictable trajectory. Keeping a journal empowers us by making it easier to identify triggers and patterns. This knowledge gives us the much-needed know-how to manage anxiety attacks before they can escalate or even before the start.
4. Choose Self-Compassion
Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a natural part of life and the human condition. Instead of berating yourself for having anxiety, treat yourself with compassion and kindness. Remember that everyone becomes anxious.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Guilt and shame live in the past. Fear and anxiousness dwell in the future. Right here in the present, though, we can have peace. Instead of letting anxiety drag you into the future, practice mindfulness to stay present-focused. Mindfulness allows you to stay in the moment and experience it with curiosity instead of judgment. Let go of wrestling with your anxious thoughts and instead observe them drifting through your mind, as if they’re floating down a river.
6. Seek Out Resources and Support
Wherever you are in life — school, workplace, community, etc. — there are likely many resources available to you. In addition, it really helps to create a support system within your immediate circle. Anxiety thrives when we choose isolation. Reach out for help — and that includes professional help (see below).
Anxiety disorders are very, very common. The silver lining in that ugly reality is that much work has been done to identify effective therapies for healing. Finding an experienced therapist is a fantastic first step. Your weekly counseling sessions are where you can explore your behavior and develop effective solutions. If anxiety is cramping your style, do what any smart adult would do: ask for help!
I can help serve as a guide toward successful adulting. You deserve a confidant and mentor as you take your life to the next level. Please read more about becoming an adult and contact me soon for a free 20-minute consultation.