8 Innocent Mistakes That Keep You Stressed And Anxious

For over a decade, I've dealt with stress and anxiety; learn from my mistakes.

 Innocent Mistakes That Keep You Stressed And Anxious Los Muertos Crew | Canva

I’ve struggled with stress and anxiety for over a decade but I’ve transformed thanks to developing an awareness of what does not work. I’ve helped hundreds do the same.

Here are 8 innocent mistakes that keep you stressed and anxious: 

1. Believing you need ‘fixing’

When we entertain the idea that we need to ‘work’ towards getting better, guess what? We inadvertently emphasize the idea that there is something wrong with us. This is the very thing that keeps our attention on the problem and reinforces our suffering.


RELATED: How I Pushed Myself To Give Up On Being Perfect

2. Thinking worrying is a valid strategy

People ask me how to worry less all the time. But they continue to worry — even if they know it adds to their stress. But here’s the thing: the only reason we worry is because some part of us believes that worry serves a positive purpose. It does not. It makes us feel bad and decreases our performance. Let go of the idea that worry helps, and you’ll experience more peace and more effortless wisdom.


3. Doing several things at once

A lot of us make our lives 10x harder because we’re either trying to do several things at once, or we’re thinking about several things at the same time. Both create overwhelm and are unnecessary. All we have is one thing at a time. That is all we can do. Seeing this and accepting it brings relief, enjoyment in our work, and improved performance.

RELATED: The One Thing To Give Up In Order To Be Smarter, More Productive & A Better Friend

4. Avoiding fear

It’s easy to think that if we feel scared, this is a sign to avoid the thing that caused this feeling. Makes sense — the only issue is that we end up living a comfortable life devoid of risk. This becomes more dangerous in the long run because we don’t confront fear and continually give strength to the illusion that we are at the mercy of a brutal reality. This weakens you, mentally and physically, and makes you anxious. Confront your fears and practice the things that make you nervous. This will reduce your feelings of fear and give you an unfair advantage.

5. Believing in the lie of ‘self-esteem’

If we have ‘self-esteem’ that needs protecting, we are going to tighten up in the face of potentially losing it. Right? For example, I was anxious around groups of people because I believed that if they criticized me, my self-esteem would diminish. Now I know that self-esteem is made up in the mind, and no one can hurt me.


6. Time-travelling

Our gift of visualization has brought with it many opportunities, like planning a path forward, and remembering past mistakes so we can avoid them. It’s a double-edged sword, however, because spending any time in the future or the past destroys our potential in the present. There are no problems right here right now. The present is pure consciousness and we can return here whenever we need refuge.

RELATED: You Can Visit Your Past — But Don't Live in It

7. Participating in energy-draining habits

I always encourage my clients to do an ‘energy audit’ when we start working together. This means listing out all the things that drain their energy and those that boost it. Many of us fill our days with energy drains that contribute to an imbalanced body. When we’re out of balance, we’re more likely to have anxiety and stress. Bring awareness to where your energy leaks, and address the low-hanging fruit first.

8. Misunderstanding the truth of ‘anxiety’

Many things contribute to anxiety and stress, but nothing can help at the fundamental level if we don’t understand how it works. Most people don’t. Most of us think our stress is caused by external events, people, and environments. It is not. It is caused internally at the level of thoughts. We feel our thoughts. We perceive someone being ‘annoying,’ think it, and feel the annoying thought in the body as stress. Understanding this changes our entire experience because we see the futility in hanging on to unhelpful thoughts. This is how to be free.


RELATED: 15 Self-Soothing Techniques To Manage Your Anxiety & Stress

Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.