Anxiety & Emotional Grit + 8 Tips in Five Towns, NY.
Is there a connection between your anxiety and your levels of emotional grit?
Yes there is! But first, what is grit? Grit has been defined as perseverance, relentless commitment and passion for long terms goals. We need grit to make relationships last, to show up for our families, to stick to our dreams and to pick up the pieces when things fall apart in our lives.
Grit, perseverance and emotional resilience are characteristics that promote change, growth and movement.
Grit pushes us to see beyond the challenges and obstacles, and drive us towards the path of transformation and realization, in all areas of life. The thing is, grit has primarily been researched in its role of predicting success; those in pursuit of academic achievements, business successes and an overall sense of meaning. However, there has been less research in the connection between mental health issues and grit.
What’s the connection between anxiety and grit?
In 2018, a study was done with university students in China regarding the correlation between mental health outcomes and grit. As well, a study administered to students in Philippines used path analysis to assess this topic further. Both studies proved there were lower levels of depression and anxiety in those who possessed grit.
Grit isn’t something you’re either born with or not.
It’s about focus, commitment and persistence. Just like there’s an inverse relationship between having a stratospheric IQ and being successful, cultivating grit is the same way. It’s not about inborn talent or strength, but about daily practice to strengthen grit on mind and body. Doing this you’ll more skillfully navigate worries, anxieties, insecurities and changes.
Cultivate Grit with 8 Steps
Let’s up your emotional stamina and reduce anxiety today !
1. Infuse Meaning
Want to feel more secure and confident? Live with a sense of meaning and integrity. Doubt and insecurity sink away when we feel comfortable in our choices; emotional, spiritual, financial and social. You may want to take some time to realign your values with who you are. When you infuse meaning and clarity in the things you invest time, money, energy and resources, you hum-drum of daily life feels more joyous.
2.Make an Impact
One of the best feelings? To know that you matter. As social creatures, we all need to feel like we matter, in a small way or big way. It’s important to find your calling, where you leave an imprint and make an impact. It can be at your job at work, in your parenting role, your passionate marriage, your relationship with God, volunteer position or being the best auntie to the little ones in the family. When we know we affect others it leaves us feeling energized, valued and motivated to better get through the negative voices when they pop up.
3. Pick Your Friends Wisely
Research proves that we are most impacted by the five people we spend most of our time with. Take a moment to check if those around you support you and your journey in life. Of course it is your job to work on your insecurities, on anxiety you may have or finding a sense of meaning, AND at the same time, having support, love, care and belief from others adds ease. And adds some sparkle!
4. Get Brainy
Want to maximize life? It starts with your brain. Our brains have something called neuroplasticity, which means that they change, and don’t stay wired the same forever. By engaging in new thinking patterns, shifting inner criticism to inner compassion and practicing skills for mindful living, you slowly chip away at the “antsy” irritability in your brain. Small changes such as a 5 minute yoga stretch, practicing deep breathing and reminding yourself of your value go a long way in deepening new “neural pathways” that promote happier living.
Grit can sound like something that takes herculean effort. Fact is though, grit is truly effective only when coupled with restorative activities to keep you balanced. Take time to be sure you’re getting exercise, sufficient sleep, and are eating a well-balanced diet. Rest time after working on a hard project and having “play time” to balance the work time is vital! Research proves that hard work and “grittiness” devoid of self-care leaves you with more anxiety and stress. If you want to taste the sweetness of productivity in your life, match it with essential self-care habits. By cultivating balanced routines you increase your overall emotional intelligence and have clearer, calmer thinking when making decisions.
6.Know When to Let Go
Letting go is easier said than done, especially when you’re feeling anxious, worried or concerned about the unknown. Just as you may work hard and feel compelled to challenge your limits in your work- life, it’s essentially to know when to leg to and accept what is, in your personal life. The practice of letting go impacts all aspects of life. As human beings, we can only hold onto a number of things at once; be it psychically, energetically, emotionally or physically. When we grab for too much, some important things end up crashing to the ground. Hold onto what’s important and let go of the rest. This applies across the board to thoughts, feelings, relationships, arguments, interactions and business ventures.
7.Slow The Pace To Get Farther
Angela Duckworth, a psychologist who gave a TED talk on her research about grit, explained that one of the most important elements in grit is working at a sustainable pace. Working to lessen anxiety, improve your self beliefs while navigating a tough phase of life is all about staying the course without expecting immediate payoffs. Though we are often faced with a pressure to “be there already”, in actuality, we get farther, and reduce our anxiety, when we slow down and work at a pace that is sustainable for the long haul
8. Calm Breeds Creativity
When looking at people who have lived successful, rich, fulfilling lives, there isn’t a ‘how-to manual’ that the rest of society can follow, however, often each person has found their own creative way to build a beautiful life. Instead of going on a mad-dash to finding the “answer” to figuring our your life’s solutions or cracking the code to happiness, I invite you to slow down and get curious. Sometimes our most creative ideas and individualistic beliefs come to us when our minds are at rest, when we’re not “on” or pushing the “play” button.
Creativity is one of the attributes CEOs look for in employees, as it is at the core of finding new solutions and what brings innovative ideas to the table. Give yourself some breathing space, tap into your creative mind and listen in for the wisdom that whispers.
Though I sometimes wonder what life would be like if none of us struggled, I have seen people change, heal and transform from pain. Most, while deepening their “emotional grittiness” capacities.
Life is a mix of hopes, gifts and dreams as well as tragedies, losses and setbacks. The more you practice these skills, the easier it’ll be to move through anxiety, when it pops up.
If you’re looking to live a richer life, or to shake off some of the nagging worries or doubts, try some of the tips above. If you’re seeking more than tips and are seeking one on one support for your therapy work, feel free to reach out below.
At Integrative Psychotherapy we help clients reduce their levels of anxiety by using scientific based methods such as EMDR, “parts work”, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Expressive Arts.
Ready to do the work? Reach out today for your free 15 minute consultation.