Anxiety can be all-encompassing and sometimes even debilitating. If you have ever experienced anxiety, you probably know how difficult it can be to calm yourself down or even collect your thoughts. Although these tips may not cure anxiety, they may reduce anxiety symptoms in those overwhelming moments. While it’s essential to start an open dialogue with your doctor, you can prepare ahead of time for anxiety attacks.
Identify Anxiety & Its Triggers
How do you know if what you’re experiencing is anxiety? One indication is excessive worrying that can possibly last from hours to months. Have you noticed you’re overly fatigued and having difficulty sleeping? These are noteworthy symptoms to discuss with your doctor. Another sign is irritability and being physically tense. To reduce symptoms or to gain control during an anxiety attack, try to identify your triggers.
- Write down your thoughts in a diary: Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a very productive way of keeping track of situations that make you feel anxious. Plus, it’s a great way to keep track of symptoms when speaking with a doctor.
- Talk to a friend or therapist: It’s important to open up and talk to your friends, family, or therapists about your anxiety. They will be able to give you an outside perspective that can also help you identify triggers, and what to do when you are experiencing anxiety.
- Identify any major life stressors: Some common life stressors are illness, breakups, deaths of a loved one, loss of work, or starting a new school or job. Acknowledge these highly stressful moments in life so you can better prepare yourself for dealing with them.
- Reflect on your past: Sometimes, difficult experiences that previously caused anxiety can creep up again, forcing us to relive that anxiety. When reflecting on yourself, it’s necessary to look deep into your past to identify difficult times and experiences.
- Listen to your body: Anxiety can be enhanced by the things that we put in our bodies. Caffeine, alcohol, sugars and even some medications can induce unwanted anxiety.
Learning How to Cope with Anxiety
- Practice deep breathing: Deep breathing can be beneficial with reducing feelings of anxiety. Breathe deeply in through your nose for four seconds, and slowly out of your mouth for seven seconds. Repeat until you begin to feel some relief. Try to breathe from your belly region versus your chest. If you hold your hand on your belly, it can help you get a deeper breath.
- Get moving: Exercise, particularly walking, can be an incredibly soothing way to calm anxiety. Going on a nice long walk allows you to step away from your problems and help you focus on your body movement instead.
- Try CBT: CBT, also known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is a type of therapy. This is a method that you can do independently and has been proven to create long-lasting results in dealing with anxiety. This technique aims to teach individuals how to identify their anxiety and triggers while providing coping mechanisms.
Ask about medication: There are several medications out there that can help reduce anxiety and depression. If you have reached the point where you feel that medication is the answer, bring up the idea to your doctor who can help you find the right medication. Not all prescriptions work the same for everyone, so it’s essential to give yourself time and space to figure out what works best for you.