Coping with Anxiety

Coping with Anxiety

Coping with anxiety can be surprisingly difficult, depending on the type of anxiety you’re working with. If you just have general anxiety, there are lots of different methods for coping available to you. Some are simple, and others are a little more complicated. If you have mild anxiety, you may be able to learn some good coping with anxiety techniques to use at home on your own, but if you have more severe anxiety problems, you are likely to need professional help to start coping with your anxiety effectively. Here’s what you should know about coping with anxiety:

Learn to stop your anxious thoughts

One of the first, and most difficult steps, to coping with anxiety is learning to shut off your anxious thoughts. First, this means that you need to learn to recognize your thought processes as soon as they start. This means paying attention to your thoughts so that you don’t let them get totally out of control before you actually deal with them, at which point you’ll have to really rein yourself in. Next, when you spot anxious thoughts that aren’t really related to anything, you should tell them to “stop.” It’s difficult, but eventually you’ll get the hang of it.

You don’t necessarily need to replace your anxious thoughts with happy-go-lucky positive ones. Instead, replace them with realistic thoughts. If the thought starting your anxiety cycle is, “What if I get in a car accident on the way home,” you don’t have replace it with, “There’s no chance I’ll get in an accident.” That’s unrealistic because you always could possibly get into an accident. Instead, think of three ways you can reduce your chances of getting into an accident, including taking the safest route, not speeding, or practicing defensive driving tactics. Being reasonable and logical is much more effective at combatting anxious thoughts than being artificially positive.

Learn to cope with your anxious feelings

Sometimes coping with anxiety isn’t really about dealing with underlying thoughts. Sometimes the actual thoughts are buried – or they just aren’t really there. You might just have this anxious, uneasy feeling that sits somewhere in your gut, making you feel restless and insecure. Coping with anxiety in these situations means learning how to use relaxation techniques to slow your body down and help calm your nervous system, which is likely the cause of your anxious feelings in the first place.

Again, the first step is to recognize when these feelings are starting up. When you first begin to feel vaguely anxious or uneasy, it’s a good idea to use coping mechanisms and relaxation techniques, including exercise, deep breathing, yoga poses, or even journaling or talking with a friend about how you’re feeling. This can help cut the feeling off and make you feel better right away. You might even find that just doing something active – like tackling household chores even though you might feel like taking a nap – can help cut down on anxious feelings.

Set a good background for anti-anxiety

One of the best ways to go about coping with anxiety is to learn to set up your life so that anxiety is less of a problem. One way to do this is to get plenty of rest and exercise, and to eat well. When your body is functioning properly and is in good shape, you’re less likely to experience anxiety that stems from central nervous system overload. Also, try to get as much stress out of your life as possible, whether that means changing professions, learning to live on a budget so you don’t have as many financial worries, or simply saying no to some of the extra-curricular activities that people ask you to do.