How to stop being anxious: a set of contradictions

  1. Be mindful. Focus on the present. Ask yourself if this problem will matter in 5 years’ time. Think back over your day and write down 5 good things that happened. Remind yourself you’ve been here before and you got through it. Tell yourself this will pass. Do all of this while staying present.

  2. Sit with your feelings. Don’t run away from them. Write them down. Feel them. Distract yourself. Don’t navel-gaze. Take your mind off the thing that’s worrying you. Meditate on the thing that’s worrying you and allow the thoughts and feelings to wash over you.

  3. Let yourself rest. Run! Burn off that anxious energy with exercise. Go for long walks. Lie down and read.

  4. Sleep as much as you need to. Don’t nap during the daytime or you won’t sleep at night. Go to bed at the same time every night. Here are some stressful thoughts about sleep: Too much sleep is bad for you; A lack of sleep is bad for you. But don't get stressed about sleep: Stress affects your sleep.

  5. Trust your gut. Follow your instincts. Also, feel the fear and do it anyway.

  6. Greet your feelings like guests. “Welcome and entertain them all”, like Rumi said. But remember that feelings are just feelings and thoughts are just thoughts: they don’t control you. Honour all of your emotions equally. Choose happiness.

  7. Accept the things you cannot control. Be the change you want to see in the world. Shoot for the moon, you’ll never know what you’re capable of until you try. Respect your limitations.

  8. Don’t compare yourself to others: everyone’s path is different. You do you. Also, I fixed my anxiety and you can, too. Just do exactly this.

  9. Take time for yourself. Embrace solitude. Resist the urge to withdraw. Do something for someone else. Put yourself first. Spend time with others. Spend time alone in nature.

  10. Ignore your anxious voice. Befriend your anxious voice, it’s not the enemy, it’s trying to help you out. It’s making a pig’s ear of it though, so don’t let it run the show. Anxiety is just an overprotective friend. But you are not your anxiety - of course not! No one wants to be that guy. But listen to it and talk back to it. Kindly.

Above all, don’t overthink it. You'll make yourself anxious.