A day that you’re struggling with anxiety, is a day that you’re not managing it. If you suffer from the harsh, and sometimes debilitating effects of anxiety, you might often wonder what you can do to prevent it. While anxiety medication will provide a few relieving benefits of anxiety, taking control over it on your own is the best way to managing anxiety.
At Skills To Change, we’ve structured unique personal development courses to help people who suffer from anxiety, PTSD, and other motivational development courses so people can live healthier lives. Our passion is to free people from conditions that clutter and get in the way of living as normal of lives has possible.
If you have landed on this article, you’re most likely looking for ways you can manage your anxiety. In today’s article, we’ll discuss the importance of anxiety management, and helpful tips you can make in your day-to-day life. In the meantime, visit Skills To Change for more personal development courses!
The truth is, there are many different ways to manage anxiety symptoms and prevent them from coming on, however your mental coping skill is your strongest tool. Everyone of us has a coping skill, no matter how buried it is underneath anxiety and other mood disorders. Your coping skill is like a muscle, you can train it to help you overcome anxiety and reduce the effects it has on you. Unfortunately, as you have the ability to make your coping techniques stronger—you can easily make it weaker by developing unhealthy habits like:
- Consuming alcohol (more than once or twice a week)
- Resorting to drugs
- Overusing prescribed medication
- Reckless behaviors
If these habits have developed while your anxiety started to escalate, they’re definitely not going help make your anxiety better.
Your mind and body adapt when outside forces require it to do less work. It's the reason that steroid use in athletes is so dangerous. Take too many steroids, and your body will naturally produce less because it doesn't think it needs to do any work for them anymore.
It's the same with anxiety and stress. If you're often anxious, and you turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, then your mind will expect that these coping mechanisms will do all the work, and you'll lose your ability to cope naturally even more. So while you should always refrain from heavy drinking, drugs, etc., it's especially important when you live with anxiety.
Manage Your Anxiety Symptoms
That doesn't mean there aren't strategies that you can use to manage your anxiety. They simply have to be strategies that aid your natural coping ability, not replace it. Below are some examples of natural anxiety management tools:
Everyone tells you to exercise for your physical health. But when you don't exercise, your ability to cope with stress takes a huge blow. Your anxiety will often become much worse when you don't exercise because your muscles turn that pent-up energy into physical stress, which in turn becomes mental stress. On the flipside, when you exercise, you not only reduce that extra energy - you also improve hormone balance, release neurotransmitters that enhance mood and improve breathing. Exercise is easily one of the most potent, healthy anxiety management tools available.
Living a healthy lifestyle is also important. From sleep to nutrition to hydration, the healthier your body is, the better it works, and the better it works, the less you'll experience anxiety. These aren't anxiety cures - anxiety, of course, is more of a mental health disorder forged through years of experiences, and simply sleeping more isn't going to magically take it away - but they'll drastically reduce the symptoms, which should help you cope with anxiety much more easily.
Yoga is a type of exercise that has additional benefits to reducing anxiety. First, it is a slower form of exercise without being any less challenging. Those with anxiety need an opportunity to slow their lives down so that it feels more manageable. Yoga also teaches breathing techniques that can be very valuable for fighting anxiety.
Another strategy that many people don't realize is effective involves creating memories. For example, trying new cuisines or traveling to nearby museums. This can be very hard for those with severe anxiety since it requires them to go out into the world, but the more you can force yourself to do and enjoy every day (they need to be happy memories, of course) the more positive thoughts you'll have when you're struggling with stress.
Many relaxation strategies exist that help you cope with anxiety. Visualization is a great one. It involves imagining yourself and your five senses in a more relaxed place. These strategies give your mind an opportunity to be calmer so that you have a chance to re-learn how to cope with stress naturally.
Distractions are also an important part of anxiety management. Your thoughts tend to be your enemy when you suffer from anxiety. So distractions allow you to stop focusing on those thoughts and give yourself a break to simply calm down. Talking on the phone with someone you like about positive things (negativity still breeds anxiety) can be more powerful than you realize, and a great way to regain that mental strength you used to have.
Writing thoughts down in a journal may seem like something you only did as a child, but it's a powerful coping tool. It benefits anxiety in two ways. First, journaling gives you a chance to simply let out your thoughts - something that far too many people hold inside them. Second, writing down your worries puts your thoughts in a permanent place, and that tells your brain that it doesn't have to focus on remembering them as much as it did previously.
Managing Anxiety Permanently
In some cases, you may find that anxiety management was all you needed to live with a high quality of life. Not everyone suffers from severe anxiety, and in some cases, a bit of management may be enough to "essentially" cure your anxiety, at least enough that you can function happily with anxiety having little impact.
But still, most people need something more. So while you should use the above anxiety management tips and information, you should also remember that cures are out there, and you don't have to live with anxiety forever.