6 Tips For Overcoming Anxiety

The key to not allowing our worry drag us down is to stay focused on now. Focus on the moment you are currently living. Our mind loves to loop our troubles over and over again in our head. Which makes staying focused that much harder.

Living in a big city like New York can be stressful at times, and these are ways in which I was able to overcome anxiety.

 

Tip 1:  Go for a long walk

In New York during the day, I would take excursions through Central Park. I would climb rocks and walk down paths that were not familiar to me. This heightened my senses and made me more alert. Mainly because there are perverts all over New York and they don’t just come out at night. They will creep up on you in broad daylight. So I had to be mindful and cautious. 

A safer place to walk, is along the West Side Highway. I’d hang out there and watch the sun set below New Jersey, then walk back to my studio. 

 
 35mm Canon A-1 , 50mm f/1.2 lens.
 

 

Tip 2: Volunteer

If you really want to kick anxiety, volunteer at a children’s hospital. Things sort of fall into perspective when that cute but sick kid who would always wave hello as he walked by while holding his IV bag, all of a sudden doesn’t come around anymore, and it’s not because he got better. 

Also, you simply can not bring your baggage into an environment like that. Kids are particularly perceptive and pick up on things. So you let your troubles go and allow the kids to dump glitter in your hair, you drop paint on your clothes, have Justin Bieber dance parties, sip on a Capri Sun, bite off the head of an animal cracker, and pretend to have a casual conversation over the phone with Mickey Mouse. 

 
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Tip 3: Meditation

I have a tough time sitting in one spot and trying to force myself to not think about anything. I’m still working on this, but it has been helpful in times. 

Dr. Wayne Dyer has some great audio books that you may find helpful. Also check out transcendental mediation. It is great for relaxation and it helps reduce stress. 

Tip 4: Dance

You can spend some money and take a dance class, go to a club, or simply put on your favorite music at home and rock out. I dance when I am stressed, I dance when I am happy, I dance all the time. Which reminds me…. I need to put new strings on my air guitar. Also, my cat goes bonkers whenever my energy is high.  She runs all over the house playing with her toys. 

In New York, there is a man who is always dancing on the 1,2, and 3 train platform at the 42nd Street/Time Square stop. He does not seem the slightest bit stressed out. Always has his headphones on (I would not be surprised if there wasn’t any music playing), a smile on his face, and totally oblivious to the few people who stop and stare or giggle at him. He is harmless and so most people simply walk by. 

 
 

Tip 5: Take A Day Trip

Travel somewhere you have never been before. I took the Bolt Bus to Philadelphia. It was about a 2 hour ride from New York City. I spent the entire day exploring Philly. I visited some historical locations, ate a Philly cheese steak at a place called Geno’s (I still think they make better cheese steaks in San Francisco), walked thru the free museums, and then caught the Bolt Bus back to NYC. The next day I quit my lousy dead end job at the Apple Store. 

I have never felt such a great release of anxiety as it did that day. 

 
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Tip 6: Teach Yourself Something New

Naturally I have always been good at drawing and sketching things with a pencil or charcoal,  but I suck at painting. I think this because I am terrible at mixing the colors and I have not so steady hands. 

So I have been teaching myself how to paint. It is extremely difficult and time consuming, but the payoff is always worth it.

 
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