Here are seven tips to help you regain control, better handle your anxiety, and live well:
1. Embrace Artistic Expression
There’s something about art that’s healing and cathartic, and people with anxiety often benefit from expressing themselves in art. If you don’t feel that you’re an artistic person, you may find relief with adult coloring books or abstract artwork. [inline_cta_four]
2. Be Social
Anxiety can become isolating. You may feel completely alone when struggling. Finding a way to be around trusted people can help. Sometimes, you may not feel up to a heart to heart discussion with someone. Instead, find a community event to participate in that will get you out of the house and involved with others. Building connections socially can fight anxiety well. If you aren’t up for a large event or have social phobia, consider finding one trustworthy person you can talk to.
3. Practice Mindful Breathing Exercises
Mindful breathing can help lower your stress levels and calm anxiety. This is a useful tool because you can do it anywhere, no matter what’s happening around you. When you get anxious, your body reacts with rapid, shallow breaths from the chest that can actually make anxiety worse by increasing your heart rate and muscle tension. To counter this, focus on breathing deeply from the abdomen. Breathe deeply in through the nose for a count of three, then expel all of that breath out through the mouth. Repeat this a few times until you feel your body calming.
4. Enjoy Eating Well
What you put into your body has a tremendous impact on your emotional well being. Foods that are highly processed or high in sugar can cause blood sugar spikes and drops that can make you feel tired or restless. Instead, focus on whole, natural foods, like lean meats, vegetables, and fruits. By feeding your body well, you may find your mood improving and your anxiety lessening. Be sure to drink enough water as well.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercise causes mood-boosting endorphins to be released in your body. If you’re feeling anxiety coming on, throw on some shoes and take a walk or a run. The change of scenery combined with the endorphin release can help lessen your chances of an anxiety attack. In addition to using exercise to stop anxiety attacks, consider making it part of your regular lifestyle. Scheduling exercise three to four times per week is a great stress release. Less stress means less anxiety.
6. Identify And Avoid Triggers
Many people who battle anxiety find that certain circumstances trigger anxiety attacks. Learn to recognize your triggers and, when possible, avoid them. However, sometimes you can’t avoid triggers. In these cases, being aware of the trigger can help you take other anxiety-reducing measures to avoid a serious anxiety attack. If you have a trigger that you regularly face, like being around crowds, consider getting professional therapy to help reduce your reaction to the trigger. With the right help, you can learn cognitive techniques to approach these situations with more control over your anxiety.
7. Accept Your Journey
One of the best ways to face and temper anxiety is to accept it. Anxiety is not a character flaw. It can have a physical cause, be the result of past trauma or life experiences, or simply be part of a sensitive nature. None of these things are bad or wrong. When you learn to embrace your struggle with anxiety and accept it as part of your life journey, you can take better care of yourself. With these coping mechanisms, you can reduce your anxiety levels when the problem strikes. And, if you live with anxiety, you’re not alone.