When you’re dealing with anxiety, it can feel like there’s no way out. These 8 steps will help you manage anxiety and beat it into submission, allowing you to get back to your normal life and be happy again! If you suffer from severe anxiety attacks, it’s always best to consult your doctor or another health-care professional before attempting any self-help methods.
One of my all-time favorite quotes about anxiety is, Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic. Whether it’s a desire for sexual intimacy or information about anxiety and how to manage it, educating yourself (and your partner) about what you’re experiencing can make a world of difference.
Rather than being an enemy that needs eliminating or coping mechanism that needs extinguishing, acknowledge its presence and ask questions like: How do I manage my symptoms? What can I do to prevent myself from spiraling into panic? And most importantly: How do I help my partner deal with these emotions (if it’s your partner who suffers from anxiety)?
Write down your thoughts and feelings
First, you should write down all of your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper. Writing them down will help clear up any uncertainty or confusion in your mind, as well as make sure that you don’t forget anything.
Keep an eye out for negative thinking patterns like “I’m not good enough” or “People don’t like me” — it may be helpful to have someone else look over your list for you, so they can point out potential ways in which you may be overreacting. You can also try taking a step back from an event that caused anxiety: what do others think about it? Is there anyone who might want to help you tackle your feelings? What is something small but positive that happened today?
Talk it out with someone close to you
If you have someone in your life who can help you, don’t hesitate to talk out your problems with them. You don’t necessarily need a therapist—although it wouldn’t hurt! Find a friend or family member who seems like they have an even keel and are good listeners.
The idea is not only to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper (or your mouth), but also to gain some insight from someone on the other side. While friends may not always be professional therapists, they can offer valuable feedback from their own experience and—perhaps more importantly—they won’t judge you for whatever information you choose to share with them.
Go for a walk
One of the best ways to overcome anxiety is by staying active. Exercise releases endorphins, your body’s natural mood-boosters, and studies have found that it can even alter brain chemistry in a way that reduces anxiety.
If you’re already stressed out, hit up your local gym—or take a walk outside if you need something more relaxing—to clear your head and ease your mind. You might be surprised at how much better you feel afterward!
Listen to music
Listening to music has been shown to relax and calm us—and studies have even linked it with reducing anxiety. Try playing your favorite tunes while you’re cooking, cleaning, or just hanging out at home. It’s also a great way to unwind before bedtime.
Practice meditation or mindfulness
You can practice meditation or mindfulness anywhere, but a quiet room with no distractions is best. Start by sitting comfortably, eyes closed. Observe your breathing for about 10 minutes, focusing on nothing else but your breath moving in and out of your body. When you’re comfortable with that, open your eyes and focus on something in front of you—just one thing—for another 10 minutes or so. This will keep you grounded when anxiety-inducing thoughts come into your head; they might be intrusive, but they’ll pass much more quickly if you let them go without dwelling on them. Afterward take some time to write down what happened during your meditative session.
If you’re unsure how to start, try an app – headspace or serenity are great options. If you’re currently working with a company, check out their employee schemes or employee perks. They might offer you some further support than an app can.
Try the havening technique
According to Dr. Edmund Bourne, author of The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, one of his favorite anxiety-reduction techniques is a three-step process called havening. Havening involves using acupressure, tapping or holding on specific acupuncture points for several minutes in order to alleviate anxiety symptoms, particularly panic attacks.
Sarah Maude, a hypnotherapist from Edinburgh (UK), has created a powerful video on how to perform the havening technique. Watch it below.
Examine your habits
It’s easy to fall into old habits that might make your anxiety worse. This is called behavioral conditioning. If you tend to avoid things when you feel anxious, then you might unconsciously choose not to go out with friends or join certain activities. Or maybe you find yourself drinking more alcohol than usual in an attempt at self-medication.
By becoming aware of your habits, you can learn how they contribute (if at all) to your anxiety and take steps towards stopping these behaviors before they start. One way many people deal with anxiety is by smoking cigarettes; if you smoke, consider quitting as soon as possible—it could be just what you need in order to reduce stress levels and symptoms of anxiety too!
To many, anxiety is an unpleasant byproduct of modern life—an occupational hazard that comes with a rigorous job, a packed schedule or daily living in a city. The truth is anxiety can strike anyone at any time. However, there are several ways to manage it and get your life back on track.
I hope that you’ve found these steps and tips helpful. Please remember that you are not alone, everybody suffers with life problems and mental health issues. We are all different and we all react differently.
Be mindful and keep healthy. Always be kind – to yourself and others. Speak to someone if you need help and never feel ashamed or embarrassed about the way you feel.