When most people are asked about their social pressures and how to remove anxiety from their lives, they’ll point to external factors they believe are out of their control. The fact is, the amount of anxiety we create or remove from our life is completely up to us. It comes down to mindset. We are either the creators of more anxiety or the buffers through which we weaken its grip.

Here are some basic and practical examples to remove anxiety from you life:

1. Bring yourself into Present Moment Awareness

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The first step in removing anxiety in your life is the realization that life only ever occurs in the present moment. We are too often caught up with our monkey mind of thought that we forget what is happening now. What is happening now is all we ever have control over.

When we find ourselves stresses over a future event that hasn’t happened yet or dwelling on a fear from the past, we cripple ourselves in the present. This causes us anxiety.

The key through this very important first step is to catch yourself in all the moments where you are feeling anxious. How often in the present moment do you actually deserve to be anxious?

Our minds are wired for a bi-gone human era. We used to depend on fight or flight responses for survival. However, today the stress we generate comes from meetings, tests, speeches, etc. We generate our own fears and anxious moments.

To begin stepping out of this trap, we must see life for how it always is lived – ever presently.

2. Remove Anxiety through Learning how to Breathe

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You read that right. Learning how to actually breathe is a thing.

After we understand how the benefits of becoming present aid us in life, we can begin to work on enhancing that presence. We do this through breath work.

There are many great resources that teach breathing exercises to aid in the reduction of anxiety. Too many people fail to realize they breath wrong. Yes, breath work in meditation helps as well. Yet, there are so many people that don’t realize we should be breathing from our abdomens, not our chests.

Diaphragmatic breathing can lower your stress levels, reduce your blood pressure, and regulate other important bodily processes.

Here are the simple steps to bring “belly breathing” into your life:

Here’s the basic procedure for diaphragmatic breathing:

  • Sit in a comfortable position or lie flat in comfortable position.
  • Relax your shoulders.
  • Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
  • Inhale through your nostrils for about two seconds. You should experience the air moving through your nostrils into your abdomen, making your stomach expand. During this type of breathing, make sure your stomach is moving outward while your chest remains relatively still or as flat as possible.
  • Curl your lips (as if you’re about to drink through a straw), while pressing gently on your stomach, then exhale slowly for about two more seconds.
  • Repeat these steps several times for best results or until you get used to the feeling.

3. Identify “The Gap” between You and what You cannot Control

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Reducing anxiety in your life becomes so much easier when you realize you only control you. This means your power of choice becomes your savior.

Even through most people will admit they have less control over their lives than they’d like to admit, they still try and control others as well as situations out of their control. We are relentlessly caught in our own rat race. Seeing the forest through the trees means seeing we only are playing the game of life against ourselves.

“The Gap” so to speak, is everything else. It’s other peoples choices, lives, careers, journeys, stresses, positives, negatives, and all else that comes along with life.

You have control over only one thing — YOU. When you can see this paradigm the world becomes less stressful. It isn’t about not caring or not trying anymore. Rather it is about only applying pressure to the situations that you directly impact.

This is one great epiphany that is worth the ticket of admission to reducing anxiety. Learn to let go of what you can’t control and only live through what you can.

4. Stop Playing the Comparison Game

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Once we realize we only really have to worry about our choices in life, we can begin to look at others around us. Or better yet, stop looking at others around us.

Yes we are going to socialize and enjoy life in good company. But we do not have to get caught up in the game of comparisons. Keeping up the the Jone’s is a trap. It’s a trap that causes us more stress and anxiety than we need.

Society has programmed us to admire everyone other than ourselves. We compare ourselves incessantly to others. What type of car, house, education, careers, spouses, kids, etc. do they have? This isn’t healthy for us or our own life missions.

Everyone is working through their own journeys. Some are asleep at the wheel, and others are wide awake and aware. Find what makes you happy in life and bring more of that thing into your existence. Stop searching for all the things your friends or coworkers have.

We need some things for safety, health, and overall contentment, but most things we chase after only generate more anxiety. By reducing our demands for all the things our neighbors and friends have, we also remove anxiety from our lives.

5. To Remove Anxiety Become the Spectator

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The fifth and final key to removing anxiety in your life is to realize that in the purest form of reality – you are the watcher or spectator of your life.

Yes, I know it’s metaphysical sounding, but it is the truth in my humble opinion. At our core, we are not our thoughts, worries, anxieties, egos, or even our minds.

We exist as a conscious energy awareness that sits behind the veil of physical life. We are a part of it, but we are not it. Life occurs on the physical plan of existence. When we come the watcher or spectator of our lives we can better view and respond to our emotions.

We can begin to see the fear, stress, and anxiety for what they really are mostly — fragments of our past that come around to haunt us in our present moments.

We can remove anxiety from our lives almost completely and live a happier, healthier, more purpose filled and enjoyable life. Once we see anxiety for mostly for what it truly is, we can begin to live a life full of more health benefits and many other life changing elements.

How has anxiety crippled you in your life? Are you ready to rid yourself of this self-perpetuated and damaging emotion? What best practices have you employed to help move remove anxiety from your life? I would love to hear from you — please feel free to leave a comment and join in the conversation.