Five Simple Strategies to Help Curb Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural emotion many of us struggle with at some point in our lives. Some people experience anxiety prior to an anticipated change, while others feel it more regularly. The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as, “An emotion that is characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes.” Anxiety doesn’t always have to be a negative emotion, however, learning how to cope and implement strategies to help suppress uncontrolled or overwhelming feelings is always beneficial.

1) Practice Self-Care
Self-care is an all-encompassing term used to describe the process of actively taking measures to improve or preserve one’s health. Self-care includes getting enough sleep, improving your diet, exercising, and staying on a routine. Decompressing during stressful situations by slowing down and relaxing can help make you more productive. Anxiety is naturally reduced by productivity, so try reading a book, writing in a journal, listening to your favorite music, practicing yoga, meditating, etc.

2) Learn to Control Your Thoughts – Not Vice-Versa
Negative patterns of emotions, feelings, and thoughts can directly increase anxiety. Distorted reality can arise, potentially causing panic-mode. One way to curb negativity is to ask yourself whether what you are thinking is true. Then, gauge whether focusing on it will make you feel better or worse. If it doesn’t improve your thought pattern or relieve stress, avoid focusing on it as much as possible. Maintain a positive attitude by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

3) Try Deep Breathing
Exercises such as breathing in for four counts, then exhaling for four counts helps to even out your nervous system. This will naturally lower your heart rate, which will inevitably calm your body. Instead of aiming for perfection, be proud of the progress you have made, and continue to adjust your breathing exercises based on your results.

4) Find Patterns – Write in a Journal
Is there a specific time of day you feel anxious? Maybe it’s a certain day of the week, or perhaps work, family, or school activities affect you more than you realize. It’s helpful to keep track of these patterns by journaling and marking when anxiety levels are elevated. Specific situations can be super triggering; by targeting these areas, you will be more prepared for anxiety management in the future.

5) Knowing When To Ask for Help
Even the strongest people need help from time-to-time. If you are unable to manage the symptoms of anxiety alone, seeking help from a therapist could be extremely beneficial. Mental health professionals are licensed, trained, and able to assist clients with problems such as anxiety. By listening to your feelings, struggles, and emotions, they are able to create a plan custom-tailored for you.

Anxiety doesn’t have to be debilitating. Learn how to manage anxiety in a healthy, skillful way with help from licensed professionals at the Relationship Center of Michigan. If you have any questions, call 810-227-6218 for a consultation today. You can also visit our website for more information.

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