Everyone feels nervous, worried, or scared from time to time. But if you’re one of the 40 million people struggling with an anxiety disorder, you know how uncontrollable these feelings may be on some days and you might benefit from anxiety recovery.
Here are a few of the best ways you can manage your anxiety:
- Identify triggers. Take some time to pinpoint which situations, people, thoughts, or places trigger anxiety for you. There may be a few things that trigger your anxiety, but you might not be sure as to why. Therefore, reduce your exposure to them if possible, or avoid them entirely.
- Stop and breathe. Anxiety typically includes worrying about the future or past. If you’re worried about something happening in the future or going over the details of an event in the past, you’re not present.
The next time you notice anxiety taking over, sit down and take a few deep breaths. By pausing and taking a moment to breathe, you’re activating your relaxation response and bringing yourself back to the here and now. You could also incorporate a mantra or phrase to repeat to yourself.
Practice this simple breathing technique:
- Start by sitting down in a comfortable position.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath slowly through your nose.
- Then, focus on exhaling slowly through your mouth.
- Focus on any sensations you’re experiencing in your body. Notice any thoughts or feelings that arise, and let them go without judgment.
- Continue breathing in this way for a few moments. Allow your breath to bring you back to the here and now.
Breathing exercises are a powerful way to help ease your body and mind of anxiety while turning your attention towards the present.
- Utilize your support network. One of the most fundamental aspects of your mental health is having a support system you can rely on. As human beings, we have a deep need for connection and a sense of belonging that our relationships can ultimately meet.
- Journal. Writing down your thoughts or responding to a journal prompt can help you release and process some of those worrisome thoughts. Not only that, but it’s a great way to recognize the source of your anxiety if you aren’t sure where it’s coming from.
If you tend to have a hard time falling asleep at night because of anxiety, try keeping a notebook or journal on your nightstand. Write down everything that’s on your mind and stop you from getting a good night’s sleep.
- Focus on the things you can control. Anxiety often stems from not having any control over something. You may continuously worry even though everything is okay or fear things that haven’t happened and may never occur in the future.
So when life feels out of your control, focus on the things you do have control over, like your response. Then, decide how you can deal with the unknown and turn your anxiety into a source of strength by releasing your fears and focusing on what you can do about it.
- Distract yourself. Redirect your attention to something other than your anxiety. Although too much distraction avoids the situation entirely, sometimes, we all could use a good distraction. Here are a few ideas:
- Do a few chores around the house.
- Engage in a creative activity, like drawing, painting, or journaling.
- Go outside for a walk or some other form of exercise.
- Listen to music.
- Practice mindful meditation.
- Read a book.
- Watch a lighthearted movie.
The bottom line
Implementing a few of these strategies into your day to day routine can make a significant difference in your anxiety. If you feel that you need more support, consider working with a therapist. They can help you learn relaxation strategies and better understand your anxiety.
Keywords: anxiety, anxiety disorder