How to Overcome Anxiety
At the core of anxiety is uncertainty about the future - you just don't know what's going to happen and that freaks you out. A lot of people deal with anxiety by running away or thinking that by waiting it out, the situation will go away - but that's just not the case. The way you get to do what you want in life, or have the body you want or the lifestyle you want is by breaking through a lot of difficult situations. So today, we're going to talk about the different kinds of anxiety our community mentions the most and give you a few things you can do to overcome your anxiety.
These Are the Top 3 Anxieties Our Community Deals With
1. Social Anxiety
Social anxiety basically just means having a fear of interacting with people you don’t know or feeling uncomfortable in a social setting. This type of anxiety is driven by worrying about what other people may think of you and how they will judge your decisions. At the very base of anxiety is this idea that humans have an intrinsic desire for validation. We all want to have other people's approval and for people to like us.
Many people experience social anxiety in a variety of situations from work parties to fitness classes or giving a presentation at a business conference. Whether you want to quit your job in order to do the things you are really passionate about or have a fear of being judged in the gym, experiencing social anxiety can be really nerve wracking.
Talking to you now, we (the Jump Rope Dudes) have very high self-esteem. This was definitely not always the case though. We really didn’t develop our sense of self until we got to college or even a little later. Like a lot of you out there, we spent a long period of time trying to get people to like us by default.
2. Food Anxiety
A lot of people have anxiety when it comes to food. You overeat one night and feel like crap because you got off your nutrition plan. Then you think that since you cheated on nutrition, that means the rest of the week is also going to be a failure. This leads to a downward spiral of feeling bad about yourself and getting stuck in the mentality that you're not good enough to reach your goals. Food anxiety can also lead to more severe conditions including eating disorders so it’s important to pay attention to how you’re feeling about food. In the next section, we’ll give you some tips on how to deal with food anxiety.
3. Anxiety About Working Out
Anxieties keep people from releasing into the world what the world needs from them. There are tons of people who have a passion and do awesome things, but don't put it out into the world because they fear how they will be received. We know a lot of you have anxiety when it comes to getting in shape or getting the body you want. Walking into a gym and feeling overwhelmed by the number of machines is totally understandable. We also get that heading out to your local park to jump rope can be intimidating if you have anxiety about having people watch as you workout.
There's this fear of looking stupid, not knowing how to do the right form and just feeling out of place among other people who work out on a consistent basis. We get it, that's why we've made it our goal to support you on your fitness journey. With our free 4-week challenge, you can get into jumping rope, stay focused and have all the support you need - even if you're just a beginner. In terms of dealing with anxiety in general, we’ve got some great tips below to help you overcome your fears.
6 Strategies To Help You Overcome Anxiety
While anxiety isn't something that you can ever totally get rid of, we want to show you how to not let your anxiety prevent you from having what you want in life. Whether you only feel anxiety in one of the above situations or in every single one, you can use the strategies below to overcome this stress and fear.
1. Don’t Be Afraid of Food
If you deal with a lot of food anxiety, the best thing to do is start viewing food as a friend not an enemy. By being afraid of eating the wrong foods or too much of it, you give food the power to make you feel bad about yourself. Instead, empower yourself and start viewing food as an essential tool to help you achieve your goals. When you think of food as fuel instead of as an obstacle, you make it seem less scary and can lessen your anxiety.
Another thing we do is plan cheat-days so we can enjoy the foods we love without feeling guilty. At the same time, we dial in our nutrition for the next days so we don’t get off track from our fitness goals. So, we'll binge one night and then the next day we'll get right back to intermittent fasting and get our workouts in. Sometimes we eat a lot of food. We just balance it out by eating in a calorie deficit and calorie maintenance the rest of the week. If you’re just learning about nutrition, a calorie deficit is just where you eat fewer calories than you are expending. You can use our Nutrition Calculator to figure out exactly how many calories you should be eating every day so you can plan your cheat days accordingly.
Fasting is another great way to deal with food anxiety because it teaches you to be disciplined when it comes to your nutrition. You get to eat a ton of awesome food, but you also increase your self-discipline the next day by not consuming anything. At the same time, you get the benefits of letting your body chill out and not have all that food to process and digest so you burn stored fat. Remember that it's ok to have cheat days and to enjoy the foods you love, just make sure to have a balance.
2. Change Your Perception
A lot of our confidence is based on how we perceive other people think about us. Think about when you're in a room of people who look up to you, you feel great and may say things or speak in a way that you normally wouldn't. On the other hand, when you're in a room full of people you think are a big deal, you may feel out of your league and start getting shy or feeling uncomfortable.
Knowing that it's your perception of how other people are thinking about you, puts you in control of who you want to be. You are the one who decides if you want people to perceive you as confident and capable. You take on that mindset and then you can take on that role.
3. Get Comfortable with Feeling Uncomfortable
When you feel like a deer in headlights, take it head on. The more you take the most terrifying thing to you and challenge it, the easier it is to conquer your anxiety. If you feel weird or uncomfortable - DO IT. Whenever we're in a weird situation where we feel a little freaked out, we force ourselves to do whatever is making us afraid or worried. Once you know that taking on your fears is the easiest way to beat anxiety, it's still a matter of practicing it.
We're all functioning off different base lines so there are people out there who have less anxiety and some who have more. Don't compare yourself to others, just let it be ok to feel uncomfortable and you're going to continue to evolve. It's all about your own personal journey.
4. Consistently Practice Taking on Your Fears
The first time that you approach something that you feel debilitating anxiety towards, it's going to be terrifying. But the next time you do it, it'll be a little less terrifying - each time you challenge your fears head on, the easier it will get. If you don't do it, it will be even more terrifying. You've got to go into it and feel what it's like to be anxious and afraid. Experience all of it, but turn that experience into an empowering moment instead of one that makes you feel bad.
5. Mock Your Anxiety
Ego is a double-edged sword - it can make you feel really great about yourself, but it can also make you doubt tough decisions that you've made. When you feel really down and start to be really mean to yourself, take a second and just remember that you're awesome! Don't let that voice inside your head make you doubt your dreams or what you want in life. Start to think of anxiety and uncomfortable situations as just experiences and even have a laugh at them. When something freaks you out, if you can turn it into a funny or lighthearted moment, it’ll make it less intimidating to face head on.
6. Create An Identity
Create certainty in your life by creating an identity that you want to step into. If you're certain of who you want to be, you can weed out all the other things that make you feel anxious that you really don't want in your life. Make a Google Doc with what you want your identity to be. Read it every day and try to think of these identity characteristics when you're in an uncomfortable situation. By constantly reaffirming who you are and what your identity is, you'll start to consciously make decisions that further help you evolve into the person you want to be.
Do The Thing
These are the rules we've learned along the way that help us deal with anxiety. That doesn't mean we don't have anxiety - we do - it just means that we're better and controlling how we react to that anxiety and use it to our benefit. There needs to be a whole mindset shift, because there's not one specific tool that will fix it. Go into your anxieties; break through them to get what you want out of life. Anxiety spills over into your body, relationships and general sense of fulfillment so don't avoid it. Dive into it! Take your anxieties head on, get used to feeling uncomfortable and you'll start to achieve the things you want in life.