How do you deal with anxiety?
I feel one of the taboos in our scene is mental health. One should be fine if just building stuff for fun, but most of us are trying to achieve some degree of profitability with our creations, either working full-time on them or while freelancing/9to5, which makes it even harder. Since breaking even is neither an easy nor a quick process, mental health can be affected in the long run. For me personally it's recently manifested itself for the first time in the form of anxiety. I feel this is not talked about enough. Have you experienced something like this? What are your stories and/or tips on staying healty, handling stress, social pressure and all that?
Meditation, deep breathing, magnesium/ashwagandha, positive self talk, good diet/hydration/etc, music, mindfulness, essential oils
Mind sharing any concrete examples of meditation routines, exercises, music...? I'm afraid I'm a total noob in this field
I like using the app Insight Timer but Headspace/Calm is a great start for beginners. Also just reading some general books about meditation can provide some instruction... learning about breath management and bodyscanning is great too. The breath is a huge factor in anxiety management.
Meditation - I use Calm, which is fantastic. Perhaps there’s a need for a meditation app for builders!
I also hire a trainer 3x a week or I do group classes.
Taking walks when feeling anxious helps.
And talking through it with a professional therapist or friends.
I think the thing that has helped me the most is a philosophy called Stoicism and a book called A Guide To The Good Life, and specially a tool in it called negative visualisation. Basically you just imagine the worst case scenario for every situation and accept it.
Also, meditation really helps.
I think anxiety will never completely go away, ever, because it is part of the human condition. My goal is to be fine living with my anxiety, knowing every aspect of it and gaining control over it, but with the knowledge that it will always be there.
Cutting through the bullshit:
- understand that you're not your thoughts
- eat healthy food, sleep well and exercise
- have safe harbours: money, relationships, communities, family
- meditate every now and then for a few minutes
- always plan everything so you don't get overwhelmed
- study philosophy, old books have the best advice
I think what made me the most anxious was the feeling of not being supported by a part of my family or despised by friends who don’t understand what I’m doing. I avoid as much as possible the people who project their anxieties on me.
- Mute toxic people
- Find caring people with whom you can advance (not necessarily shippers)
- Take time to take a break and get some fresh air
- Help others when you can do it
Muting/ignoring toxic people has been a game changer for me just to live better and happier, but also lowering stress levels. Great tip for everyone. Sometimes is hard, but cutting off toxic people really pays off. That "anxiety projection"... I 100% feel you bro. Thanks for sharing.
Although meditation, working-out (or taking drugs for that matter) are great ways to appease your inner monologue, they are only temporary solutions. I think it's worth learning how to "debug" yourself. By "debug", i mean observe your train of thoughts and try to understand what makes you scared or worried.
Imagining that you're listening and giving advice to a friend can help ask the right questions.
In my experience most anxiety comes from imaginary rules/limits that we force onto ourselves... if that's the case, you can ask: where is this rule or limit coming from? is this something truly helpful or something that has been decided for me by society? would your life be better without?
Also, obsessing over the past or the future is generally source of a lot a bad feelings. Young children don't know anxiety because they aren't thinking about either... Sometimes, making sure you're enjoying what you're doing right now and/or doing your best with the current parameters can help staying on the "path of least regrets"...
Although we all seek to avoid them, "bad" times are a necessary anchor point to appreciate "good" times. But with the tools above, you should be change your perception and feel better :)
Hope that helps.
Do the basic healthy stuff: drink water, exercise every day (not a walk, get your heart rate high), lift heavy weights, don't eat loads of sugar. I struggle with this everyday, but have noticed a huge difference in my stress levels lately as I've made huge strides in this area.
^ If you're not doing that, I believe a lot of the "advanced" stuff like meditation is a band aide to a biological problem.
My #1 past the basics is thankfulness. An attitude of deep gratefulness for the gifts of life, the people around us, and the freedom of the Western world always puts my problems in perspective. Life is as good as it is difficult.