As someone who deals with a lot of anxiety, I know how uncomfortable it can be — which is why I came up with this list of new year's resolutions for people with anxiety. Feeling anxious over every little thing can make life so much more difficult than it needs to be. It can also make you an unhappy, negative person who is always expecting something bad to happen. To be blunt, it sucks. Unfortunately, there's no fast cure for anxiety — it's something you have to work on. The beginning of a new year seems like the right time to do that. This year, instead of resolving to be healthier physically, why not resolve to be healthier mentally? There are some new year's resolutions every anxious person needs to hear.
Learning how to deal with your anxiety is a process. None of the below resolutions will take away your anxious feelings completely. They won't make you a different person, and they certainly won't help overnight. But they will help over time, and that's so important. Making these resolutions will help you work through your anxiety, as well as feel happier with yourself and your life.
It took me a really long time to confront my anxiety in a strong way. I'm still working on it, and am nowhere near finished, and that's OK. But in the last year, I got to a place where I could stop feeling embarrassed about it, and where I could manage to get through some fears. It feels amazing to say that, and I want you all to be able to say it too. So, here are 11 new year's resolutions every anxious person needs to make right now — they're worth the effort.
1. Don't feel bad about your anxiety.
There is a nasty stigma surrounding mental health issues, and it's normal to feel embarrassed or guilty about your anxiety. I spent years of my life beating myself up about how anxious I felt over certain things. That doesn't help — it just makes things worse. Instead of making yourself feel bad about it, work on changing it.
2. Talk about your anxiety instead of hiding it.
You don't need to become the kind of open person who discusses therapy with everyone who listens. But you should try to get to a place where you can be honest about your anxiety when you need to be instead of acting like it doesn't exist. The close people in your life, like friends, family members, and significant others, should know what's going on, if you're comfortable with that.
3. Focus more on making yourself feel good than making others feel good.
If you're the type of person who is always focusing on if others around you are happy rather than thinking about yourself, stop that. It's great to make other people feel good, but you are the most important person in your life. You have to do what makes you feel and do better.
4. Try yoga or meditation.
Yoga can make such a huge difference. Do it every day, and after a while you'll notice that you feel differently. With all of the YouTube videos out there, you don't even need to pay for classes. Please try this. If you hate it, you can stop. But this should be the year you try new things to treat your anxiety!
5. Exercise at least 15 minutes every day.
Working out every day is so helpful when dealing with anxiety. It reduces stress and makes you happy, it's valuable "you" time, and it just makes you feel good. I know you're busy, but spare 15 minutes of your day to go for a quick run or a bike ride. Just make it a priority.
6. Do at least ONE thing that terrifies you this year.
So much anxiety is about fear. I have generalized anxiety, and am anxious over almost everything, but I also have very specific fears. One is a fear of flying. This past year, I forced myself to face that fear when I flew to Spain by myself. It was terrifying, but I did it, and working through that fear felt so amazing I can't even begin to describe it. It's so hard to do this, but it's so worth it. Pick one thing you're terrified of, and confront it in 2016. Just one thing.
7. Get out of your comfort zone more.
This doesn't just mean do the things that scare you. It means try new things. You should make a goal to try at least one new thing every week. This could be something as small as taking a different route to work, or watching a movie you normally wouldn't watch. You should try hanging out with new people, and going new places. Getting out of your comfort zone and doing things that are uncomfortable are a big part of fighting anxiety.
8. Do what works for YOU.
Everyone has their own opinions on how to deal with anxiety, but when it comes down to it, you need to do what makes YOU feel less anxious. It doesn't matter if you came up with it on your own, or if an anxious friend told you that it didn't work for them. If it works for you, that's good!
9. Confront people.
Oftentimes, feeling very anxious means you aren't honest about your feelings with others. Make 2016 the year you confront people about how you feel, whether you're hurt or angry or sad. It's important to learn how to communicate.
10. Compliment yourself more often.
A lot of the time, anxiety turns into you beating yourself up and feeling down about yourself. Combat this by making it a point to compliment yourself more often. Force yourself to think of the awesome things about yourself.
11. Get help from others.
Fighting anxiety doesn't have to be a battle you fight on your own. Get help from friends or family members, or a significant other. Hold yourself accountable. Talk to people about your feelings. Don't make this something you can't have help with.
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