Anxiety is something I’ve dealt with since childhood. The earliest time I can trace it back to is third grade when my family and I moved across town, and I was forced to attend a new school. Since then, it’s been an ongoing battle to appear “normal” in a world full of, what feels like up until recently, much less anxious people.
Over the years, my anxiety has shown up in many ways: through disordered eating and body image issues, in social situations, exercise addiction, extreme claustrophobia, panic and anxiety attacks, and even self-harm. It’s been an underlying part of who I am, ruling my every thought and action, making me wonder what life would be like without it.
Although experiencing occasional anxiety is normal in stressful situations like moving, switching jobs, public speaking, or — yes — during a seemingly never-ending pandemic, anxiety becomes an indicator of an underlying disorder when feelings become excessive, all-consuming, and interfere with daily living.
As someone who has been dealing with near chronic anxiety for decades, I’ve had a lot of practice to figure out what helps and what doesn’t. I’ve outlined the strategies that have helped me most (many of them science-backed) in this article for Medium, which is more personal than I normally write.
It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all anti-anxiety plan. Some of these strategies, like music festivals, may not work for you at all. Others may help you let go of some of your anxieties and feel like they no longer control you the same as they did before. Try and maintain an open mind and be patient with yourself as you try different methods and find what works best for you.
You can read the full article on Medium here.
What I’m reading (book) —
The Tools: 5 Tools to Help You Find Courage, Creativity, and Willpower—and Inspire You to Live Life in Forward Motion by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels
Although parts of this book are written a little too self-help-y for my taste (it was featured on Oprah and Dr. Oz, after all), the authors are psychotherapists and much of it is scientifically sound. The ‘tools,’ things like learning to accept your whole self and be authentic in the world and lead with gratitude and love, aren’t anything new, but the approach is fairly unique. I’ll definitely be coming back to this one.
What I’m reading (article) —
How to Succeed at Failure by Arthur C. Brooks / The Atlantic
“Rather than protecting you from future disappointment, a cycle of rumination after failure can set you up for more failure, or at least missed opportunities to succeed.”
The trick to overcoming failures? Find meaning in them. And keep going.
A quote that inspires me —
“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” — Seneca
What I’m training —
Here’s a fun full-body tire workout I posted on Instagram this week.
Three new workouts —
Kettlebell Cardio HIIT Workout (12 minute, kettlebell)
Sprinter Bodyweight Workout (Time challenge, equipment-free)
Full Body Bar Workout (Time challenge, dip bar, pull-up bar)
You can get these and all future workouts right in the 12 Minute Athlete app when you subscribe as a Super Athlete.
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