I believe that anxiety issues are widely misunderstood. It’s an indescribable feeling of nervousness and uneasiness that can range from minor discomfort to sheer panic. For someone who has never personally experienced it, it can be hard to understand how someone could be so crippled by anxiety. The most important thing to remember is that all anxiety, no matter how intense, should be treated with respect, patience, and reassurance.
In my years as a limited licensed psychologist in Michigan, I have worked with people suffering from many different anxiety levels. This week, I want to share with you some of the tricks I have learned to effectively deal with anxiety.
9 Ways To Cope With Anxiety
1. Take Time For Yourself
The best way to manage your anxiety is to spend time doing the things you enjoy. Choose some of your favorite hobbies (watching movies, working puzzles, and/or reading books) and make a point to do them several times per week.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercises releases endorphins. Endorphins, simply put, are hormones that make you happy. Frequent exercise – even something simple like a brief walk outdoors – can work wonders towards boosting your mood.
3. Take Deep Breaths
The benefits of deep breathing are almost too numerous to mention. Deep breathing relieves tension and pain, releases toxins, contributes to mental clarity, massages your organs, and strengthens the muscles in your diaphragm. Its calming effect can not be underestimated!
4. Eat Healthy Meals
Believe it or not, the things we eat actually have a big impact on our mental and emotional states. Eating healthy, balanced meals (at regular intervals) can have a huge impact on your emotional well-being.
5. Distract Yourself
If your mind is preoccupied, you will have less time to dwell on the things that make you anxious. Join a non-profit organization, volunteer at your local schools animal shelters, or pick up a new hobby. By giving yourself other things to focus on, you will be less caught up in your anxiety.
6. Remember That There’s No Need To Hurry
People dealing with anxiety sometimes feel that the world is crashing down around their shoulders and they don’t have any time to do anything about it. When this happens, it’s important to take a deep breath and remind yourself that your lack of time is simply an illusion. You have all the time in the world.
7. Keep A Journal
In addition to keeping your emotions balanced, writing in a journal can help you put things in perspective. By putting all of your experiences down on paper, it will be easier to look for patterns. If you can figure out what triggers your anxiety attacks, they will be less likely to catch you off-guard.
8. Face Your Fear
Guess what happens if you do something that scares you over and over? Eventually, you will acclimate and it will no longer scare you. For example, if you are scared of heights, make it a point climb a ladder or stand on a bar stool every day. While it will be incredibly scary at first, eventually your fear will lessen its hold on you.
9. Reassure Yourself That You CAN Overcome Your Anxiety
As Dr. Wayne Dyer once said, “the only limits you have are the limits you believe.” If you are reading this blog post, you are already well on your way to overcoming your anxiety. Don’t beat yourself up if you succumb to an anxiety attack; simply take a deep breath and keep moving forward.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help!
The biggest mistake people can make is assuming that they must deal with their anxiety issues alone. Not only can this assumption deny them the help and support they need, this feeling of being totally alone can actually cause their anxiety to become even worse. Talk to a close, trusted friend or an experienced therapist in Michigan.
If you do not feel comfortable visiting a therapist in person, consider online counseling services. By meeting online, my clients are able to enjoy added anonymity and stay in a space that makes them feel comfortable. If you would like more information about online therapy in Michigan, visit my website or give me a call!