Dealing with anxiety isn’t easy. You’ve got invisible as well as physical symptoms to deal with. Learn how to manage your anxiety right here! 7 useful ways to help you manage your anxiety.
Anxiety is a tough illness to battle with. I know because I’ve been there (and am still there as I still suffer from it!). That means I know what works and what doesn’t when you’re trying to manage it on a daily basis.
I thought I’d spend a bit of time today going through what you can do to keep your anxiety-pangs at bay. I know how tough you have it, I really do. But remember – keep your head held high and we can both win together!
Shall we get started?
Here are 8 tips to keep your anxiety in check. Some of these are harder than others, granted. But I want you to really try these when you feel on edge. Personally, these all work great for me.
Oh and don’t forget your FREE download to go with this! It’s a copy of this post to keep with you wherever you go. Whip it out whenever you need a little reminder.
I feel a bit silly telling you to breathe. but, when you’re stressed out/anxious, the last thing you’re going to be thinking about is your breathing. It’s only until you take a step back do you realise that you might be taking short, sharp or shallow breaths. This is me. 100%.
I have to make a hugely conscious effort to focus in on my breathing. When I’m anxious, though, this is the first sign I pick up on. This happens not only when I’m anxious, but when I’m worried or on edge, too. Honestly, it’s a bane of my life.
If you’re anything like me then breathing techniques might actually be a great reliever to your anxiety.
A good technique to try is to breathe through your nose and out through your mouth. For each inhale and exhale, count to 4 seconds. I also use this when the possibility of a panic attack coming on, but it can be used at any point of the day.
Sometimes I have to just sit there at work doing these breathing exercises! No one notices either which is even better.
This simple exercise promotes a good breathing cycle and helps to bring your heart rate down. Perfect for any anxious moments/panic attacks.
Keep yourself distracted
Our brains are complex things, aren’t they? Isn’t it funny how although it is so complex, it can be easily distracted? Or maybe that’s just me!?
Distraction is fantastic when you’re dealing with anxiety. Day-to-day anxiety creates a huge number of obstacles for those dealing with it. Get one over on your anxiety easily by occupying yourself with another activity.
I think it’s worth mentioning that although distraction works great for those with anxiety, avoidance of certain situations isn’t healthy. The aim of distractions is to temporarily relieve your anxious feelings and shouldn’t be used to promote avoidance.
Ok. Back on track! “How can I distract myself, Jess?”
In a number of ways, lovely one!
The aim of the game is the keep your mind occupied with something else. This allows you to focus on something and should help ease anxious feelings when they occur. Here are some examples:
– Take the dog for a walk
– Go for a walk on your own
– Go for a walk with friends/family
– Play some board games
– Play solitaire with a pack of cards
– Start reading a book
– Do a form of exercise
Honestly, the list goes on. For you, pick something that you don’t do often. This leaves no room for blank-brain-moments which can allow anxious thoughts to come through. We all have habits of switching off during tasks we do often. That is what I want you to avoid.
Before you know it, your symptoms should hopefully have come down a bit and your thoughts a bit clearer.
Positivity is definitely underrated. Have you ever wondered why it is when you wake up in a bad mood, the whole day seems bad?
I do. You know when you’re tired? Or know you had a bad day the night before? If you keep on being in a negative mood like this, it just ruins your day.
So, what I want you to do is spend five minutes in the morning (or before bed) being thankful. Be grateful for everything you have in your life right now.
Remember that it can be anything you like. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you this part! But if there’s anything to take away from this – it’s that you should just do it. DO. IT.
There you go. Mother Jess told you.
Want to read more? Here are some related posts:
7 Powerful Ways to Turn Negative Thoughts Into Positive Thoughts + Workbook!
Struggling? How To Have a More Positive Outlook on Life + FREE Workbook
Be Confident! How to Face Talking to People Positively
Why You Should Practice Positive Reinforcement and It’s Benefits with Anxiety
Remember that no one is looking at you
For me, anxiety rears its ugly head when I’m out and about. I’m fine at home! Just the thought of it can lead me into anxious sweats. Being sweaty for me far too normal for my liking! Haha,
But leaving the house rather than being a hermit is better for you. It can feel like cabin fever just by staying at home for a few days. The problem with this though is that it can feel like everyone is looking at you.
