Everyone has anxiety, to varying degrees. It’s a critical part of life. Kierkegaard made a philosophical career out of it. However as obvious as this seems, you really shouldn’t let it play a major (or even supporting) role in your life. Here’s how:
1. Realize the Onus is on You. You are responsible for your anxiety. No one else “gives” you anxiety or causes you to feel a certain way. Your thoughts and reactions are a result of your expectations and self dishonesty.
2. Don’t Be a Victim. It sucks to worry and not be able to stop but everyone has shit they have to deal with- it’s an even playing field. Don’t approach situations as if you are already at a disadvantage and you’ll stop feeling like you do.
3. Actually Deal With It. If you have anxiety you should actually figure out how to deal with it instead of just living with something that sucks. It seems obvious but no one ever does this. If something is giving you anxiety, figure out how to change it so that it doesn’t. You might actually have to go to a doctor, a therapist, a gym, a yoga class or learn how to meditate or have an uncomfortable conversation with your partner.
4. Get Some Perspective. You are not a terrible person. You are normal. Normal people worry about things, mess things up and feel like they are play acting adulthood. You’re fine. Google some quotes about how temporal your money/boyfriend/job problems are. Deepak Chopra that shit.
5. Get an Attitude of Gratitude. My favorite gay spin instructor, Brad, goes around the room and makes everyone smile to remind us that though we are in physical pain we’re like, incredibly lucky to be jammin to club music at an upper middle class gym in the middle of the afternoon. He says we have to laugh during class and have an attitude of gratitude because we’re so lucky we get to take care of ourselves. Other people probably think this is obnoxious but focusing on the positives actually does take up all the brain space that was previously inhabited by negative “how many more minutes on this hill????” thoughts. It’s the same way with worry, when you remind yourself of all the stable things in your life you are thankful for and the people who are there for you your worries suddenly seem much smaller.