Everyone deals with anxiety in their life to an extent. This type of anxiety is normal. You might occasionally worry about something or feel nervous in your daily life.
When the feelings become more persistent and start affecting your daily activities you might have an anxiety disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. and women are twice as likely to suffer.
I’ve been suffering from social anxiety for over 5 years now. In social situations, I tend to get very nervous and anxious. It got so bad to the point that I didn’t really go out and do anything. This past year has been exceptionally tough with Covid. I’ve had to get creative and push myself outside of my comfort zone.
For the past year and a half, I’ve been in therapy and that has helped as well. I never thought I would ever go to therapy but I realized I needed help. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Over the years I’ve done tons of research on anxiety. I also got some great tips in therapy that have helped immensely. Coping with anxiety is tough but I hope that these tips will help make it easier.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep affects many aspects of our life. This is especially true when it comes to mental health.
While we sleep our brains sort through any issues we have leftover from when we were awake. If you struggle with anxiety it’s even more important to give your brain time to work through everything.
The more rested you are the easier it will be for you to handle stressful situations. Start going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning.
Smiling releases endorphins which are essential to feeling positive and happier according to this article. When you smile and laugh it takes your mind off of your stress and struggles.
What did you enjoy doing as a child? Play video games if that’s your thing. Maybe you love to draw or paint. I personally love to watch cat videos on YouTube. Everyone has something that puts a smile on their face. Make time each day to have fun.
Keep A Journal
It’s a good idea when you are feeling particularly anxious to write down what triggered it. This is helpful because you’ll know what is causing you stress. Also, keep notes on what helps you to feel better.
Having this handy will help in your day-to-day life. You’ll be better able to manage your stress and anxiety when it comes.
Like smiling exercise also releases endorphins. Even if you exercise for five minutes at a time you’ll notice a difference.
If you’re feeling anxious or stressed go for a quick walk or run. The important thing is to keep exercising each day. This will help make it easier to cope with anxiety.
Meditation can definitely help you deal with stress and anxiety. It also helps to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine.
According to this article, anxiety is triggered by thinking about the future and the things that might go wrong. Mindfulness trains the brain to stay in the present moment.
Each day try meditating for 10 minutes. While meditating try to stay in the present. Pay attention to what you hear and feel. Experience it without analyzing or judging.
I know it sounds lame but breathing is another way to cope with anxiety. When you start to feel those anxious thoughts coming take a few deep breaths.
While I was in therapy I was doing a lot of controlled breathing. You can do it anytime. I found it very helpful when I was driving since I used to get very stressed when I drove.
There are many different forms of controlled breathing you can try. Do what makes you feel most comfortable. When I used to get stressed or anxious I would breathe in through my nose to the count of three and out my nose to the count of three. I would do this until my breathing was controlled and the feelings passed.
If trying to deal with your anxiety is too much for you to handle you should consider getting some help. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America(ADAA), anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
I’ll be honest…therapy saved me. Before therapy, I was like a totally different person. I was very self-critical and angry. Now I acknowledge those thoughts in a non-judgemental way and move on with my day.
Anxiety can very easily turn into something more serious like depression or an anxiety disorder. These tips will go a long way in helping you cope with anxiety. Sometimes we can’t handle it by ourselves though and we need help. Ask for help and don’t be ashamed of it.
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