Tips for Dealing with Anxiety

Anxiety can be a temporary obstacle or a long term disorder.

Many people in our fast-paced society struggle with anxiety, especially during the busy holiday season. I too have struggled with anxiety in the past- it can be scary and overwhelming, and it’s often difficult to talk about with others. I highly recommend talking to a healthcare professional if you are experiencing anxiety, especially if it is a regular occurrence- I am not a doctor, and these tips should not be taken as a replacement for a doctor’s visit. Medication was a temporary but huge help to me when I first experienced anxiety attacks, although it is not right for everyone. Whether or not you choose to take medicine, speaking to a psychiatrist and/or therapist is important and can help the issue from worsening or from overwhelming you. Lifestyle change, as a supplement to or replacement for medication, is also an important part of dealing with anxiety.

I hope the tips below resonate with you.

  1. Write– Whether you journal regularly or not, writing can be a helpful way to process feelings. I like to write down exactly what I am feeling at the time- tightness in my throat, sadness, emptiness, fear that something bad is going to happen. It allows me to acknowledge my feelings as well as reduce anxiety.
  2. Walk in nature
  3. Exercise– Sometimes you may prefer cardio; sometimes yoga will be more appropriate. Listen to your body, and choose what is right for you.
  4. Talk to someone– Anxiety and other mental health issues are often a taboo subject- find a friend who is comfortable talking about what you are experiencing or a therapist that you trust. Anxiety is not something you need to handle on your own.
  5. Take a nap
  6. Try a coloring book– It may be a fad, but it’s one I’m hooked on. Find a book on Amazon or your nearest bookstore, and choose your favorite markers or pencils to draw with.
  7. Watch your favorite show– I’m a Friends fanatic, and I turn to my boxed DVD set of the entire show when I’m feeling anxious or depressed. Choose your favorite show that makes you laugh, and choose a way to watch with no commercials.
  8. Read– I prefer easy fiction stories that don’t require much thinking. Whatever you prefer, don’t choose a book that will increase your anxiety.
  9. Reduce caffeine and sugar
  10. Reduce alcohol
  11. Have a cup of tea– I find that the act of drinking herbal tea helps me to relax. I love holding a warm mug, slowly sipping the hot liquid, and taking deep inhalations to breathe in the aroma.
  12. Meditate
  13. Read your medications– Do any of them mention anxiety as a side effect?
  14. Take a bath

Above all, surround yourself with love and empathy- It’s okay to experience anxiety! Show yourself lots of love and understanding during this process.

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