We live in a day and age where we are over-flooded with information. There is so much unnecessary, meaningless and simply dumb content out there. It becomes increasingly difficult to filter through all this clutter. Then, add the fact that we are addicted to our phones. I can literally do everything with the touch of a button on my phone. After talking to some of my friends and other entrepreneurs I became aware that I am not the only one suffering from anxiety. It’s actually very common. Anxiety is different for everyone but for me, my mind was constantly racing or went off the deep end by creating worst-case scenarios that are highly unlikely to happen. It is literally a downward spiral of worry followed by insomnia. Luckily I’ve never faced depression but anxiety could lead to that. I have learned my triggers and I found ways to prevent anxiety before it even arises:
- Turn off Alerts on your phone and desktop: Having your thought process constantly interrupted, checking your email and social media after every alert adds to the unnecessary clutter. Studies showed that people spend on average two hours per day on social media, which is beating the time we spend on eating food, some teens spend up to 9 hours daily (Social Media Daily)! Crazy right? One of the reasons behind it is that a social media like creates dopamine in your brain, a chemical associated with pleasure (Business Insider). To prevent wasting precious time on emails and social media, it is way more efficient to set two times throughout the day to check your emails and answer them in bulk instead or going into your inbox everytime you get an alert. Same goes for social media. If it is part of your marketing strategy, schedule your posts through automation (e.g. Hootsuite) and spend 30-45 mins/day interacting with your audience during your peak time which can be determined by paying attention to your analytics.
- Don’t answer your phone after certain hours: As a publicist, I try to be available as much as possible for my clients. I used to answer questions at all times and they got used to it. Those late night phone calls and texts never were real emergencies and could have waited until the next day. Since then I made it a rule that after 9pm I won’t respond to anything business related unless we have an event, travel, or major interview lined up for the following day. I often don’t answer my friends after hours either. This really helped me gain more peace, increase my rest, give my brain time to wind down as well as enjoy the time with loved ones and friends much more.
- Meditation: This element was crucial to my new lifestyle and added so much peace to my life. It doesn’t only help me calm down and escape from my hectic life, but also helps me think clearer and focus on the important things in life. I use the Inscape App which offers guided meditations for different life moments such as more vitality, reducing stress, better sleep at night, increased focus etc. They also have a physical location in NYC so everytime I’m in NYC I try to attend at least one class. Totally worth it especially after a hectic event such as New York Fashion Week. I often meditate and take deep breaths throughout the day when things are starting to pile up.
- Switch your phone to airplane mode at night: Not only does this reduce radiation your phone exudes it also brings more tranquility to your life when you don’t see all the popups on your phone when you wake up. Another rule I implemented is to not check my phone the first 30-45 mins after I wake up. This helped me to fully enjoy my breakfast, morning cuddles with my boo and be more present overall. Because I know once I turn on my phone it’s over and it will be hard to get some time to myself.
- Be grateful: I wake up every day finding at least 3 new things I am grateful for in my life. Waking up with a grateful mindset sounds simple but it has improved my overall happiness so much and it also significantly reduced the times I compare my life with others, which had often lead to stress and unnecessary pressure I placed myself.
I hope this helped you out a bit. Take time to be present, smell the roses when you take a walk and don’t look at your phone when you’re out for dinner. Who knows maybe you’ll take my tips to heart. If so, please email me about it firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would love to hear if any of you suffer from anxiety and what you do to overcome it.