5 mindsets that will make you live an anxiety-free life.
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” — Leo Buscaglia
That moment, when you feel a hole in your stomach, when you feel empty, you feel lost in a maze, blinded, not sure what to do next.
That’s the moment when anxiety and worry fill your body.
According to the Anxiety and Depression association of America, “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, affecting 20% of the population every year.“
That’s 40 million people that suffer from anxiety. In the US alone.
Let’s suppose the same percentage applies to the world population, that’s 1.5 billion people that suffer from anxiety every year.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, anxiety causes:
- Heart disease.
- Chronic respiratory disorders.
- Gastrointestinal disorders.
You can die from anxiety.
And, have you ever wondered what anxiety really is? It’s something you’re worried about that hasn’t even happened yet.
Do you really have to go through this?
Isn’t it possible to live an anxiety-free life?
I’m not sure if it’s possible to be completely anxiety-free, yet you can follow these 5 mindsets to start kicking anxiety and worry out of your life:
1. Live day by day
“Shut out the past — the dead yesterdays. Shut out the future — the unborn tomorrow.” — Dale Carnegie
The future is now.
When we’re children, we say “When I grow up.”
When we’ve grown up, we say “When I get married.”
When we’re married, we say “When I retire.”
Tomorrow is unknown, you have no idea what’s coming. No one does.
Yesterday is done, there’s nothing to do about it, no one can go back in time to fix mistakes, yet.
The only thing you have left is today, and the best way to prepare for tomorrow, is to concentrate all your force, intelligence, and energy on the work you do today. That’s it.
You can plan for the future, you wouldn’t be very intelligent if you didn’t. But plan without concern. And make sure to execute every day.
Do you tend to postpone living in the present in order to worry about the future?
Do you tend to make the present a bitter experience by thinking of past actions you regret?
Could you have a more productive life if you lived day by day?
When can you start?
“Focus on now, now. Worry about later, later.” — Scott Sambucci
2. Accept the worse
“Confronting the worst-case scenario saps it of much of its anxiety-inducing power.” — Oliver Burkeman
Sometimes we’re filled with concern and anxiety without having really identified the cause.
If you know what’s causing it, then you can start improving upon that.
In his book, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” Dale Carnegie recommends a five step process you can take in order get rid of whatever is causing anxiety:
1. Write down the worst case scenario.
2. Accept it.
3. Write down the possible courses of action you can take to improve .
4. Identify which one you will take.
5. Decide when to start.
“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step in overcoming the consequences of misfortune.” — William James
When you’re worried you can’t think, so when you accept the worst case scenario, there’s nothing else to worry about, in your mind it has already happened.
The only thing you can do is figure out a way to improve upon it.
I’ve read a couple of stories of people who are on the brink of death. And it’s only when the doctor tells them that they have a couple of days left to live, that they decide to start enjoying life.
The moment the accept the worst case scenario, death, they start to figure out ways to live. To enjoy the days they have left.
Amazingly, some of them get better, they recover, and the only thing that changed was that they rid themselves of anxiety and worry.
They didn’t care about dying, they only wanted to enjoy the last days they had left on earth.
You don’t need to wait until you’re on your death brink to start living.
“Clear your stuff. Clear your mind.”
― Eric M. Riddle
Your Mind, your surroundings, your relationships, your life
There’s overload everywhere, overload of things in our environment, overload of information, overload of choices.
Your phones are overloaded with pictures, apps, your inbox is crammed with emails.
Every time you go get groceries you have to decide between 15 different brands of milk. And that’s just one product.
We have to read every notification, watch every single story our friends post on Instagram AND Snapchat, we have to check the last tweets, read the news and read the industry blog post, attend the webinars.
You get my point. There’s too much.
We’re turning into overflowing cups of water.
That’s why it’s important to take a step back. Analyze what things you need in your life. This applies to your digital world and to your physical world.
In her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo tells us, “Focus on the things you want to keep, not on the things you want to get rid of.”
Once you know what you want to keep, you can start getting rid of the things that no longer serve a purpose in your life.
And once you’ve decluttered your life, you will feel a sense of calmness.
You will feel like a white canvas.
4. Disconnect and take walk
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” — John Muir.
There’s something magical and soothing that happens when you disconnect from everyone and everything and go for a walk.
Preferably in nature.
In a relaxed and safe environment where you can walk without distractions.
“When walking through nature, you’re freed from having to direct your attention, as there are a few challenges to navigate (like crowd street cross gins), and experience enough interesting stimuli to keep your mind sufficiently occupied to avoid the need to actively aim your attention.” — Cal Newport, Deep Work
When you walk in nature, your mind relaxes.
Try noticing the little things, birds flying, leaves falling, particular sounds, and if you’re lucky you’ll catch a sunset or sunrise.
Then, you will notice your so-called problems are not as bad as you think.
And, sometimes, solutions to your so-called problems will pop into your head.
Also, always keep in mind that…
5. It could always be worse.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”— Melody Beattie
Remember, it could always be worse. It’s always good to look at your problems from a different perspective.
I lived in San Francisco for a while, and I talked to many people that complained about insecurity…
I come from one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Caracas, Venezuela. It’s so dangerous, that if you go out after 7 pm, the streets are empty.
People are afraid to go out because there’s a high chance of getting kidnapped by really really bad guys, guys that would do really bad stuff to you if they don’t get their ransom.
And, everyone knows at least 2 people that have been kidnapped.
So every time I heard people complaining about insecurity in San Francisco, I thought to myself, “these people have no idea how lucky they are.”
And, I’m sure there’s places where it’s worse.
It doesn’t matter how bad you think you have it, it could always be worse.
If you have a roof over your head, be grateful, many people don’t.
If you have dirty dishes, be grateful, many people don’t have dishes to eat from.
If you have two legs to walk, be grateful, many people can’t walk.
If you have eyes to see, be grateful, many people only see darkness.
If you have hot water, be grateful, many people would do anything for a hot shower.
If you have a mattress to sleep on, be grateful, many people only have the street to sleep on.
If you have someone that cares about you, be grateful, many people don’t have anyone.
If you woke up today, be grateful, because many people didn’t.
Instead of thinking how bad your life is. Think of how great it is.
You’re truly lucky you are to be alive.
In a TEDx talk in San Francisco, Mel Robins mentioned that the probability of you being born is one in four hundred trillion.
You’re a miracle.
Act like it.
Call to Action
If you want to learn how to prime yourself for a happy, focused, and successful day, use my morning and evening power questions guide.