Feeling anxious can be overwhelming and disrupt our daily lives, affecting our mental and emotional well-being. However, it’s important to remember that there are strategies and techniques available to help manage anxiety when it arises.
Here are ten effective and evidence-based ways to cope with anxiety when it hits.
1-Practice Deep Breathing and Relaxation Techniques
Deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques are powerful tools for managing anxiety in the moment. Take slow, deep breaths, focusing on the sensation of inhaling and exhaling. Incorporate relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery to help calm your mind and body. Try these 8 breathing exercises.
2-Challenge Negative Thoughts
Anxiety often stems from negative and irrational thoughts. Challenge and reframe these thoughts by examining the evidence supporting them. Ask yourself if there are alternative explanations or more balanced perspectives. By challenging negative thoughts, you can reduce anxiety’s grip on your mind and regain a sense of control.
3-Engage in Grounding Techniques
Grounding techniques can help anchor your focus and attention to the present moment, reducing anxiety. Try grounding exercises such as the 5-4-3-2-1 method: identify five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This technique helps shift your attention away from anxious thoughts and into the present reality.
4-Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation are effective practices for managing anxiety. Engage in mindfulness exercises that encourage non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts, sensations, and emotions. Incorporate meditation into your routine to cultivate a sense of calm and centeredness. Regular practice can improve your ability to handle anxiety-inducing situations. Learn more about the benefits of mindfulness in our blog post here.
5-Engage in Physical Activity
Physical activity is a natural stress reliever and mood booster. Engaging in exercise, whether it’s going for a walk, doing yoga, or participating in a workout, can help release tension and reduce anxiety. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day to experience its positive effects on your mental well-being.
6-Connect with Supportive People
Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist who can provide support when you’re feeling anxious. Sharing your feelings with someone who understands and validates your experience can help alleviate anxiety. Consider joining a support group or seeking professional help for additional guidance and support.
Taking care of yourself is crucial for managing anxiety. Prioritise self-care activities that nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Try some fun activities that you love, such as going for a walk, listening to music, reading, making time for a hobby or making your favourite meal. Ensure you get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, and establish a routine that promotes overall well-being.
8-Limit Exposure to Stressors
Identify and limit exposure to stressors that trigger or worsen your anxiety. This might involve setting boundaries with certain people or situations, reducing time spent on social media, or creating a calm and organised environment. Recognise what triggers your anxiety and take steps to minimize its impact on your daily life.
9-Use Relaxation Techniques and Tools
Explore relaxation techniques and tools that can help calm your anxious mind. These may include using essential oils, listening to soothing music, or using stress-relief gadgets like stress balls or fidget spinners. Experiment with different relaxation methods to find what works best for you.
10-Seek Professional Help
If your anxiety persists or significantly impacts your daily functioning, it’s important to seek professional help. A mental health professional can provide specialised support and offer evidence-based interventions tailored to your specific needs. They can help you develop effective coping strategies.
Feeling anxious can be distressing, but it’s essential to remember that you are not alone, and there are strategies to help you cope. By incorporating these ten techniques into your daily life, you can effectively manage anxiety when it arises. Remember, it’s a process, and different strategies may work better for you than others. Experiment with these techniques and find what resonates with you. If your anxiety persists or becomes unmanageable, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. With time and effort, you can develop the skills to navigate through anxiety and lead a fulfilling life.
If feeling anxious is interfering with your daily life and routine, it may be time to seek the help of a mental health professional. We have an experienced team of psychologists ready to help – all from the comfort of your own home. To book, click here or call our friendly reception team on 1800 327 477 (AU) / 0800 327 477 (NZ).