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7 Best Ways to Handle Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal, healthy response to stress. It can help us focus and perform well. According to Very Well Mind, not all anxiety is bad, and we need to have some stress, called eustress, to keep us excited and motivated about life (VeryWellMind, 2022). However, when anxiety becomes excessive or debilitating, it can interfere with our daily lives. 

But don’t worry; there are plenty of things you can do to help keep your anxiety under control. In fact, many different strategies work for different people. So, if one approach doesn’t work for you, don’t give up – try another one.

Here are seven of the best ways to handle anxiety:

Identify your triggers

One of the best things you can do to manage your anxiety is to identify what triggers it. Once you know what sets off your anxiety, you can take steps to avoid those triggers or be prepared to deal with them healthily. 

Challenge Your Negative Thoughts

Another helpful strategy for managing anxiety is challenging its negative thoughts. This means learning to recognize and reframe distorted thinking patterns, such as all-or-nothing thinking, perfectionism, and catastrophizing. 

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Several different relaxation techniques can be effective in managing anxiety. Some popular options include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation. 

A Simple Deep Breathing Exercise

This breathing exercise aims to help you take slow, deep breaths. Inhale through your nose for a count of four, then exhale through your mouth for a count of four. Repeat this pattern for about 10 minutes.

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and your head supported. You can do this exercise sitting in a chair or on the floor.
  2. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
  3. Breathe in slowly through your nose,      allowing your stomach to expand fully. The hand on your stomach should rise as you inhale.
  4. Count to four as you inhale deeply, then count to four as you exhale slowly through your mouth.
  5. Repeat the pattern of inhaling and exhaling for 10 minutes or longer if desired.

This breathing exercise can be done anywhere and at any time. You may find it helpful to practice it when feeling anxious or stressed. 

Get Regular Exercise

In addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall physical health, exercise can also be very helpful in managing anxiety. That’s because it releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. 

Eat a Balanced Diet

What you eat can also impact your anxiety levels. Include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. And limit caffeine and alcohol, as they can aggravate anxiety for several reasons. 

For one, they can both be stimulants, increasing anxiety levels. Additionally, alcohol can be a depressant, and it can also interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals that are essential for mood health. And finally, caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms in some people, leading to further anxiety.

Get Enough Sleep

Another critical factor in managing anxiety is getting enough sleep. When you’re well-rested, you’re better able to deal with stress and manage your emotions. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night. 

Talk To Someone

If you’re struggling to manage your anxiety on your own, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Talking to a therapist or counselor can be a beneficial way to address anxiety and other mental health issues. 

Final Thoughts

Anxiety is a normal part of life, but it can become overwhelming for some people. If you’re struggling with anxiety, there are several things you can do to keep your anxiety under control. These include exercise, relaxation techniques, and talking to a professional. By taking these steps, you can help to reduce your anxiety and improve your overall well-being.

References

VeryWellMind. (2022). The Benefits of Anxiety and Nervousness. Retrieved from Very Well Mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/benefits-of-anxiety-2584134

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