2 Simple Steps I Use to Reduce Anxiety
Soon it will begin.
Your leg is starting to shake nervously. Your hands are starting to sweat and
maybe your mouth feels a bit dry.
Your thoughts are becoming jumbled, it’s hard to focus.
Maybe you have an important test in school. An appointment with your doctor or
dentist. A date that you are looking forward to but at the same time you are
scared to make a fool of yourself on.
Whatever it may be it is making you anxious.
So today I’d like to share a couple of tips that have helped me to reduce low
or medium level anxiety.
Sit down, in a quiet place if possible. Breathe a little deeper than usual and do it
with your belly and not with your chest. For just a minute or two focus on only the
air going in and out of your nostrils. Nothing else.
This will calm your mind and body down. And it will bring your attention back to
the present moment instead of it being lost in scary, future scenarios or bad
memories from the past.
Change your focus to what you can do right now.
When you ask yourself questions that make you feel powerless or like things will
only get worse and worse then you take away your personal power.
Empower yourself by instead asking yourself:
What is one small thing I can do to improve upon this situation today?
Write that question down and brainstorm answers for a few minutes. Then take
action on one of the answers you find. It doesn’t have to be a big action, just one
small step forward. And when you are done with it then take another one.
Have a wonderful Sunday and week ahead!
Updated on 2 May 2018
1 Read lots
Even without physically writing, you can improve your writing skills. By reading as much as you can, you’ll develop your vocabulary and understanding of how English is used. We don’t mean that you should be studying syntax and sentence clauses—simply read for pleasure and you’ll pick things up subconsciously! You could start with the English version of your favorite book, or work your way through these classic novels. And by the way, if you need extra encouragement, Joseph Conrad, the author of Heart of Darkness, didn’t speak English until in his twenties and went on to become one of the most celebrated English novelists of all time!
2 Write how you speak
This doesn’t always apply, but generally you can improve the fluency and readability of your writing by simply writing how you speak. That doesn’t mean writing lots of slang words and uh, eh, and er. But think about how people use simple English when they speak and how natural it sounds, and aim to give your writing the same easy flow.
3 Learn new words
It goes without saying that to write with more confidence and fluency, you need to expand your vocabulary. If you haven’t done so already, start a personal dictionary. Any words that you come across that you don’t know, write down and translate, then test yourself on how many of them you can remember, and start using them in your writing and conversations.
4 Make writing a daily habit
As the saying goes: practice makes perfect. So the only way to improve your writing over time is to keep doing it. Even just 5 or 10 minutes a day, if done every day, will really help you improve your written English. You could keep a diary in English, or write a blog about your experiences learning English and living in a new country, or even start writing your social media posts in English.
5 Form follows function
There are lots of different types of written English—diaries, essays, CVs or résumés, poems, short stories, tweets, and so on. It’s important to consider what type of writing you are doing and its purpose (its function). Also, think about who will be reading it and what you want them to do. When you know the function, you can adapt the style.
6 Check for mistakes
The last thing you do when you write something is carefully read it to make sure it makes sense and you haven’t made any mistakes. Always, always proofread your work.