Tips to Manage Anxiety

I shared in last week’s blog that I’ve been dealing with anxiety for a few years now. I’ve been on a persistent pursuit to figure out how I can best prevent, assess and overcome it. Through counseling and many trials and errors, I am finally feeling somewhat in control of my spiraling mind. I am very aware that everyone’s struggles are different and what works for me may not work for the next person. I am hoping, however, that this little bit of insight into my journey may help in some way.

If you haven’t tried counseling before, I highly encourage you to give that a shot. Talk therapy with someone who is unbiased can be very helpful. They may also have other suggestions of things you can try, such as the neurofeedback I mentioned previously.

My go-to’s when my anxiety comes on strong and quick and I need instant relief:

  • Go for a walk or doing something active in the fresh air
  • Talk with my close family or friends
  • 5 Senses Meditation (see Facebook post)
  • “Brain Dump” journaling (no prompt or thinking, just writing whatever comes up)
  • Focus on taking full, deep belly breaths

Sometimes doing just one of these things will do the trick while other times I need to do a combination of them.

When my anxiety has been lingering for an extended period of time, these are the things I have found helpful:

  • Create routine from day to day – consistency is key!
  • Read something inspiring, uplifting or educational
  • Check in throughout each day – how am I feeling? What things are adding to my anxiety? What thoughts are circulating through my mind?
    • If I can, I will write these answers in my journal, type these answers into the notes on my phone or record an audio clip. But sometimes, I just answer them in my mind.
  • SLOW DOWN, say NO!
    • I am a go, go, go person and will go until I burn myself out. My anxiety typically gets worse when I am exhausted. I have found it is important to evaluate who/what adds to my life in a positive way and who/what depletes me of energy. This allows me to more easily set boundaries.
  • Schedule a counseling appointment
    • I did weekly, bi-weekly and then monthly sessions a few years ago. I’m at a place now that I can often recognize and manage my anxiety on my own. When things feel like too much for me to handle alone, I will reach out to my counselor for a session. She knows me and understands me better than anyone and has a way of untangling my thoughts.

I hope this helps! What have you found that helps you?

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