April 23, 2017 Maryanna Antoldi

Have Anxiety? Here’s How to Cope

Anxiety. We all have it, and it is easier than we may think for it to spin out of control— especially when diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can range anywhere from a psychological feeling of being on edge to physical issues, such as muscle tension and sleep problems. However, the worst types of anxiety can often grow into a panic disorder, where fear can cause heart palpitations, sweating, shortness of breath, and trembling. To avoid intense or constant bouts of anxiety, here are some easy coping mechanisms to help you relax.

Exercise and Yoga

One of the best ways to reduce some serious stress is to exercise. A lack of exercise can often lead to increased stress because, when you’re not active, all of your pent up energy has no outlet. Not only does exercise contribute to a healthier lifestyle, but it is also a great tool to help release any building anxiety. Exercise also has a lot of other benefits like hormone regulation and better mood.

A substitute for a solid workout is yoga, which centers on balance and relaxation. With a combination of meditation and breathing introduced with the movements, yoga is one of the best ways to reduce stress. It also increases flexibility, cardio-health, and muscle strength. 

Sleeping Regularly and Eating Healthy

Another way to reduce anxiety is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Basically, this means to eat healthy and be sure to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. The better your body works, the better you will feel—which means less stress. While this may not eliminate anxiety altogether, it will reduce your symptoms and help you stay on the right track. 

Journaling/Memory Making

For some with severe anxiety, it may be hard to actively participate in the world. However, getting out and interacting with others will create positive memories that can help you cope when your stressed. Journaling is another key tool to help preserve these memories. Not only does it allow you to release your thoughts on paper, it also provides an outlet so that your anxiety doesn’t keep running through your mind. By creating memories and then documenting them in your journal, you can draw upon them when your anxiety gets bad to help cope and get yourself in a good place.

Breathing and Visual Exercises

While it may seem trivial, taking deep breaths in and out while stressed can actually help lower your heart rate and cause your body to relax faster. To help reduce anxiety in the quickest way, try deep breathing while performing a visualization exercise. Visualization simply entails closing your eyes and picturing yourself in a more relaxed place. Using all five of your senses will truly enhance your visualization, and it can help take any stressful situation and minimize it. 

Distractions

When your anxiety is really intense, there is one easy way to  solve your problems—distracting yourself. Whether you want to take a walk, listen to some music, or watch your favorite show on Netflix, distractions are great for taking your mind off of a stressful situation. When life gets tough, there is no harm in taking a short break. Do not pressure yourself to do more than you can at any given time. 

This list provides only a few examples of coping mechanisms for anxiety. None of them can eliminate the feeling completely, but they will certainly help you live a happier and healthier life. So, the next time you find yourself feeling on edge, give one of these a try—you won’t regret it!

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