Living with anxiety isn’t easy. Millions of people struggle doing everyday tasks because anxiety interferes with everything. If you are one of those people the following tips might be useful for keeping your anxiety in check.
1. Exercise and Work Out
Working out is a great way to release anxious energy in your body and helps you to calm down afterwards.An intense work out will help you focus on the ‘here and now’ instead of all the hypothetical stressful situations in your head. This is important because being mindful of your real life surroundings is a great way of preventing your thoughts from getting out of your control.
2. Make Lists
Having a To-Do list will help organize the jumble that is in your brain and even if you overthink, you will only overthink one thing at a time.
3. Go For A Walk
Getting away from the same surrounding of your workplace or home might help for your brain to stop going crazy. Try going for a walk at a time that isn’t difficult for you and even if you think that a solo walk might churn up more anxiety then take a friend with you to keep you distracted.
4. Blow Bubbles
Carry a small bottle of liquid bubble soap and every time you feel your anxiety coming on, find a spot to just sit and blow bubble. It will give you something to focus on, force you to take deep breaths and calm you down.
5. Ground Yourself
It sounds more complicated than it is. You can use your senses to refocus your attention on your surroundings when you feel your anxiety troubling you. For instance, if you’re sitting in a lawn with a few friends try feeling the grass with your hands and focusing on the voices of your friends. This will help you situate yourself in your present environment.
6. Tidy Up!
Your brain is already a jumble… do not make your room house another one that makes it difficult for you to process things. If there are dishes in the sink, just do them! It’s therapeutic and you will have a clean kitchen afterwards. Make your bed and organize your cupboard! You have messes in your head. You don’t need more in your surroundings!
7. Acknowledge Anxiety’s Presence
It might be hard for you to do at first but a lot of therapists suggest that acknowledging anxiety as a separate being helps to dissociate yourself from it. This will help you to not let anxiety take over you completely.
8. Pet An Animal
With all kinds of mental illnesses it has shown that petting cats, dogs, bunnies and any other furry friends will help release endorphins in your brain and make it easier for you to manage your thoughts.
9. Try Some Breathing Exercises
Everyone probably already tells you to practice breathing exercises but you aren’t sure how to do that or if it’ll help. Here is one simply exercise you could try:
- Place one hand on your stomach and breathe in deeply.
- When you inhale you will feel your stomach inflate.
- When you exhale your stomach will deflate back.
Keep doing this till you feel like your breathing more calmly.
10. Remind Yourself That You Are Safe
Chronic anxiety often causes you to think of hypothetical threatening situations and become afraid for your safety. At such moments it is important to remind yourself that you are physically safe and any threats only exist in your anxious thoughts.
11. Solve a Puzzle
It’s a really small thing to do and it gets your mental energy involve in a specific project. Try starting your day with a crossword in the Newspaper or Magazine.
12. Don’t Aim For Perfection
Setting an impossible standard for yourself will mean that you will get anxiety from the fear of disappointing yourself. Instead, it’s better to set small daily goals and and give yourself credit for whatever you achieve.
13. Doodle, Draw, Paint or Write!
Have an artwork notebook in your bag and every time a situation feels overwhelming, just take out the notebook and start doodling. You could also have a writing app on your phone and just give your thoughts an outlet whenever you feel the need to. Losing yourself in a painting can also be really helpful.
14. Take Care Of Your Physical Needs
It is extremely important to pamper yourself. Get regular haircuts, eat healthy and don’t let yourself go. you may not have a lot of appetite but don’t miss meals… have a salad instead.
15. Give Yourself A Break
Spend at least 20 minutes of your day lying on your stomach or curling up in bed and just letting yourself be. This helps keep your anxiety at bay by keeping your adrenaline in check. People with anxiety often suppress their anxiety and it comes back stronger. So give your anxiety a little time of your day too.
16. Find A Safe Space
It could be your childhood room or your current gym or even your best friend’s house. Your safe space can be real or imaginary but the image must be stored in your head for you to access it whenever you need to.
17. Stay hydrated
Keeping a bottle of water on you and sipping water occasionally can go a long in keeping you calm. Also put reminders on your phone to help you keep drinking water.
18. Try Guided Meditation or Yoga
This might not work for you if you have trouble even sitting still but if you tend to feel low because of anxiety then it could help to add this to your daily routine. Just put on a video and follow the steps in the comfort of your room for half an hour daily.
19. Find Your Scent
Aromatherapy is a real thing. Certain scents have proven to help release serotonin in your brain so either light a scented candle for your bedroom or find a lotion or body oil in the same scent. Lavender for instance really helps in making you feel calmer.
20. Watch a Show or Read a Book
Getting lost in another world may help you get out of your head because it’ll keep your mind occupied. An idle mind can very easily be plagued with anxiety. Get lost in a book and if its difficult for you to concentrate then just put on a show… preferably comedy so that it gives you comic relief.
21. Listen To Some Good Music
Listening to the music you love can also help you focus on one thing and not get distracted by what’s happening around you. It will also help you complete your tasks more efficiently and decrease hypothetical anxiety causing situations in your head.
22. Take a Trip
Reconnecting with nature and getting away from the hyper city life is always helpful. Taking a break every now and then to give yourself and your brain some rest is a good idea to keep your anxiety at bay.
23. Call a friend
People who care about you can be your anchors! Reach out to them when you feel like you’re drowning in your anxiety. If you don’t ask for help you will never get it.
24. Knit And Do Crafts
Art projects tend to occupy your brain and it helps to do something that has repetitive pattern so there is no room for your brain to wander. Knitting can be that repetitive exercise you do to relax your brain and other crafts can include making stars or flowers out of play dough.
25. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Do you have trouble going to sleep at night because your brain starts thinking about everything and you are wide awake? You should try not to have any caffeine after 7 pm and also limit you caffeine intake during the day.
26. Choose a Sport That You Enjoy
You might be the sort of person who like intense activity and get anxious if you don’t get the right amount of exercise. It’s better of you just choose a sport and find someone to play with on a daily basis. This way you will also make a friend who you can talk to while playing sports and it can be a therapeutic session for you.
27. Follow a Routine
Having an hour by hour plan of your day will help you move from task to task and won’t let your mind wander. This will keep any anxiety inducing thoughts at bay.
28. Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile flowers are proven to not only calm you down but significantly decrease anxiety. Have a cup an hour before heading to bed and it should put your mind at ease.
29. Find A Therapist That Works For You
Even though these tips are helpful, there is a chance that you still have trouble dealing with it everyday. You don’t have to do it by yourself and there is no harm in seeking professional help.
30. Ask Your Doctor About Medication
Do not start taking medication unless your psychologist advises it but when/if they do advise it, you can have a conversation about anti-anxiety medication with your physician.
31. Do Not Fight Your Demons
Remember that even though anxiety will bring you down with the worst thoughts and fears, you cannot suppress it or fight it. You need acknowledge it and go on with life along with its presence.
Anxiety doesn’t go away overnight but you will get better at managing it with time. Don’t give up hope.
Cover image via: tribune.com.pk