For the many people who live and cope with anxiety or a related disorder know how terrifying both the physical and mental symptoms can be. Issues like debilitating headaches, shortness of breath and persistent rumination make even the simplest daily tasks feel like impossible undertakings.
For people without a disorder, but still suffer from and cope with anxiety in acute instances; such as job or financial stress; can lead to the same symptoms and feelings.
Put your anxiety on ice – plunging your hands into ice water or splashing some on your face can help you cope with anxiety. Senatorial
stimulation with cold water can break through dissociative feelings that often accompany anxiety and offer immediate relief from heightened cortisol levels.
Clench your fists – Whilst exercise is great for alleviating anxiety, it’s not always realistic to go for a run when you’re in the middle of a panic attack. However, a few physical activities, even ones as simple as clenching and releasing parts of your body, can have a positive effect.
By placing your hands on or beside your legs; making a ball with your fists like you are really mad and tightening your hands as much as you can. Take a deep breath and loosen your fists a little bit as you finish a slow exhale. Continue to take deep breaths and loosen your fists until your hands are completely open. Then stretch your fingers outward as much as you can. Now notice your body again as it now begins to cope with anxiety and the lessening of the anxiety points you felt earlier.
Repeat a calming phrase – when the body is under stress, we need to address our physical discomfort before we can calm down to cope with anxiety. Breathe deeply at least three times, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Now assure yourself with a positive and phrase like: ‘I am safe, and I am loved’ repeat this slowly at least three times, and you should begin to feel more at ease.
Allow yourself to feel anxious – Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes the more you fight it, the worse it gets. Instead, acknowledge that you’re feeling anxiety and give yourself permission to feel uncomfortable.
I know this can sound scary, but anxiety stays anchored into place when we resist its presence, It can literally move through and beyond us the moment we decide to allow it and resolve to cope with anxiety.
Let the tears flow – It can also be helpful to cry, research shows that crying can be therapeutic and help cope with anxiety, often it’s a sign that there are emotions that need to be released. Often anxiety is a response to trapped or repressed grief, In these cases, giving oneself conscious permission to cry can offer the catharsis needed to calm the nervous system.
Shut down your social media apps for a bit – Those suffering from anxiety can often feel overwhelmed by external expectations, including cultivating the perfect image on social media. Research suggests that people feeling anxiety based on their news feeds take a timeout in order to cope with anxiety.
Social media and the internet in general often heighten anxiety and fear, sometimes through encounters with inaccurate information or information not relevant to the particular situation. But the World Wide Web isn’t all awful. Online support groups can help anxiety sufferers feel less alone.
Take stock of your surroundings – Not thinking about your symptoms entirely is frivolous advice especially when looking at ways to cope with anxiety. How can you not think about feeling as if your world is crashing? That said, distracting your mind by focusing on something concrete in front of you can help you to avoid spiralling out of control. Count different colours, numbers or items in a room. If you’re feeling panicked, this can be a way to ground yourself and manage distress and anxiety.
Jot down your feelings –Putting your worries and triggers in writing can help you cope with anxiety and manage your symptoms whilst at the same time challenge negative self-talk that’s often associated with anxiety, write down two to three words or bullet points that describe your biggest worries at that moment. Take them one at a time and ask yourself if it is a fact or your opinion. Often what feels 100 percent true in the moment is actually our opinion, and when we recognise it as such, we are able to diffuse its intensity.
Face what’s causing your anxiety in the first place – It sounds counterproductive, but it’s one of the most effective strategies cope with anxiety. it’s important to face specific fears you have and not practice avoidance tactics.
Anxiety is fed by avoidance. When you feel anxious about a given scenario, one of the most common reactions is to avoid it. Even though logically there may be no real danger in these situations, anxiety makes you feel like you actually dodged a bullet by avoiding the potentially upsetting situation rather than pushing through. That just makes anxiety bigger.
When you are in a possibly anxiety-inducing situation, resolve not to retreat. Challenge yourself to stay in it for at least five minutes, you can tolerate just about anything for five minutes. If you can handle it after five minutes, push it to 10, then 15, etc. Eventually, your body will regulate itself, and the anxious feelings that you have will become easier to tolerate. Just a thought to add, though: This approach is best undertaken with the support of a therapist.
Seek help from a professional – Speaking of support from a therapist and talking things through with a mental health professional can be hugely beneficial and keep you safe from a progression to more dangerous anxious behaviours, working with a therapist who specialises in anxiety can help people break the unhealthy patterns in their lives and learn new, healthier ways of coping with their anxiety.
Although experiencing anxiety isn’t always within your control, taking care of your mental and physical health can limit the chances that it will become overwhelming.
Making sure that you eat well, exercise and get enough rest, along with watching the way you talk to yourself, helps ensure that you’re more resilient against negative feelings and thoughts.