Do you need some tips for coping with anxiety? When you suffer from anxiety, doing things that other people take for granted can be difficult. You miss out on a lot because of it. Anxious people can't just 'pull themselves together' as they're often advised, and switch off their anxiety. But you can find ways to alleviate and manage it. Here are some tips for coping with anxiety, so that you can enjoy more of what life has to offer …
1. Put in Perspective
One of my tips for coping with anxiety is to try putting your worries in perspective. Ask yourself what is the worst that could happen? It may not be as bad as you think. Try to make your concerns appear smaller and less intimidating; you may realise that you can deal with them after all.
2. Take Action
When you suffer from anxiety, you tend to dwell on the things that worry you and get stuck in a cycle of thinking and worrying. The more you think, the more you worry - and all you can do is think. Taking action can help to break this cycle, and you will feel better that you are doing something. It's better than getting trapped in your thoughts and worries.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has proven helpful to many people who suffer from anxiety. It aims to change negative patterns and teach you the skills to cope. CBT can even be provided online, which is useful if you don't have easy access to a therapist. It's designed to be effective over a relatively short period of therapy.
Medication isn't always the answer to dealing with anxiety; CBT can be much more effective, as it helps to retrain your way of thinking. But in some cases, medication can be a useful tool in reducing your anxiety levels. I have meds that I take only when I need to; that doesn't happen very often, but it's helpful to know that I have that backup if I need it.
Distracting yourself from your anxiety can also be useful. When you feel it building up, refocus your thoughts. I like to read something out in my head; you can also try counting in a foreign language, counting backwards or reciting a poem. Some people like to place an elastic band around their wrist and snap it when they feel their anxiety coming on; the physical sensation 'snaps' you out of the anxiety mode.
6. Facing Your Fears
Sometimes, the best option is to face your fears and put yourself into the situation that worries you. By doing so, you will see that it's not as bad as you feared and the worst will not happen. This allows you to feel more comfortable when you're in the same situation in future, and also in other situations as you've proved to yourself you can cope.
7. Diet & Exercise
Finally, paying some attention to your diet can make a difference. If you drink coffee, switch to decaffeinated or give it up; caffeine will make you feel jittery and you don't need that. Cut down on refined and processed foods, and include more wholegrains and fresh produce. Also get some exercise, which boost the levels of serotonin in your brain and increases your overall well-being.
Anxiety is often dismissed by non-sufferers, but it can seriously affect your life. However it is possible to reduce your anxiety levels and learn to manage it. Have you ever confronted your fears and done better than you thought you would?