How Do I Deal with Anxiety?
Does your heart start to race when you’re in stressful situations? Or do your thoughts start to race and your palms get sweaty when you’re in certain situations or facing specific tasks? That’s anxiety. Everyone has different triggers that create feelings of anxiety, but recognizing them is the first step in how to deal with anxiety.
However, recognizing and understanding these triggers can take some time. Luckily, you can do a few things to calm or ease anxious feelings and stop them from taking over. We’ll review 10 tips for dealing with anxiety below.
Stay in the Present
It’s easy to get caught up worrying about the future, but keep yourself in the present situation. Ask yourself: Am I safe? Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing? If you are, stay focused on that. Focusing on the present takes practice, but with time, you’ll learn to stop those distant scenarios from throwing you off track.
Rapid, shallow breathing is a natural reaction to anxiety. Continuing to breathe this way can worsen feelings of anxiety, so practice taking slow, deep breaths. Breathe in for four counts, then out for four counts; do this for a total of five minutes. Slowing down your breath helps to slow your heart rate, which reduces your anxiety.
Whether you go for a run, lift some weights, or do some sit-ups in your living room, exercise helps to release some of the tension you’re holding in your body. Plus, it can help distract you from anxious thoughts.
Stress eating is a common way to deal with anxiety. You’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, so you may think a candy bar or a bowl of ice cream will help you feel better. However, sugar has been found to exacerbate anxious feelings. When you’re feeling anxious, try drinking a glass of water or eating a piece of fruit. Healthy foods provide slow energy that helps your body recover from anxiety.
Check Your Thoughts
Many anxiety sufferers fixate on worst-case scenarios. If you’re someone whose thoughts always turn negative, stop and think about how realistic they are. For example, if you’re nervous about your first day at a new job, instead of thinking, “I’m not going to do well,” say: “They chose me for this job and I know I’m qualified for it.”
Call a Loved One
Pick up the phone and text or call a friend or family member. Explaining what you’re feeling can help you recognize that you’re experiencing anxiety and pinpoint the source. Writing your worries and fears down can also help.
When you feel those anxious thoughts start to take over, do something. Throw away that piece of paper on your desk, stand up and walk around, grab a healthy snack—anything that forces your brain to focus on something else.
A great way to deal with anxiety is to laugh. Watch a funny YouTube video, read a joke of the day online, or listen to a humorous podcast. Laughter goes a long way toward dispelling those anxious thoughts.
Clutter and poor organization can be a major source of anxiety for some. Creating a to-do list, organizing your workspace, or decluttering your room can help you feel more in control and relaxed.
Talk to a Professional at TMS Clinics of Canada
If your anxiety is severe enough that natural coping mechanisms aren’t working, you may need to talk to a doctor or mental health professional. TMS Clinics of Canada can connect you with the resources you need to learn how to deal with anxiety by identifying your triggers and managing them. We also provide options for treatment-resistant depression. Start living a happier life by taking our free assessment.