Anxiety is a normal feeling that every person experiences at times in their life. Whether you have a big interview tomorrow, or work is getting hectic, people often get anxious and nervous when they have to make difficult decisions or they are a part of difficult situations. Those with anxiety often feel that they are stuck and are unsure of how to make themselves feel better. But there are many tools and techniques to use in order to manage your anxiety effectively.
Try these healthy ways to cope with anxiety:
- Take a deep breath. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is great at reducing anxiety because it activates the body’s relaxation response.
- Accept that you’re anxious. Remind yourself that anxiety is just an emotional reaction, and accept it.
- Realize your brain is playing tricks on you. Your mind can make you think you are having a heart attack when it is only a panic attack.
- Question your thoughts. When you’re anxious your mind starts coming up will outlandish and crazy ideas that aren’t realistic. Ask yourself, “is this really likely to happen?”, “is this really true or does it just seem that way?”.
- Use a calming visualization. Practice picturing yourself on a the sandy shore of your favorite beach, or sitting on the lawn of your favorite park.
- Be an observer. Practice observing (thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations, judgment) with compassion.
- Use positive self-talk. Anxiety can produce a lot of negative talk, so tell yourself positive coping statements, such as “my anxiety is making me feel horrible today, but I have tools I can use to manage it.”
- Focus on the present. Anxiety usually makes people obsess about things that might happen in the future. Instead it is best to take a deep breath and focus on what is happening right now.
- Focus on a meaningful activity. When feeling anxious it is helpful to focus on a goal driven activity. The worst thing you can do is sit around obsessing about how you are feeling. Keep busy with your every day life, don’t sit around and let the anxiety get to you.
Anxiety can feel like having chains around your feet, weighing you down. It can be very overwhelming at times. But by taking small steps – like the ones above – you can minimize your anxiety and cope effectively.
However, not all anxiety can be easily managed even with the right tools to do it individually. Sometimes, you need to reach out for help from another person that can help you feel better about your anxiety. As always, at Star Point Counseling we are here for you. So, if you feel like your anxiety is becoming too much to manage, or you just want to learn more about what to do about your anxiety, please visit our website starpointcounselingtampa.com or give us a call at (813)-244-1251.