How to take advantage of your anxiety and put it to work

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My family and friends consider me a very anxious person, and well, I don’t deny it. It runs in my family and I’ve been collecting evidence about it for years… just kidding.

It is true though that anxiety is pretty common at home, from my mom to my uncles and siblings, we are anxious people. I’ve always seen it as something negative, and have even spent hours doing researching and looking for ways to lower anxiety levels. But, I’ve recently discovered that anxiety can also be a powerful weapon if it’s used correctly. Let me give you a little bit of background about me and what I do for a living, after that, I’ll share you a few tips so that you can turn your anxiety around and use it in your favor.

I’m 23 years old and work at an ecommerce startup called Tienda Nube, I started off as part of the partners customer care team and forged my path towards public relations. Now, I’m happily working as part of the company’s Branding team, focused on PR projects for Argentina and Brazil (where the company is known as Nuvem Shop).

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, because I believe that my anxiety is one of the main reasons that I am where I am now. So, here are a few tips to help you sort your way through life while embracing anxiety:

1. Identify anxiety and love it, don’t hate it

Anxiety is usually considered something bad, some people don’t even like the word itself. But, as the Kubler-Ross Five Stage Model states, denial is the first step of overcoming a crisis. So, embrace your anxiety. Once you do that that you’ll be able to manage it.

2. Leave bad habits behind

You probably already know which habits you want to continue repeating in life and which one’s you don’t. So, grab a pen and paper and write them down (or use your cellphone notes app).

Why? Writing them down will help you clearly identify and label these habits, so that the next time they pop up, you’ll be able to think twice before telling a person the same thing… for the third time.

3. Work it out with your team

As I mentioned before, anxiety issues don’t only affect our personal life, but also our work life. So, how to work around it? Talk about it with your team, let your boss know that you are working on lowering your anxiety levels but, that you will probably need his or her help.

Anxiety isn’t something to be ashamed of, in many cases it will help you be creative and proactive, but make sure your teammates know, so that they can help you work on it too and lower the burden.

4. Take advantage of it

Once you’ve identified the pro’s and con’s of your anxiety habits, you’ll be able to analyse in which situations your anxiety is your ally and not your enemy. Take advantage of your anxiety to solve urgent matters as well as looking for proactive solutions, not only for daily things, but also for work related issues.

Anxiety doesn’t necessary mean proactivity, but one of the most common symptoms of anxiety is obsessive thinking. Which, in non psychological terms, translates to over thinking. So, how can you profit from it? Well, by ordering your thoughts and writing down every idea that comes to your head. There are probably many, so common statistics would say that at least one of them is worth analyzing.

5. Take a chill pill

Well, a chill drink, or a chill something. Find that one thing that helps you relieve anxiety.

For me, it’s drinking a nice cup of tea and listening to my Pump it Chill playlist on Spotify (full volume if it’s daytime) or having a nice cuba libre at home while cooking dinner and listening to music (hmm… common denominator?). Sometimes it can also be reading a book or talking with friends, or even doing a new DIY. But whatever it is, I make sure I do something! You should too.

From one anxious person to another, learn to live with it, don’t fight it.

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