Read about how I deal with fear and anxiety. And learn 22 ways you can overcome fear and anxiety and how to stop procrastinating once and for all.
If you are trying to follow the dream God placed in you, procrastination is one of your biggest enemies. If you search for the main reason you are procrastinating, you may realize that it’s caused by fear, anxiety or both.
Basically, fear is an emotion and anxiety is the reaction to the fear. If you are looking for a fancier definition, check out this article so you can get a better understanding here.
Please use the article as a source to gain knowledge instead of a diagnosis. You can pray about it, ask your pastor or role model, or seek a professional opinion for guidance. Always, ALWAYS get a valid opinion.
Personally, fear and anxiety continue to be the root of my procrastination. Mental health is a wide spectrum and varies from person to person. If you are aware of your anxiety, you may experience:
- panic attacks
- chest pains
- compulsive movements
When I first starting writing, I would get chest pains. Instead of passing time, I allowed myself to make practical changes that made stepping out on faith easier. I’ve learned to deal with most reactions when my nerves hit me.
And because I believe in God’s promise to make me a whole person, I do what I can to combat fear and anxiety and let Him do what I can’t.
Regardless of how your body responds to fear and anxiety, here are some practical things you can do right now because it has worked for me:
1. Pray for mental growth, mentors, and wisdom
There’s no secret that prayer is powerful. Whenever I get overwhelmed, I immediately pray. I pray whenever I want to just speak to God. If I need something, I always include that I would prefer His will. Recently, I have been asking God for mental growth. Our thoughts predict our belief system and what action we will take. If I want the things of God, it starts with my mindset.
2. Journal to help you understand your thoughts and emotions
I don’t know what it is, but I don’t always understand how I feel. For about a year, I would wake up at 4 am or 5 am to journal and read my Bible before work. Journaling has helped reflect and take the time to get to know me and to get to know God.
3. Sneak in exercise at work, school or at home
When I feel anxious, I need to find a healthy way to get rid of the nervous energy. I compete in pageants so before I go on stage I do jumping-jacks or push-ups. In normal situations, go on a walk or run. I actually wrote this post as I was walking.
4. Trick yourself to eating better by drinking your vitamins, fruits, and vegetables
If you fill yourself up with unhealthy things, your body doesn’t function as well as it should. I notice when I eat more junk food, I feel lazier. It makes it easier for me to procrastinate because I sometimes feel tired and sluggish. I suggest making lifestyle choices. I drink my vitamins, probiotics, fruits, and vegetables. Not only am I able to make more rational choices but eating healthier elevates my mood. Better mood = better chance that I will get work done.
5. Take a break from booze and caffeine
Alcohol is a depressant. And whatever you feel or struggle with, it can be heightened. So if you’re depressed, your depression is a little more severe. If I can be transparent with you, I’m not going to act like I’ve been super saved my entire life. If I drank to feel better, it always made me feel worse. I wouldn’t recommend it if your motives are wrong.
Caffeine is another thing that I limit. It intensified my menstrual cramps and chest pains. Limiting caffeine wasn’t easy. A lot of people drink coffee. Every time I stopped drinking coffee, I would get migraines for days. Every other week I was giving up on coffee. But what helped me give it up, was replacing it with different drinks that had less caffeine. I now drink matcha green tea lattes, hot chocolate, and non-caffeinated herbal teas.
6. Surround yourself with beautiful things
This will put you in a better calmer mood. Colors and shapes affect our mood and we don’t always realize it. I’ve done my research on different moods and I’ve decorated my apartment with things that make me feel relaxed and calm.
7. Pay attention to your hormones and mood swings
As I got older, I tend to feel overwhelmed with confusion and a busy mind. I used to think everything was a spiritual attack, and I would freak out even more. I have this app on my phone that lets me track my cycle. Did you know that food and exercise regulate hormones? In addition to checking my app, I consider what I have been eating too. I write everything in that app.
8. Create office hours and give yourself time to rest
I have a very type-A personality and I’m a recovering perfectionist. Sometimes, I feel this need to complete what I start. For example, when I first started blogging, I NEEDED to learn everything there was before I could start. I didn’t give myself time to relax or rest. We all know that getting an ample amount of sleep has so many benefits. Now that I understand how sleep affects my thought process, I stop myself from working. I literally schedule free time so I can pay attention to my own needs.
