12 Strategies to Cope With Anxiety

Girl with anxiety

So many of us suffer from anxiety, be it social anxiety, occasional anxiety, or clinical anxiety. When anxiety is not dealt with properly, it can eventually exacerbate itself, weigh you down, and cause you to be unproductive. Often occasional anxiety becomes clinical anxiety because we do not deal with our triggers soon enough.

Here are some tips my friends and I have been using to keep anxiety at bay; hopefully, you will also find them to be quite useful.

See a Therapist

There is no shame in seeing a therapist for your problems. No matter how insignificant the problem seems, once you let it out in front of a therapist you feel completely rejuvenated. This will also rule out the possibility of the anxiety being a part of a bigger mental health issue. The doctor may prescribe you some temporary pills to help you out; you can opt against using pills. Always let your doctor know your preferences!

Talk to a Friend

I personally believe that after a therapist, your closest friends are your best sanctuary. As soon as you start feeling anxious, just call your best friends and distract yourself from all that is happening around you. Let them know that you are anxious. If they know your situation, they can better respond and are less likely to say anything that might further trigger your anxiety.

Get Enough Sleep

Get 6-8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation is shown to increase the likelihood of mood disorders including anxiety. But be sure not to sleep too much, because, on the other hand, sleeping too much every day – 10-14 hours – is also harmful to your mind and may worsen your anxiety.

Stay Away From Drugs and Alcohol

People often turn to drugs and alcohol when they need to distract themselves from their mental health issues. Please know that this is, under no circumstances, a good idea. Even “milder” drugs like weed can precipitate your anxiety further if you get high with them. Ask a close friend or a family member to help you if you cannot keep yourself away from using drugs or alcohol.

Remove your Anxiety Triggers

Very often there are specific events and issues that trigger our anxiety and removing them from our lives makes us feel considerably better. So if you are feeling anxious because of your school work, a family problem, or anything of the sort, try to get it out of the way or at least take a break from it before getting back.

Watch Something Funny

A good laugh can do wonders for the anxious minds. There are so many comedic videos online and so many sitcoms that can make you wet yourself with laughter! At times, this is all you need to get through this troubling phase of anxiety.

Find an Outlet

You can always find a creative outlet for yourself through which you can release your anxiety. You can try your hand at painting, writing, or play a musical instrument. Just remember that you are probably not going to do very well on your very first try and that you will have to practice to get better.

Add More Positivity to Life

Try to add more positivity to life by doing things you love. Watch a comedy and inspirational movies, read novels that lighten up your mood and dine out for a change. Travelling brings a great positive change as well. Similarly, avoid anything that puts you into stress like distressing news, tragic stories or other things that bring negative vibes.

Try Laughter Yoga

A great way to scare anxiety away and bring more positivity into your life is to try laughter yoga. It is clinically proven that laughter yoga helps reduce issues like anxiety, depression and the like. Laughing releases endorphins in the brain that are the hormones which promote mental health and happiness.

Meditate to Relax

Meditation is yet another effective technique to relax the mind and improve overall mental health. It is highly practiced today for its wonderful results on body and mind. Meditation not only helps relax the mind and body, but also improves mental focus and stimulation. The calm environment and steps included in meditation bring a sense of composure and calmness in a person and takes away anxiety factors and pent-up stress.

This simple technique is a great way to start if you are new to meditation.

Organize Your Stuff

Organize all the stuff in your room. Yes, tidying up actually does help reduce anxiety and improves your sense of mental order. Also, this way your mind stays occupied with all the work and you do not get time to overthink which is a favorite task of all those who have anxiety issues.

Be Kind to Yourself

Those with anxiety problems usually blame themselves for feeling anxious for no reason. They undermine themselves which brings more negativity and recurring events of increased anxiety. You need to stop and appreciate yourself for being so strong and dealing with it all on your own. Be kind to yourself. Look in the mirror and point out all the good things you feel about yourself each morning. It will help improve your self-esteem and assist you in coping with your anxiety and stress in a better and stronger way.

No matter what, just do not blame yourself for your anxiety! If you have trouble being kind to yourself, you can try practicing the visualization technique of Tonglen to help develop more self-compassion.

I hope you found these suggestions useful in coping with anxiety. If you would like to read more suggestions for coping with your anxiety read Overcoming Depression and Anxiety Naturally.

Photo: peerayot

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