Everyone feels nervous or anxious sometimes, but those who have anxiety disorders have long-lasting feelings of worry, fear, and unease that last weeks, months, or even years. These people may experience panic attacks as a symptom of their disorder. In some cases, anxiety can lead to depression.
A recent study conducted in 2020 by the CDC confirmed that the number of people diagnosed with anxiety disorders had steadily increased since 1990, with no end in sight. Yet, despite this, there are ways to fight off these overwhelming feelings and regain control of your life without relying on medication.
There are various ways you can manage your anxiety and learn coping skills to feel more in control. Here are five proven techniques.
5 Ways To Deal With Anxiety In The Short-term
You can use several ways to ease anxiety in the short term, some of which may be used in conjunction with one another.
Address Your Thinking Patterns
People who suffer from anxiety often have negative thoughts and attitudes that contribute to their disorder. However, how you think can affect how your body reacts, so changing the way you feel about certain situations and events can also change your physical response. For example, if you’re terrified of public speaking but force yourself to do it anyway over time, your fear will slowly diminish.
Regular exercise or even something as simple as active stretching is proven to increase confidence, improve your mood, and even help you sleep better. It can also reduce feelings of anxiety. The best part? You don’t even need to go to the gym; walking around your neighborhood for thirty minutes a day is considered enough moderate exercise to make an impact on your anxiety levels.
Don’t Avoid Things
If you’re trying to fight off anxiety, it might seem like avoidance is the best option at times, whether that means not leaving your house or hiding in the bathroom during school hours. However, if you give in to these impulses, chances are they’ll get worse over time until eventually making them go away completely will feel impossible. So instead, force yourself out of bed and face whatever it is that’s making you anxious.
Practice Deep Breathing
The simplest way to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety is to take some deep breaths. This quick fix can alleviate a racing heart or sweaty palms while also clearing your mind. To get the maximum benefit from it, concentrate on taking slow, relaxing breaths when you practice deep breathing and let yourself feel more settled in the moment. Then, repeat this process as often as necessary throughout your day.
Lastly, as much as possible, try to stay positive and think of the good things in your life. Even if you don’t feel like it’s true, forcing yourself to list three positive things about your day will make you feel better than if you sat around worrying about all the negative. So keep a journal by your bedside or on your desk at school where you can quickly jot down what went well each day rather than dwelling on problems.
These five techniques are easy tools to help you manage anxiety. Try them out for a few weeks and see how far they get you.
5 Ways To Deal With Anxiety In The Long-Term
Dealing with anxiety in the short term is one thing but learning skills to cope with these disorders long-term can be very beneficial. Here are five methods you can continue to use over time.
Learn To Manage Your Triggers
Everyone has certain things that trigger their anxiety and cause their symptoms to flare up and become unmanageable. Common triggers include public speaking, crowded spaces, heights, and even the thought of getting anxious in general. Once you’ve figured out what your specific triggers are, it’s essential to make a plan for how you’ll deal with them when they come up in conversation or when they arise unexpectedly. For example, if you tend to panic around large groups of people, make an effort to get comfortable with small groups before expanding outward.
Incorporate A Daily Routine
Having a consistent daily routine can be calming and decrease feelings of anxiety. Try waking up, getting dressed, and doing some light exercise right when you wake up. Then before bed, journal about your day or do some deep breathing as described above to help yourself unwind.
Forgive Yourself For Anxious Reactions
While it’s vital to deal with the triggers that might cause anxiety symptoms to flare up, sometimes those reactions are completely out of your control. Don’t punish yourself for panicking in situations where there is genuinely nothing you can do. Once it has passed, remind yourself that this is a disorder you’re managing, and these kinds of things are going to happen from time to time.
Find Methods Of Relaxation You Can Turn To Whenever Needed
Lastly, learn some relaxation techniques you can carry with you at all times. Deep breathing is suitable for this purpose as it doesn’t take any equipment or prior knowledge. You can also try taking a bath, doing yoga, or listening to calming music whenever your anxiety levels start to creep up.
While it is certainly not easy, learning to cope with anxiety can be a gratifying experience. It takes time and effort, but the results will be worth it. Nothing is stopping you from living your life, and you have to learn how. Remember, there is help available, and you don’t have to do this alone.
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