9. Give yourself a pep talk with Scriptures
Personally, I find Scripture to be way more powerful than positive affirmations. It’s God’s written word and speaking that over your life will wash your mind and redirect your focused. I was in deep thought about something that scared me and I started feeling paranoid. But I found comfort in saying:
Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4).
10. Clean and declutter everything and everyone that is attached to you.
Self-care and keeping your home clean will give you peace. Your peace of mind needs to be a priority. Is there anything you are doing that stresses you out? It could be distracting you from your goals. It’s easy to feed into distractions when you want to procrastinate. When I was in college, you could tell I was overwhelmed if my room was dirty. But the moment I cleaned my room, I would always feel relief.
11. Do something nice for someone else
The best way to deal with fear and anxiety is by not giving into it. At times, it can be hard. We can easily get sucked into survival mode and get fixated on our own problems. If you turn your focus on someone else, you’ll discover so much joy.
12. Learn from your mistakes
Become aware of every trigger that overwhelms you and remove what you can from your life. Find the strength to learn from your mistakes. For example, it’s easy to procrastinate if I’m not working at a desk or table. I normally go from the table in my apartment to the couch. And every time I do that, I stop working. It took me a while but I removed the temptation by working at coffee shops and libraries.
13. Take a break from social media if you start to feel envious
As a blogger, I sometimes feel like an imposture. The moment I get insecure, I start comparing myself to others. This is another reason why you might want procrastinate. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break from social media. Sometimes, taking a break is needed.
14. Celebrate every tiny goal that’s related to your bigger goal.
By celebrating every tiny goal, it fuels your desire to achieve another one. I can’t tell you how you should plan your goals because it varies for everyone. I personally don’t want to plan 5 years or 10-year goals. I like focusing on this year and what I can do every month.
For example, I want to be a better writer. This year, my goal is to write every day. My goal is simple enough so that I don’t stress myself out. It works for me and I encourage you to find out what works for you.
15. Use planners, calendars or apps to stay organized and build time management skills.
When I was in college, my planner was everything I needed. I’ve always loved planners. It wasn’t until I started working a full-time job that I realized, I didn’t have down-time to figure out my schedule. To stay organized, I make to-do lists. Sometimes I use a big calendar or larger planners to write down the tasks I need to complete.
16. Manage your money
Money is a major reason you might start procrastinating. I used to stay longer at my job so I would have a legit excuse why I didn’t have enough time to work on my goals. The fear did more harm than good and affected everything else I had to do until I learned how to manage my income.
17. Reward yourself by not taking everything too seriously
This ties into celebrating your victories and giving yourself office hours. Keep in mind that you can reward yourself but be careful if your reward distracts you too much. But if you take everything way too seriously, give yourself a break.
18. Competing in a sport to learn how to deal with failure/disappointment
Procrastination caused by fear and anxiety will prevent you from doing something because you can get it wrong. One thing I love about competing in pageants is that it teaches me how to deal with failure. It shows me that the fear was dramatized in my head. Repeating the thing that scares you, teaches your brain to react differently.
19. Find your support system and don’t be ashamed if it’s online
Because writing caused anxiety, I searched for support. I’m not in an area that has a lot of writers but I didn’t let that stop me. I found a lot of support online in my niche. A support system will not only help you improve your skills but it will hold you accountable.
20. Focus on doing what you love every single day
I made a list that changed my life. I made a list with 2 columns. On the left, I listed things that were life-sucking. On the right, I listed things that were life-giving. I defined life-sucking as anything I didn’t like or caused me stress. I defined life-giving as anything that was fun, exciting and gave me joy.
If something was life-sucking but necessary, I thought of ways to manage. For example, I get overwhelmed when I have to cook. Eating is sort of necessary. Now that I meal prep, I spend less time freaking out that I had to cook different types of meals. Planning ahead gives me time to do what I love.
21. Listen to things that are upbeat and edifying
Music is powerful. I was told music was created in heaven. Not sure if that’s true but I know music works wanders for your mood. Try listening to music that is upbeat and keeps you focused.
22. Seek useful help from therapists
You may need a professional to talk to. If you have had a therapist in the past that wasn’t helpful, that’s okay. Getting a therapist is nothing to be ashamed of. There are people out there that are super passionate about helping you and know a lot more than I do. Try this:
You can get the help you need today.
I hope you found this post useful. I used to make a lot of excused because deep down I was scared. If you can relate to my story or just like post like these, signup to the newsletter for encouragement and more helpful tips.