Ways to Cope with Anxiety

» Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

Ways to Cope with Anxiety

You may have heard the saying “Anxiety isn’t something that goes away, it is something that you learn to deal with”. Most clinicians would agree with such a statement. Making conscious decisions to work on facing and working through the  struggles with anxiety is the best way for someone to deal with it. However, working through anxiety, especially if severe, can seem insurmountable and may in fact cause more anxiety.

A good starting point when trying to tackle your anxiety is to make a few small changes in the way that you handle your day-to-day life, that can reduce your anxiety levels. Small triggers can cause big anxiety within a person, so getting a handle on what is the cause can be a very effective treatment. Here  are some of the most often overlooked triggers for anxiety that you can start working on today:

  • Separate yourself from  your anxiety. If you are in a bad mood, bad situation, or under extreme stress, your anxiety can skyrocket. In bad situations it can be easy to allow your anxiety to take the reigns and railroad you into thinking that since you are feeling terrible in the moment, you always feel terrible, you have a terrible life, or you are a terrible person in general. Don’t allow your anxiety in a moment to define you. Actively remind yourself in stressful times that you are not your current feelings, you are not the cause of all the problems, and that the situation is temporary. Remind yourself that how you are feeling in the moment may be skewed due to stress and anxiety and may not actually reflect what is reality. What you are feeling is not necessarily who you are, it’s just what you are experiencing in that moment.
  • Connect to others. Making actual time for actual interactions with other human beings is essential for controlling anxiety. Social media is not an adequate form of quality and meaningful communication with those you love, rather it is the exact opposite for the majority of the time. Schedule some face-to-face with your family, significant other, or close friends daily or as often as possible. Having insignificant interaction with people that you don’t have a real connection with can actually increase your feelings of loneliness and isolation which can trigger and amplify anxiety.
  • Take physical care of yourself. Emotional and mental anxiety can be exasperated if you are under physical distress. Taking care of yourself physically allows you more energy to focus on your mental and emotional health. The body has a harder time dealing with any form of stress if it is not in good physical condition, so make fitness a priority in your life. Drinking plenty of water, eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercies (even just a 15 minute walk), and avoiding drugs and alcohol, have been shown to have a tremendous impact on your physical and mental well-being.
  • Set some routines and plans in place for yourself. Not having any idea what is coming next can trigger anxiety faster than you think.  When your brain has some idea of what is coming next, it isn’t constantly scrambling for ideas of how to navigate its current situation. This is why humans generally thrive when they are given some structure. The best part of this, is that you can completely control to what extent you plan things in your day. Keep in mind that plans likely won’t go off everyday without a hitch, but being able to have a general idea of what you will be doing in a certain amount of time can help you stay calm and focused. This is as easy as making lists, getting a planner, setting meetings, etc.  Obviously different personality types and anxiety levels will do better with different levels of planning, so find a balance that works for you.
  • Give yourself time. Know that anxiety is real and that it takes work for people to learn to cope with it. You will not be able to control or handle your anxiety overnight and that’s okay! Let yourself learn from things that you may have done wrong and look at each “failure” as a chance to handle your stress differently in the future. Don’t allow your anxiety to control you or keep you from living a full life.
  • Reach out to a professional. Often times, people need to talk to a professional about treating their anxiety. There are many options available to anyone who is interested in anxiety treatment from talking to a counselor to holistic treatments, to seeing a psychiatrist for medication. A good resource to find out more about your options is https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Anxiety-Disorders

At Alpha Counseling we know that anxiety is very real and can be very intense. Often times is helps to speak to a professional who is trained in treating anxiety. We have trained and licensed therapists available for you and your needs. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!

 

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