I’ve suffered from anxiety for nearly my whole life so it’s definitely something I’m used to. I really hate how limiting anxiety can be, and how sometimes it can really effect my day to day life. Over the years I’ve picked up tips on how to minimise anxiety and whilst they don’t suppress anxious thoughts completely, they really do help me so I thought I’d share a few of them with you today.
Social Media – When you’re a blogger, you have to embrace social media otherwise it’s very hard to interact with your readers/followers, as well as brands and other bloggers. However I find that Instagram especially, can have a negative effect on my mood so I really do try to limit how much time I spend on there. I know by not using Instagram often, I’m limiting potential collaborations and my growth on the platform, but I know my anxiety definitely improves when I use the app more sparingly.
‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ is such a true quote, and I find that Instagram makes me compare my life, my wardrobe and my successes to others which is never conducive. Instagram recently introduced a fantastic feature where you can choose a daily reminder for the amount of time you want to spend on the app.
When this feature first launched I was shocked at what my daily average was, but now I’ve managed to get my daily average down to 25 minutes which I feel is a lot more healthy compared to the hours a day I used to spend on there. You can set up a notification which pops up to let you know you’ve reached your daily limit and you can obviously ignore the notification if you want to.
However not all social media platforms impact my mental health negatively, and if anything I find Pinterest to be a godsend whenever I’m feeling particularly stressed. It’s such a great way to distract yourself and I often find I’ll forget whatever it was I was stressing about just by pinning 10-15 pins to my multiple Pinterest boards. I love Pinterest anyway but it’s such a great app if you’re looking for motivation or inspiration in terms of quotes, productivity tips or even just recipes you can make to help distract yourself even more.
Mindfulness – There are a number of mindfulness apps (many of which are free) that you can download from the app store should you wish to give mindfulness a go, and it’s something that’s very popular in self help how to minimise anxiety guides. So what is ‘mindfulness’? Described as being a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
The apps offer many different functions such as therapeutic sounds to help relax you, narrated stories, tips on meditation, breathing exercises and much more. There are also apps that allow you to keep somewhat of a diary so you can record your feelings and thoughts on a daily basis, and again there are some really great free apps which are well worth a try.
Bullet Journal – In addition to apps, you could try using a bullet journal or diary if you prefer to physically write down your thoughts and feelings. I only tried bullet journalling for myself this year and I am so surprised by how much I enjoy it. I think it’s mostly down to how much I love stationery so I really like being able to be creative in my pages, and just by designing different pages, it’s a great distraction in itself.
You can record literally anything in a bullet journal such as goals, household chores, deadlines, blogging, budgeting or even recording water consumption – the possibilities are endless. I know budgeting, money and worrying about the future can all cause anxiety so bullet journalling is perfect as you can see everything written down in a format you choose, and there’s always things you can use on the internet such as budget calculators, and automatic saving apps which can transfer left over amounts once bills have been paid from your account.
Turn Off Notifications – This might seem like a really strange tip to include for an ‘how to minimise anxiety’ roundup but it’s something I did myself one day, and I’ve never looked back. I used to have notifications set up to alert me for comments, DM’s, emails – the lot, but all it did was make me glued to my phone which is never healthy. I don’t ignore the notifications now, but I check Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and my emails when I want to, and not when my phone pings to let me know there’s a new notification.
Sure I still check my phone / platforms throughout the day, but I no longer stop what I’m doing just because I got a notification and this links in well with the reduced social media usage, as it’s cut down the time I’m spending on Instagram especially, a lot. I also turned off notifications for my email account so I no longer get a popup on my desktop when I get a new email which would often distract me whilst working, so now I try and check my messages / comments when I have the time and inclination to do so and it’s made such a difference to my anxiety but also my productivity too.
There are so many things I could share on how to minimise anxiety so I may do follow up posts with further tips on what helps me, but I really hope you find these tips useful if you too, or know someone that struggles with anxiety.