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Wondering how to manage feelings of anxiety? Everyone experiences those feelings from time to time. Certain situations can bring up thoughts that generate anxiety, stress, worry, and nervousness.
Some people may feel anxious more often or more intensely than others, and might even have a diagnosed anxiety disorder. When you deal with feelings of anxiety regularly, whether or not you have a diagnosis, you need methods you can use to cope with it. Medication can be useful for some, but it's still important to have techniques to manage your anxious feelings day-to-day. There are multiple things that you might do to deal with these feelings.
Learn Breathing Techniques
Breathing techniques can help you manage feelings of anxiety, but it doesn't work for everyone. Experiment! Anxiety can cause you to feel nauseated and might also get your heart pumping and your breath coming quicker too. Taking a moment to breathe deeply helps to calm your body and can give you a moment to clear your mind too. There are a few breathing techniques that you can use. Simply inhaling and exhaling slowly to take some deep breaths is a good start, but if you're finding it hard to catch your breath there are also some specific breathing patterns that can help.
I recommend 4-7-8 breathing, outlined in this post.
Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique that focuses on remaining in the presence. Worrying about the future can generate feelings of anxiety. Mindfulness encourages you to focus on what you're experiencing now, from the things that you can hear and see to what you can touch and smell. It also encourages you to recognize your thoughts and feelings without judgment, allowing you to acknowledge them and then let them pass you by. A common technique used by people to deal with anxiety and panic attacks is to list things you can see, hear, smell, touch, and even taste.
Channel Your Energy Into Your Hands
Some people find themselves with excess energy when they're feeling anxious. This is because of the adrenaline that's coursing through their bodies. You might find that your hands shake or you bounce your leg or pace when feeling anxious. One thing that can be helpful is to have a way to channel that energy into your hands. Some people use fidget spinners, or you might look at palm, pocket and worry stones to keep in your pocket. Being able to fiddle with something when you're anxious allows you to direct your energy into a specific activity and can help you stay calm.
A lack of sleep can exacerbate anxiety, so it's important to get a healthy amount of sleep. When you're feeling tired, it can make it more difficult to manage your emotions, but being well-rested will help you feel better. The recommended amount of sleep you should get each night is around seven to nine hours, although everyone might find that they need a different amount. Anxiety can also make it more difficult to sleep, so sleeping poorly and feeling anxious can feed into each other. A good night's sleep can make a big difference if you often feel anxious.
Eat Well and Stay Hydrated
Other ways of taking care of yourself physically can also help you feel better if you regularly experience feelings of anxiety. A balanced diet is one way to manage your anxiety, ensuring your body has the energy that it needs. It's also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other liquids. You can often find that if you're feeling anxious, taking a break to have something to drink and something to eat can make you feel a lot better.
Regular exercise also helps you to care for your physical health, and it's excellent for your mental health too. Exercising on a regular basis can form a part of a healthy routine, and it releases chemicals in your brain that can lift your mood. If you're not keen on the idea of exercise, you just have to find something that you enjoy. Whether it's going for a walk, swimming, climbing, or dancing, everyone can find something they like. Try finding other people to exercise with too. You can motivate each other to get active more often.
Do Something Relaxing
Sometimes you need something to distract yourself when you're feeling anxious. There are all kinds of things that you enjoy that can help you unwind and think about something else. You could listen to music, read a book or watch TV, take a bath, or go out with your friends. Keeping yourself occupied with something that you like to do will give you something else to focus on and can help to improve your mood too.
Talk About Your Feelings
Talking about your feelings of anxiety can help you deal with them. When you're having intensely negative feelings, bottling them up doesn't help. This can be especially true with anxiety, leading you to get even more anxious as you talk yourself into a spiral. Having friends and family you can talk to is helpful, and there are other people you can turn to as well. You might join a support group or perhaps look for a therapist who can be an impartial person like a coach to listen to your thoughts and feelings.
Adjust Your Mindset
Changing your mindset can help you reduce feelings of anxiety. For example, you might often feel anxious about not being able to get everything perfect or about being in control. It's important to recognize that perfection all the time isn't possible, and that everyone makes mistakes or might only be able to do something to a certain standard. It's also necessary to accept that you can't control everything. Working on changing your mindset to accept the things that you can't control can make it easier to manage stress and deal with feelings of anxiety.
Use these tips to manage anxiety day-to-day and you could improve your mood and wellbeing to feel healthier and happier.
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