I’ve mentioned before that I have anxiety (read that post here) and while my anxiety usually doesn’t affect this space -in fact, this blog has been one of the ways I’ve dealt with my anxiety – I haven’t been posting as much lately, as some of you have probably noticed.
Some life things have happened recently and that has caused my anxiety to rear it’s ugly head, so I’ve taken a little bit of a break over the past few weeks to really focus on all of those anxious feelings and worries.
There are a lot of different ways to manage anxiety, from therapy to medication to tons of methods in between. I thought I would share some of the things that have worked for me and hopefully this post will be able to help any of you who also deal with anxiety and are looking for some ways to cope with it.
9 Ways to Manage Anxiety:
1. Quiet time. This can be anything that helps you relax. I usually make myself a cup of tea, light some candles, listen to some music and just breathe. I’ve also found that curling up with a good book in my most comfortable pajamas after a hot shower works for me too. You could meditate, scroll through Pinterest, or watch funny cat videos on YouTube, whatever makes you feel the most relaxed. That’s the key here.
2. Do some light exercise. Exercise as a way to deal with stress seems to work well for a lot of people, so go for a run or do some cardio. I’m not super athletic, so I’ll usually go for a walk around my neighborhood or do some yoga. I’ve found it really helps me to focus on something other than what is causing me to feel anxious. Getting some fresh air is always good.
3. Write. I’ve found writing to be one of my favorite ways of dealing with my anxiety. Getting whatever it is that is worrying me down on paper really helps.
4. Talk about it. Surround yourself with positive people that you feel comfortable talking to. I know firsthand how hard it can be to talk about having anxiety and how hard it can be to explain exactly why and how you’re feeling anxious. Being able to talk to a friend, family member or even a professional that understands makes all the difference.
5. Face your fears. This is kind of a nightmare for someone that has anxiety. It’s easier just to avoid the situations that make you feel anxious, but that’s no way to live. So work on becoming a “yes” person. Here’s an example. Sometimes I experience social anxiety, like going somewhere that I don’t know anyone, and I dread it. But I can’t just avoid those situations. Even though it makes me uncomfortable and I would rather just say no, I make an effort to participate and I usually end up glad that I did.
6. Work on changing your thinking. This takes a lot of effort and a lot of practice, but it is possible. When you have those anxious thoughts or you feel an anxiety attack happening, take a second to calm yourself down and then change all of the negative thoughts you’re having into more positive ones.
7. Focus on the present. This is a big one for me. A lot of what I feel the most anxious about (and I don’t think I’m alone here) is future oriented. I really try to stop and remind myself to concentrate more on what’s happening right now, not five or ten years down the road.
8. Let yourself think about the worst possible scenario. This isn’t always my go to tool for managing my anxiety, but in certain situations, it definitely does help. If you allow yourself to play out a situation with the worst possible outcome you can think of, you’re prepared for the worst. And most of the time, what really happens will be nowhere near as bad as you expected it to be.
9. Cry. I don’t cry often, but every now and then, I let myself have a good cry about something and it makes me feel a lot better. There have been times where I felt like crying was the best way for me to deal with feeling anxious. Sometimes you just need to get it out of your system, so you can move on.
Do any of you have anxiety? What are some of your tips and tricks for dealing with it?