This is a guest post by Jennifer Landis, who writes at Mindfulness Mama, and on Twitter. Jennifer approached me about doing a guest post and I discovered that she indeed has interesting things to say.
It doesn’t matter who you are: Anxiety can cause you serious distress. If those worrisome thoughts happen to be of the “I can’t do this” variety, then your anxiety has begun to cause you self-doubt.
It’s important to acknowledge just how big of an effect this perfect storm of emotions can cause: It can seriously hinder your determination to achieve your goals, as well as whatever self-confidence you have in making them a reality. When your subconscious perceives you’re stressed or threatened, it will try and convince you not to go for something, because it thinks it’s safer than failing at whatever it is that’s freaking you out.
Obviously, you’re not one to give up – you’re here reading this article, after all. That’s why we’ve gathered five of the best ways to put a stop to the self-doubt, once and for all.
Your anxiety will see its place and kindly leave as well.
Can you feel your self-doubt coming on? Does the anxiety rush through your entire body? What do you do to control it?
It’s not always possible to call someone who soothes you every time you feel a flood of stress. Fortunately, you have yourself, and you have all the words you need to calm yourself. In fact, you know better than anyone else what you need to hear to feel OK.
Begin reciting short, inspiring phrases in order to get yourself through your next bout of anxiety. You can eliminate your stress by flooding your brain with positive thoughts, so be generous with your good word.
Even if you’re not the wordy type, a journal can work wonders as you attempt to combat your anxiety. The merits of journaling have long been known by mental-health professionals and, in this case, the benefits of cracking open a diary are twofold.
First of all, a journal will give you a good record of all the good you’ve done. You can read about your accomplishments when you’re feeling full of self-doubt. In doing so, you’ll be able to see you are capable of whatever it is you’re hoping to achieve.
Journaling also helps you work out how to solve your problem, no matter what it may be. You can weigh the pros and cons of a situation, compare it to past decisions, and come up with different viewpoints and how they’d solve your problem. By writing it down, you literally give yourself a new way to look at your self-doubt, and this new visual might just be the best way to find your solution.
Whether it’s a math problem you can’t solve, a workout you can’t master or an advertising tagline that sounds a bit too clunky to succeed, you’re not going to solve your issue by staring at it nonstop.
That’s why it’s advisable to give yourself a change of scenery when you start feeling stressed. By simply shifting your focus for a few minutes or hours, you can approach your tough situation with a fresh set of eyes – and a new perspective.
There’s plenty you can do to reset and reload before you tackle whatever it is that’s got you in a state of self-doubt. Everything from a walk outside to a quick cleanup of your home to a meditation session will be just the right amount of activity to wipe the slate clean.
Do you wish your conversational Spanish was better before your international sales pitch? Can’t perfect that exercise move? Have you found it hard to type simple, short, eloquent emails? If so, don’t let your stress and self-doubt get the best of you.
Instead, practice what’s getting you down and hone that skill as best you can. With mastery will come a flood of confidence and the self-belief you so desperately need.
Simply put, your anxiety thrives when you’re tired. In fact, a lack of sleep has a hand in so many serious diseases that it’s worth making your sleep schedule consistent and satisfactory in length.
It’s no surprise that sleep can affect the way you feel, too: Are you happy waking up in the morning after not sleeping enough the night before? In one study, subjects slept for four and a half hours each night and reported how they felt. Everything from stressed to sad to mentally exhausted to angry made the short list.
Even if you’re highly stressed out about something that must be done, try and pencil in a nice window of sleep. Most people need seven to nine hours per night to feel their best. Once you get in the habit of sleeping regularly, you’ll feel better: less anxious and more courageous.
It’s no easy feat to overcome anxiety and self-doubt. However, with a bit of practice, you can stave off that overwhelming can’t do feeling – and then you can get out there and do whatever it is you want.
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