4 Simple Strategies to Help You Talk Yourself Into Anything
Having Anxiety is tough. Some days it would be so easy to stay in bed and sleep or lose yourself in reruns on the Retro channel. I know, because I am guilty of this myself. I talk myself into staying home, even just for a couple hours and ignoring my job, or letting the entire day drift away as I avoid everything outside of my room. It can be debilitating.
I have been working on the strategies I am going to share with you, in hopes that it can help anyone with anxiety get out the door and live their life. I am hoping you can take these tools with you for situations that you KNOW are out of your comfort zone. My approach has become my own private mantra and it has actually helped me to stop taking anxiety medication.
We all have those tasks and projects that we need to finish, even when we don’t feel like it or don’t want to. It used to be common practice for me to avoid all of these things because I knew I was mentally incapable of pushing through to completion. Maybe it’s a report that’s due. Perhaps it’s a visit from your mother in law, who makes you crazy. Maybe it’s jumping out of an airplane? I don’t know, but these easy steps can HELP you to just do it.
- Don’t think about it- Just like the Nike ads. JUST DO IT. Sometimes, when you stand on the edge of a cliff, before diving into the waters below, overthinking keeps you from jumping. You wonder how cold the water is, how deep it is, or if you’re going to die. You have two choices, turn around and don’t jump, or suck it up and JUST DO IT. Just jump. Trust yourself and know that if you accomplish this one task, you can do anything.
I use this practice with workouts often. I will roll out of bed and make my coffee and ponder how my workout will be. I look at it and decide if I have time. Typically by the time I have reviewed it, had my coffee and scrolled through Facebook, I am out of time. So, I have changed how I look at it now.
Now, I get up, put my workout clothes on, make my coffee and head to my home gym in the basement. I don’t overthink or ponder it. I block everything else out and I JUST DO IT. Then it’s done.
2. Set a Time Allotment- This is a MUST. This is how I manage everything I don’t want to do. We have these horribly long, dramatic, boring, painful meetings at work once a month and they are mandatory for attendance. I used to dread going for a week before the meeting was even scheduled, knowing that it was approaching. I have actually taken sick days just to avoid them in the past. Now I look at them through a different lens. I know they only last maximum 3 hours. I make every attempt to keep them out of my mind the week prior and when the day comes, my mantra is now “It’s only 3 hours out of your day. 3 hours is short. It’s like watching movies on an airplane. You just buckle down, and after you do your 3 hours, it’s all done.
I do this with every situation I am not into being in now. “My mother in law is only here for supper. Just one supper, then it’s all over. You can do this”. Or, for reports that I have to submit before a deadline; “It will take you one hour out of your day, and it’s gone and done forever. Just get it done, you can do it”. You would be amazed at how effective this practice is. Just give it a try.
3. Don’t Ask Why. Ask Yourself HOW? It is so easy to wonder the “why’s” of things we take on. “Why do I have to write that report?” “Why do I want to jump off a cliff?” “Why is my mother in law coming?”
Change the same questions to HOW. How will I write this report? “How do I jump off a cliff?” It gives you the motivation to find ways to complete your tasks. Instead of wondering why? you tell yourself HOW it will be done. The next step is to follow through with your own directions, and BOOM, it’s done.
4. Take a Deep Breath- I know this sounds so cliche and very “yogi” but it is highly effective. You decide to sit down and write the report. You decide to jump out of the plane. You prepare for your mother in law’s arrival. Take a moment and inhale a deep long breath, letting it out slow until your lungs are empty . Feel better?
It helps you to feel that you’re ready! You are mentally and physically charged and prepared to take on the world. If you’re not quite there yet, take another breath. Now try. It works!
Okay, practice time. Give yourself a scenario. And practice.
I will use “I have to go out to the office on a Sunday to pick up reports to work on Monday”.
- I get up, make a coffee in a to-go cup, throw a baseball hat over my messy hair and JUST DO IT.
- With light traffic, this task will take me about an hour from start to finish. That’s it. Just one hour out of my entire day, and it’s done. I can go home and relax the rest of the day.
- How will I manage this? I will just do it.
- Deep breath as I back my car out of the garage, and take deep breaths as I drive down the road.
I GOT THIS. And I am out of the house, I did what was required and I feel proud of myself for not just going back to bed, even if I wanted to. Maybe while I’m out, I’ll stop at my favorite store or go sit in my favorite park. I’m out anyway, I may as well enjoy my day.
Trust me. Have faith in yourself. These little steps WORK. All you have to do is take every little task, minute by minute, day by day, hour by hour, and you can do it.
As much as Anxiety and depression can suck, you have the power to move past the barriers that keep you locked inside your head.
JUST DO IT