Relationships, school, work, societal expectations… The pressures of life can feed into your worries and make your anxiety build up. It can quickly become pretty overwhelming!
With the right strategies, though, you can learn to better manage anxiety and lead a fulfilling life. Check out our 8 anxiety tips to overcome your worries, with advice from the community. You’re not alone!
The first step in managing anxiety is acknowledging and understanding it. Face your worries and take time to reflect on the triggers and symptoms you experience. By identifying patterns, you can gain better control over your anxiety and develop strategies to cope with it.
For one user, “learning to know [my] inner self” really helped, while another believes “not trying to escape from it or make it go away” was key to dealing with their anxiety. And they’re right!
While procrastinating and avoiding the source of your worries can feel like the right strategy at the time, it only allows them to grow stronger and prevents you from better dealing with your anxiety in the long run.
Deep breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques can work wonders in calming an anxious mind. When you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to focus on your breath, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth. Engage in mindfulness practices like meditation or grounding exercises to anchor yourself in the present moment.
The community is fond of deep breathing and grounding exercises to deal with their worries. It’s one of the top anxiety tips we received when asking them for advice! Here are some of their recommendations:
“I lay down in a way in which I can see my feet, then I start to move them up and down alternatively. You have to focus on the movement and it calms the thoughts.”
“Deep breathing and lavender tea help me.”
“In the moment, if I’m feeling panicky, breathing exercises and grounding techniques (such as naming 5 things you can see, 4 you can feel, 3 you can hear, 2 you can smell, 1 you can taste) do help.”
“Relax your eye muscles and focus on them for a while.”
Self-care is crucial for maintaining overall wellbeing and managing anxiety. But what exactly does that mean? Contrary to what many brands would like you to think, self-care isn’t about buying yourself treats (although it does sometimes help).
Proper self-care is looking after yourself, keeping yourself healthy, and being attentive to your physical and emotional needs. That means making sure you're getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, and engaging in regular physical activity.
Establish a self-care routine that includes activities you enjoy, such as reading, spending time in nature, listening to music, or practicing hobbies that help you relax. Here are some examples of activities the community found helpful to overcome anxiety:
Going on a walk
Being in nature
Say goodbye to negative thoughts
Anxiety often goes hand in hand with negative thinking patterns. Take a step back and evaluate the validity of your thoughts. Are they based on facts or assumptions? Replace negative thoughts with positive and realistic affirmations. Surround yourself with supportive and positive influences that uplift your mood.
One user recommends self-reassurance to overcome anxiety attacks. “Talk calmly to yourself out loud saying stuff like ‘you’ll be ok, you’re safe, it’s just going to take its time then pass, you’re ok, don’t worry.’”
For another, it’s all about owning the narrative. “If it’s low-level anxiety, I rechannel my thoughts with work, music, being in nature, or hanging out with friends. If it’s severe, I allow myself to feel and process it. For me, what helps with this is grounding, deep breathing exercises and challenging thought patterns, rewriting cognitive distortions that feed anxiety.”
Build a strong support network
Having a strong support network can make a world of difference when dealing with anxiety. Share your feelings with trusted friends, family members, or mentors who can provide a listening ear and offer support. And yes, online friends do count!
When asked about their tips to manage anxiety, many users cite “hanging out with friends” as a way to inject some positivity into their day and lift their mood.
If you’re struggling to find the help you need from people around you, consider joining support groups or seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in anxiety management.
Establish a routine
Creating structure and routine in your daily life can help alleviate anxiety. Plan your days, set achievable goals, and break them down into smaller tasks. A good routine can provide a sense of control and stability, reducing anxiety-inducing uncertainties.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave some space for the unknown and learn to deal with it, but it’s a way to eliminate the smaller stressors of everyday life. Anxiety is rooted in uncertainty, so some familiarity can be a great comfort when you’re in a stressful situation.
Many users talk about the way familiar things help them cope with anxious episodes. “Having a familiar show or podcast playing in the background [...] makes me feel like there are friends or family close by and it calms my fight or flight response.”
Identify situations or triggers that exacerbate your anxiety and take steps to limit your exposure to them. Whether it's social media, news consumption, or certain environments, recognize when these factors contribute to your anxiety and create boundaries to protect your mental wellbeing.
Again, it’s not about avoiding every source of anxiety, or we would never leave the house! Identifying stressors is mostly helpful to recognize some habits in our life that we might not have noticed were harmful to our mental health so we can better manage them.
Seek professional help
If anxiety is significantly impacting your daily life, don't hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional. They can provide you with helpful tools and techniques to manage anxiety effectively.
Dealing with anxiety can be challenging, but implementing these quick tips can help empower you to take control of your mental health.
Remember, everyone's journey is unique, so be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way. With time, practice, and support, you can learn to overcome anxiety and find the peace and confidence you deserve.