How to Overcome Anxiety and Live Life to the Max
Do you feel like you are sleepwalking through life? Would you like to have more freedom, more adventures, more time, more love? Are you one of those people who tries to find a way to live life to the max, but feels as if everything is weighing you down?
It is sad, but many people go through life without having really experienced what life has to offer. And although everyone’s circumstances are what they are, this does not mean that there is no chance of living life to the max.
A traumatic experience, the arrival of a new responsibility, or simply the observation that time is passing us by can throw us into a vicious cycle of anxiety. Deep down is the fear of failure or other concerns that paralyze us and keep us from enjoying life. Anxiety about not achieving what we set out to do or not getting what we hope for can paralyze us, making things much harder.
Overcoming fear and anxiety
Anxiety is our way of telling ourselves that we are standing before a requirement that may be compromised, thinking about the resources that we think we have at our disposal. This anxiety can take on many forms, like for instance perfectionism, ambition, jealousy, the need to please other people, or an addiction to work, among many other things.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
To live life to the max, we need to overcome this anxiety and, above all else, all of those fears that limit us and lock us up in that small cage that suffocates us. How? Below we will share with you a few strategies.
Face your negative thoughts and your anxious behavior
As obvious as it may seem, it is worth remembering that in order to overcome anxiety, first we must recognize it through our anxious behavior and our negative patterns of thought. It is necessary for us to be brave enough to defy those thoughts and behaviors, but we cannot fight against an enemy that we do not recognize.
By recognizing and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors, we have already won the first battles in the war. Once they have been unmasked, it is much easier to fight against them. This will require some time, but it works.
Some of these patterns of negative thought and anxious behavior include:
- Excessive generalization: just because things look similar does not mean they are the same
- “Reading minds”: if you want something, say it; don’t wait for other people to read your thoughts.
- Affirmation and negative self-criticism: making mistakes or doing something bad does not make you an idiot or a useless bum, so do no repeat this to yourself like a mantra.
- Radical thought: not everything in life is black and white. There are millions of colors that can change everything. There are many possibilities if we look at things with colored filters.
To face your negative thoughts, you can use the following strategies:
- Recognize and label the pattern of negative and useless thought.
- Defy your thoughts by thinking about things in a positive way.
- Recognize extreme words and change your thoughts by using the positive opposite.
- Write down the negative thoughts that you repeat the most and look back over them so that you can rethink things.
Accept that you have anxiety. Instead of trying to suppress it, try to understand it. Your body is working fine. Anxiety is just a warning that you need to start paying attention. Running away will serve no purpose. Accepting the situation will help you to start solving it.
Accepting a situation of anxiety is not easy. In fact, by thinking about it, it is easy for you to make yourself feel worse. It is not easy to face our demons. But there is no other way to overcome them than by looking them straight in the eye. In order to do this, you absolutely must be strong and brave.
Accepting means understanding that, at this very moment, what you are feeling is anxiety and you will feel even more anxious while you are going through the recovery process. There will be a period when the negative thoughts will keep popping into your head. You just have to learn to accept it for what it is, an anxious thought, and keep moving forward.
Take care of yourself
Get enough sleep, eat healthy, get some exercise, practice a hobby, relax. Set quality time aside for yourself. Not being there for people every hour of the day or taking a break from work for a while each day does not make you a worse person; quite the contrary. By taking care of yourself, you are also taking care of others, because you will be in better shape to fulfill your obligations and responsibilities.
There is no reason for living to the max to mean living off of adrenaline all day long; rather, it means enjoying each moment in a conscious way. But that will be hard for you to do if your body and mind are not ready for it.
Surround yourself with positive people and things, be friendly o yourself and with others, and prioritize the things that really matter to you.
Rethink your lifestyle
Pay attention to the toxic relationships and situations that exist in your life. Toxic people only poison your mind, ruin the atmosphere, and perpetuate what resembles a state of anxiety and fear from which there is no escape. But we can get out of this situation the same way as we can an illness: by eliminating the cause, not just focusing on the symptoms.
Also consider the fact that you could be the toxic one. If your attitude creates a terrible environment, you will reap what you sow. If you change, it is very likely that you will see changes happening around you as well.
Other issues that you have to think about are, for example, to what extent you live to please others, if you have clearly defined your goals in life, if you are doing what you really want to be doing or what you are supposed to be doing, or if you are living according to your own values.