You Can Schedule Away Your Anxiety. Here's How to Do It

Few people think of anxiety as a scheduling affair; however, conceptualizing anxiety relief as something that involves planning can help you schedule away your anxiety. Imagine being able to schedule anxiety out of your life. There are multiple ways to do it. Here we'll explore three different ways to use the concept of scheduling to drastically reduce anxiety. 

I used to think that creating any type of schedule contributed to my anxiety. It made me feel pressured, and it seemed like I was stressed and anxious because of it. This was a long time ago. I've since discovered that using schedules and planners alleviates my anxiety.

Scheduling away your anxiety involves these three components:

  1. Arranging your schedule to be anxiety-friendly
  2. Scheduling time to be anxious (strange but true)
  3. Scheduling dedicated anxiety- and stress-free periods every day

Here's a look at each type of anxiety-reducing scheduling and how to make them work for you.

Scheduling Away Anxiety by Arranging Your Planner to Be Anxiety-Friendly

Using a planner to keep track of tasks and events can make you feel in control of your time. Schedules provide direction and help you organize your days. Planners also help you avoid overscheduling yourself. Cramming too many tasks onto to-to lists leads to inefficiency, stress, and anxiety. Prioritize your tasks each day, and schedule in the most important. Other duties can wait. 

Tip: Buy or create a schedule that appeals to you and supports the way you think. When filling in your schedules, use a favorite pen or many pens of different colors. Make it uniquely yours so you use it with intention every day. 

Reduce Anxiety by Scheduling Times to Be Anxious

Scheduling yourself some uninterrupted time every day to sit with your worries and fears can drastically reduce anxiety. Admittedly, it's counterintuitive to think of purposefully scheduling a time to be anxious on purpose when you're trying to get rid of it; however, this technique works.  

Sit comfortably and allow yourself to think about your worries and fears. Don't judge or get caught up in them, but allow them to come into your mind so you can face them. This minimizes their importance. When your worry time is up, make it a point to let anxiety go when it pops into your mind. Tell it that you'll pay attention to it tomorrow, and until then you'll be dismissing it to think about other things. 

Tip: Create a routine around your scheduled anxiety times. Aim for the same time each day, and use a dedicated space. Have a special chair or place on the floor. Light a candle to stimulate your sense of smell. Perhaps have a box to symbolically put your worries in, and then imagine dumping them down the drain or letting them blow away on a breeze. 

Schedule Time to Be Stress- and Anxiety-Free Every Day

Just as you can limit your time spent being anxious, you can expand the time you spend free from anxiety. Every single day, make time to take a break and engage in something that reduces your stress and anxiety. This is one way to do more of what you love and what brings you joy. This, in turn, lowers anxiety and diminishes worries. 

Tip: Make a list of activities you love to do so you have specific things to schedule into your day. This makes it more likely to take your scheduled break than if you simply wrote "Do something to relieve stress." in your daily schedule.

If you frequently find yourself hurried and harried, give yourself structure and stability. You really can schedule away your anxiety. 

APA Reference
NCC, T. (2019, July 18). You Can Schedule Away Your Anxiety. Here's How to Do It, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2019/7/you-can-schedule-away-your-anxiety-heres-how-to-do-it



Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps, and five critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels about mental health challenges. She speaks nationally about mental health, and she has a curriculum for middle and high schools. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Lizanne Corbit
says:
July, 21 2019 at 6:02 pm
I think the concept of working with a schedule to reduce anxiety is a really empowering idea. Often times people can see a schedule as stress-inducing but when it's thoughtfully planned out, a schedule really just acts as healthy and helpful boundaries. This can do wonders for anxiety. Great share.
July, 24 2019 at 9:58 am
You're so right about schedules being stress-inducing. Realizing that we're not controlled by schedules (easer said than done, but possible) can let us take the next step of taking control over them and making them do our bidding. :D
Joan
says:
July, 20 2019 at 12:48 am
Sounds to easy, yet maybe that's the key to freedom from imprisonment from anxiety, getting out of its box. Thanks, can't wait to start my next schedule, taking back my life. Scheduling has always been a big help for me, never thought of it as a way to control things as well as getting things done.
July, 24 2019 at 9:56 am
Hi Joan,
I've found that stepping out of anxiety's box can be just the shift I need to make new progress. I hope this is helpful when you try it! (And it's very possible for you to take back your life!)

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