Is there a way I can get rid of being anxious all the time?

Everytime I'm about to enter a meeting, or meet someone, or travel, or do anything big, I'm always a bag of nerves. I don't know why. I know that things are not that important, but I still feel so nervous and anxious. How do I overcome that feeling?
Asked by JoJo

Thanks for reaching out for advice regarding this matter.

Anxiety can be a healthy emotion, it forces us to focus on our problems, and work hard to solve them. But sometimes, anxiety grows out of control, and does just the opposite. It paralyzes our ability to solve problems. When this happens, irrational thoughts often play a role.

First of all, it is important to know that anxiety is something that everyone experiences from time to time, but for some people, it can be extensive and excessive. Whenever a person has something that is considered a stressor, whether a real or imagined threat, they sometimes begin to have symptoms of anxiety or panic. I think it is important for you to investigate your feelings around the anxiousness. What is the root of your anxiety, Who benefits from your anxiousness, How does it serve you? It is important to be more mindful of your irrational thoughts. With enough practice, this will become a natural process that can help you manage anxiety.

You mentioned that entering a meeting, meeting someone, travel, or anything big triggers your anxiety. Anxiety distorts our thinking by causing us to overestimate the likelihood of something going wrong, and imagine the potential consequences as worse than they really are. Sometimes, just taking a moment to think about these facts can help us recognize our irrational thoughts. For example, what would be the worst, best, and less likely outcomes, and if the worst case scenario happened would it matter in a week, month or a year from now. Please note that negative thinking, avoidance, distorted or biased thinking, and selective memory and attention causes anxiety. 

Some of the ways to overcome anxiety is acceptance. For example, using the acceptance-based approach can be very beneficial. (identifying the thought, labeling it, be aware of the moment when the thought comes up, and being aware of the moment when the thought begins to recede from awareness) Another way to overcome anxiety is questioning. Using cognitive restructuring offers a way to critically evaluate potentially distorted thoughts.  Exposure is another way to overcome anxiety. Leaning into anxiety rather than avoiding it but confronting situations help to ease your anxiousness and to show that bad outcomes can still be manageable and even have an upside. 

In addition, nutrition is a helpful way to overcome anxiety.  Research shows that anxiety levels can be impacted by the kinds of foods and drinks we consume. For example those who consume more saturated fats and added sugars have high anxiety levels than those with lower consumptions of saturated fats and added sugars. Eating fruits and vegetables and foods high in fiber with limited processed foods improves mood and helps with managing depression and anxiety. However, caffeine can increase your anxiety levels. Moreover, physical exercise if nothing but moving your body for 10 minutes is helpful for anxiety, this helps to improve your mood.

Also, mindfulness is very helpful with addressing anxiety, some examples are:  meditation, deep-breathing, and progressive-muscle relaxations. Lastly, connecting with nature can be very important with managning anxiety. Studies show that using any of the five senses to feel closer in nature can boost your mood and put you in a more relaxed state.

I hope these resources and coping strategies will be helpful for you. Best wishes to you!!