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Home I tend to make excuses out of everything! How can I stop being too anxious?

I tend to make excuses out of everything! How can I stop being too anxious?


Anxiety is often seen in a negative light because when it reaches unhealthy levels, it creates stress to both the body and mind that interferes with quality of life. 

However, anxiety is unavoidable. But when it is controlled, it can be helpful in maintaining motivation and a sign for the need to change. 

We can use our feelings of distress to propel us to assess certain areas of our life and make necessary improvements. I like how leadership teacher John Maxwell put this thought into words when he said, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” 

Warning signs anxiety

  • Do you spend a lot of your time worrying? 
  • Do you feel uneasy or concerned? 
  • Do you often have stomach churning? 
  • Do you have problems relaxing?
  • Do you have difficulty concentrating? 
  • Do you avoid the things that trigger your anxiety?
  • Do you feel more irritable than usual? 
  • Do you avoid things that used to be enjoyable to you? 

If you answered yes to many of these questions, you might be facing symptoms of anxiety.

What may cause anxiety? 

  • Having negative thoughts about yourself or others
  • Negative life experiences like bullying, stress in the workplace, relationship issues, financial difficulties) 
  • Learned behaviors related to anxiety (from parents or others close to us) 

How do we not let anxiety get out of hand? 

When there is a perceived threat, an event is anticipated, or negative thoughts are entertained, our body releases chemicals to trigger anxiety and prepare us to adapt. We can do both self-help and self care strategies so that our anxiety does not interfere with our ability to function well. 

  1. Have a talk with a therapist. Thankfully, there is now more acceptance to getting mental health treatment in society. You and your therapist can assess if your quality of life is already impacted by anxiety.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common and most effective types of psychotherapy used by mental health professionals. In CBT, you can learn new and functional ways of thinking, and identify and adjust patterns of behavior that are unhealthy or maladaptive. 

Another treatment used for extreme fears is gradually exposing you to the elements of the things you are fearful of. The body learns to adapt to the level of anxiety it brings, until it becomes manageable.

  1. Do some lifestyle tweaks. Activities that allow you to enjoy life shifts your focus from triggers. They also make you feel generally happier.

    1. Add physical activities to your day. It can be a sport you can do alone like swimming, biking or hiking, or something you can do with a team or group like tennis, basketball or yoga. In these activities, you get to move your muscles, triggering the release of feel-good hormones, and you also get to be around other people. This increases your ability to form social connections. 
    2. Spend some time with supportive friends or family members. 
    3. Do some reading. Books that have living ideas in them, like classics, enhance the imagination and release stress. 
    4. Do some activities that allow you to create things like painting, doing watercolor, drawing or crafts. 
  • Have a relaxing bath. 

  1. Slow down your breathing. It has been shown that breathing exercises makes you feel more calm, in control and less anxious. 

Assume a comfortable position and try to breathe in a slow rhythm. For example, try breathing in for 2 seconds, hold it for 1 to 2 seconds, then breathe out for 2 to 3 seconds. Focus on doing this for a few minutes and feel more relaxed.

When you start taking control of your actions, identify your anxiety triggers, do self-care strategies and tweak your lifestyle habits, you begin to increase your quality of life and make the changes that you are ready to make.

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I tend to make excuses out of everything! How can I stop being too anxious?
Brandon Resasco