If you deal with anxiety, you’re not alone — about 40 million American adults deal with anxiety annually.
And, although it may seem like a sensation you just have to grin and bear, there’s a lot you can do to handle your anxiety. Just ask someone who has learned how to cope with anxiety him or herself.
On that note, those who have struggled with anxiety have come up with ways to make themselves feel better. And most are more than willing to share their wisdom, which we’ve compiled here.
Here are 10 of the best tips for coping with anxiety.
1. Breathe Deeply
If you need a quick anti-anxiety activity, try deep, intentional breathing.
Take five minutes to really focus on your breath: inhale for four seconds, then exhale for the same amount of time. Or, press your left nostril and breathe in with the right. Then, press your right nostril and exhale with the left.
These little techniques will ground you in the current moment, help you slow your heart rate and clear your mind. All of that will make you feel less anxious.
2. Inhale Aromatherapeutic Oils
On that note, you can make your deep breaths even more impactful with some aromatherapy oils, candles or incense. Experts have found that aromatherapeutic oils trigger certain receptors in the brain to reduce anxiety.
Whatever it is, have it nearby and inhale a soothing scent. Sandalwood, lavender or chamomile will do the trick.
3. Learn Neurofeedback
You’re probably thinking to yourself, what is neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a way to train your brain and redirect your thought process. With the help of an expert, you’ll analyze your brainwaves and figure out ways to rewire them. You will reward yourself for breaking the patterns that lead you to anxious thoughts — and feelings.
4. Start a Journal
For many, anxiety causes thoughts to race. You might find yourself running through hypothetical situations in your mind. And you can’t stop thinking about what you’d do or how you’d handle the what-ifs you ponder.
A journal can help put a stop to all of that mind-racing. Jot down what’s plaguing you to get it out of your head. As you write, you might find yourself penning ways to solve your problem — that will further ease your mind.
You already know that exercise improves your physical health. But it can do wonders for your mental health, too.
For starters, breaking a sweat makes you feel less stressed out. Exercise can also fight fatigue and hone your concentration. So, if you feel foggy and unfocused because you’re anxious, a good workout can help you regain clarity and energy.
Exercise boosts self-esteem, improves sleep and balances out your mood. Best yet — it only takes about five minutes of exercise for all of the anti-anxiety effects to set in.
6. Rest Up
On that note, you might start to feel anxious because you haven’t had enough sleep.
So, create a nighttime routine that eases you into sleep. For many people, this involves unplugging from electronic devices at least a half-hour before bed. Warm baths, reading and cups of tea can help, too.
Try a few different activities until you find the ones that help relax you into a restful slumber. By morning, you’re sure to wake up feeling energized and a little less anxious than yesterday.
7. Lean on Friends
Your social life can be a great resource in coping with stress and anxiety.
So, call up a friend and make plans to hang out. Meeting for a meal or going for a walk will take your mind off of what’s been bothering you. If you feel comfortable, you can talk about your anxiety, too — putting it out in the open gives it less power against you.
To that end, simply calling up a friend and chatting with them can be enough to assuage your anxiety. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to those who love you. They get to enjoy your company, and you will feel better — it’s a win for everyone.
Interestingly enough, visual clutter can be causing you stress and anxiety.
If you find it tough to wind down in your unkempt living room or bedroom, then take a weekend to organize and clean up. The next time you sit down, you’ll be able to relax — no more worrying about how messy your living space is.
Plus, if you organize your abode, you won’t have to deal with little moments that stress you out and spike your anxiety. No more missing car keys or misplaced passports — everything will have a place, and that will do you a world of good.
9. Skip the Coffee
Most of us drink a caffeine-laden drink to get ourselves going in the morning. Unfortunately, caffeine is known to make anxious feelings worse.
So, try your best to skip coffee, soda, green tea and any other drinks that include caffeine. If you enjoy your morning cup of joe too much, you can still have it, but try to cut down your caffeine intake for the rest of the day.
10. Speak to a Pro
Even with all of these tips on how to deal with anxiety, you might still feel that tension. If it becomes too much for you to handle, don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist.
There’s no shame in speaking to a mental health professional. They have the skills and training to talk you through your anxiety. And they will do so with absolutely no judgment.
So, if you’ve tried the above tips without much success, you should talk to someone who can really help you through it.
Tips For Coping With Anxiety: Get Started Now
The best of all tips for coping with anxiety? Get started as soon as you can.
That way, you can start feeling better and more like yourself again. That’s the greatest gift you can give yourself — one that will help you resume the life you lead and love.
Click here for more mental health-related advice.