Whether you’re trying out running or outdoor exercise, nipping to the shops or just generally trying to go out more, the fear of people looking at you is real.
It can accumulate like a snowball into a huge ball of fear that you can’t rid yourself of. honestly, I get it.
The most confident of people have probably felt the fear too, you know. People can look so confident on the outside, but inside they might be a nervous wreck. That’s me by the way!
So what I want you to consider right now is that no, not everyone is looking at you. Yes, people are much more selfish and self-centered than you might realise. They are much more aware of themselves than they will be of you.
I hate to break it to you but human beings are inherently very selfish beings.
The good news for you is that this means you are far less under their radar than you think.
The issue with anxiety is that it causes you to second guess yourself hugely. It creates doubts and lack of confidence in the most unhelpful of situations.
It really is awful.
But the good news for you is that you’re reading this right now. If it helps, repeat this phrase below until you start to believe it:
No-one is looking at me. They couldn’t care less
I find that the more I tell myself, something, the more I start to believe it. This works great when I have to deal with situations that I actively avoid.
It’s all about pushing your boundaries.
Know that you are stronger than you think
I know that you reading this right now will probably be sooo humble. You don’t realise how strong you actually are and tend to put yourself down. That’s the trouble with anxiety.
It eats away at you constantly, unless you take control of it.
So, today I want you to remember that you are a strong person, whether you believe it or not.
You put yourself into scary situations all day every day.
If it helps, try this affirmation below and repeat after me:
I am strong. I have faith in myself
Another great activity to do to get you believing you are strong is to acknowledge your actions.
Keep a diary of all of the situations that you got yourself through. Every time you go to the shops. Every time you speak in front of an audience. Every time you skype someone. Every time you confront a fear. Write it down.
Just the very action of writing it down forces you to acknowledge your little wins.
It helps you process your feelings towards these actions and shows you that you are strong.
Want to read more: Check this out:
7 Ways To Keep Your Mind, Anxiety and Body Healthy + FREE Download
10 of the Best Tips to Feel More In Control
Understand that you have control over your anxiety
Another issue with anxiety is that it makes you doubt yourself. It controls who you are and what you do.
It’s hard to cross that boundary of it controlling you rather than you controlling it. That is a big deal.
That doesn’t mean you aren’t normal though either. A natural human response is to avoid situations that present danger to you. That is the cycle you can learn to break.
It doesn’t mean you can’t gain control over your anxiety. I’m going to give a brief run down now on how to do it.
The main way to gain more control over your anxiety is to face your fears. Does that thought scare you? It scares me I tell you!
But this is the only real way to face your danger zones and learn that they aren’t as bad as they may seem.
If you want to give it a go, I’d recommend starting small. Maybe just five minutes a day facing your fear. So for example, if you hate going into a certain type of shop, be brave and either spend 5 minutes walking to it or 5 minutes inside it.
Once you’ve done that, increase the time each time.
Don’t forget that although it is terrifying, you are very normal. You’ve just prepared for danger as any normal human being would.
The more you do it, the easier (in time) it will become.
Remember that it is very unlikely you’re going to have a panic attack
My final but not least point is to remember during this whole process is the above. It is very unlikely you’re going to have a panic attack.
A lot of my fears come from exposure to anxious situations. I fear that something is going to happen that is out of my own control. That leads to fear of the unknown and fear of panic attacks.
That, my friend, is agoraphobia right there. That’s how it develops.
So, to help you along the way, I want you to remember my statement above. Don’t fear the unknown and don’t fear panic attacks.
Panic attacks actually don’t cause any physical damage whatsoever. It might feel like it, but they don’t. Please keep that in mind – it’ll help you.
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So there you have it. 7 really useful ways to help you deal with anxiety day-to-day. This list is definitely not exhaustive, there are many other ways to keep yourself calm.
Want to share your opinion? Let me know in the comments below!