How to Manage Anxiety
Everyone has their own way of dealing with anxiety. Here are some helpful tips for your day to day life:
- Get involved
- Eat balanced meals
- Limit alcohol and caffeine
- Get enough sleep
- Do your best
- Accept you cannot control everything
- Be positive
- Learn your triggers
- Talk to someone
In theory these day to day actions sound promising however, anxiety can and will overcome you sometimes. In those situations there are several exercises to help keep you in control.
- Grounding. Try to sit totally still and slow your breathing. Find five things in the room you can see. Say them out load if possible. Next, name 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, and 2 things can smell. Finally, name 1 thing you can taste and take a deep breath. This coping strategy helps remove you from your head and brings you to your physical body.
- Take Deep Breaths. This is the oldest strategy in the book but it continue to prove itself. Taking deep breaths allows more oxygen flow to the brain and can actually help you think more rationally.
- Massage Your Hand. Seriously, massaging your hand releases oxytocin, a powerful hormone that transmits messages to the brain to regulate social interaction.
- Forgive Yourself. Most often anxiety is created over things we can not control. Realizing this and then forging yourself for being upset about it helps relieve stress.
- Personify. In some cases people find that personifying their anxiety can help them shut it up. Give your anxiety a name or associate it with a visual. This will help you create it into something you can just simply discard or ignore.
How to Help Others Struggling with Anxiety
If a friend or loved one is struggling with anxiety there are simple actions you can take to become a better support system for them.
Educate Yourself. If you know the type of anxiety your friend experiences read about it. Understanding what can help anxiety takes effort and dedication but there are tons of online resources to help you educate yourself.
Check Out Partner Strategies. Exercise, mediation, and yoga are great stress relieving, partner activities to hold your friend accountable to!
Erase The Stigma. It is possible your friend may feel embarrassed about their anxiety. Communicate with them that their anxiety is not a weakness and normalize their experiences, because everyone experiences some type of mental illness in their life.
Help Them Get Help. Make sure to keep this conversation positive and encouraging. Introduce the idea of therapy or if they already participate in therapy ask them what strategies they have found helpful.
Remember you alone can not cure your friend or loved one’s anxiety. These strategies may not work for everyone but be prepared to experiment until you find the right fit. Your friend appreciates you more than you know.
For more tips on anxiety, see Part 1.