At some point, anxiety and stress affect everyone. They can present differently in different people, and the level of anxiety one experiences can vary, but there are ways to manage anxiety, even if it feels out of control. Some coping strategies include:
- Keep physically active. Focusing on your body and not your mind may help relieve your anxiety. Low impact exercises like walking can often help people to reduce stress and manage anxiety symptoms.
- Use relaxation techniques. Deep breathing techniques, visualization, meditation, and yoga are examples of relaxation techniques that can ease anxiety.
- Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you're getting enough sleep to feel rested. Sleep can give you the energy to cope with difficult feelings and experiences.
- Schedule Worry Time. Anxiety can make it really hard to stop worrying. You might have worries you can't control. It can be helpful to try different ways of addressing these worries. Set aside a specific time to focus on your worries – so you can reassure yourself you haven't forgotten to think about them. Some people find it helps to set a timer.
- Grounding techniques. Grounding techniques such as journaling and the 333 rule can often help to calm immediate feelings of anxiety. The 333 rule involves naming three things you can see, three sounds you can hear, and interacting with three things you can touch.
- Journaling. Writing down what’s making you anxious gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting. Reading your thoughts and feelings can help you take stock of your emotions in the immediate moment. This can also help you better understand the situations and events that cause anxiety.
- Question your thought pattern. Unhelpful thoughts can take root in your mind and distort the severity of the situation. One way is to challenge your fears, ask if they are 100% true, and see where you can regain control. Make a conscience effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Distract yourself. At times, it may be most helpful to simply redirect yourself to focus on something other than your anxiety. You may want to reach out to others, do some work around your home, or engage in an enjoyable activity or hobby.
How Can We Help?
If you or a loved one has an anxiety disorder, it is helpful to know that although the disorder cannot necessarily be cured, there are several successful treatments that help people with anxiety disorders live full and happy lives.