Anxiety is one of the leading mental health conditions. It is something that can range in severity from person to person: Some struggle consistently with it, others experience flare-ups triggered from events.
The good news is that you can learn to manage your anxiety more effectively, both in counseling and by adding some simple coping strategies.
Seeing a therapist will help you manage your anxiety, but sharing your issues with anxiety with people you trust every day can also help you manage your symptoms. You never need to suffer in silence!
When we can admit to having anxiety, it tends not to take center stage in the same way. We often find that others are similarly struggling as well!
Exercise has numerous physical benefits, but it can also improve your mental health. Exercise regulates your brain’s response to stress and alleviates feelings of anxiety. Even if it is a quick 30-minutes, you will feel a difference!
More often, anxiety focuses on worries about the past or fear of the future. Practicing mindfulness allows you to learn how to ground yourself in the present moment by focusing on your breathing and noticing your surroundings. I have a few posts, as well as, a blog up that can guide you on getting started with mindfulness!
Just spending a few minutes being mindful can prevent your anxious thoughts from taking over.
Shift your perspective by journaling. Writing down what you’re thinking and feeling each day can help you to take control of your anxious thoughts. When you see them on paper, they might not feel as threatening or overwhelming. Bonus! You can look back on past entries and your journal to see how far you’ve come and how great you are doing!
Not getting enough sleep can make your symptoms of anxiety so much worse. While it might seem impossible to get a good night’s rest if your symptoms are heightened, going to bed at the same time each night and practicing other good sleep hygiene habits, such as a routine or avoiding electronics in the evening, will help.
Social media has become a way of life for most people, but it can also serve as an anxiety trigger. You may see a news story someone posted or something a friend says that makes you worry, social media isn’t always the best place to foster a sense of calm. You do not need to get rid of it completely, but it is a good idea to monitor your time and limit how often you check social media. 15-20 minutes a day would be a great goal!
Declutter!!! A decluttered space is a decluttered mind! Keeping a clean and organized house or environment gives you one less thing to worry about or stress over. The sense of order you create in your space has a way of impacting the sense of order you feel in your head, creating a sense of calm. Another one of my blogs is a guide on how to organize your space to improve your mental health:
Simply stepping outdoors can help you to fight back against anxious thoughts and offer you a spike in serotonin. Even getting outside for just a few minutes a day can make a difference.
Everything listed so far could be considered a form of self-care, but treating yourself to little things every day can really make a difference with your anxiety. Indulge in that croissant that was calling your name at the bakery! Little moments of peace and happiness can really put some perspective on your anxious thinking.
You can incorporate many habits into your daily life that can reduce your anxiety and help you manage your symptoms. While seeking out professional treatment should be your first priority, these are things you can do on your own to supplement treatment and start taking control once again.