7 Helpful Tips for Relieving Anxiety
For many of us, anxiety already feels like a permanent guest that never leaves our house. For others, it may be their first encounter with anxiety. For everyone who has been feeling anxious–no matter the degree–we want you to know this: you aren’t alone.
That’s why we’ve gathered a few ideas and tips to help you manage negative feelings. No solution is one-size-fits-all, but we hope you find something here that helps you with what you’re going through.
7 Steps to Help You Ease Your Anxiety
It may sound weird to accept something you wish wasn’t there in the first place. The truth is, when you recognize and accept these feelings, you embrace yourself as you are. Anxiety can very easily lead you down a path where you criticize yourself for being in inner turmoil.
Try to tell yourself–even out loud if it helps you–“I know I’m feeling anxious and that’s okay. This is a normal response for the circumstances I’m facing.”
When you allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, you actually become more in control of your situation. Conversely, pushing down anxiety or wishing it didn’t exist won’t make it go away.
Take Deep Breaths
When stress is getting out of control, you can use your body to relax your mind. Take a few deep breaths while slowly counting to five. Try breathing through your nose for five seconds and exhaling through your mouth for four seconds.
Many breathing exercises can also be incredibly helpful when stress gets out of hand. Here’s a short video that shows how you can do the box breathing exercise easily:
You can also find several apps that help you with focused breathing exercises. Try them and find one that suits your needs and personal taste. They can become a great tool to help you cope with anxiety healthily.
Write Your Thoughts on Paper
Anxiety is an expert in holding our brains hostage in a cycle of worry. We can end up ruminating for hours with a seemingly endless carousel of negative thoughts.
Getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper is an excellent way to break this cycle. To start, write a list of everything that’s making you feel anxious. No matter how big or small each worry is, write it all down.
You’ll likely feel a bit of relief in this exercise alone, but you can also do more. After writing, ask yourself: “What can I do about it?” and go through each item on your list. Focus on what you can change and let go of what you can’t. It may be hard at first, but it’ll get easier over time.
Step Away from the Screens
Sometimes, you just need to take a break from all the technology that surrounds you. All the apps, social media, and news outlets can be too much at certain times, and lead you to a downward spiral.
Make no mistake: being informed is a good thing. Still, being informed is different from doomscrolling. Doomscrolling is the act of consuming news to an unhealthy and excessive degree. That means continuously scrolling through social media and websites isn’t the best. Here’s a helpful link about all you need to know about doomscrolling, why it’s bad for you, and how to avoid it.
Be aware of the impact that screen time has on your life. Remember to unplug and recharge away from tech devices.
Turn Your Worries into Movement
It’s not exactly breaking news, but it’s still worth remembering: when you feel nervous, do something. Redirect your anxious energy into action. Go walk outside, dance to your favorite song, take the dog for a walk or clean the dishes. It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as it helps you release the energy you’re bottling up inside.
Exercise is known to alleviate the negative effects of stress on the body and mind. Still, did you know that physical activity can also boost your mental health and your immune system? Here are the many ways exercise can boost your health, according to the American Psychological Association.
Find A Goal That Is Meaningful to You
Anxiety is often connected to the lack of control we feel at any given moment. That’s why, it’s important to work on something that’s yours alone, something that has meaning to you.
This personal goal should be something you can do often and makes you feel good about yourself. Find something outside work that is appealing to you and make sure it isn’t a stressor to your life. Are you eager to start a personally meaningful arts and crafts project? Perhaps you’d like to dedicate some time each month to cooking new dishes or ingredients?
The possibilities are endless and each person has their own passions. Focus on your goal in your spare time, and it’ll boost your energy for the whole week. Set up deadlines that you can work with (or don’t set up them at all if that works best for you!)
What’s something you keep telling yourself you have no time to do? It’s time to finally go ahead.
Separate the Emotion from Who You Are
Your anxiety isn’t you.
When you’re experiencing strong negative emotions, it’s easy to forget that they aren’t who you are. Learn to call out your anxiety and don’t let it define who you are.
You’re feeling anxious, and you’re experiencing self-criticism. These are simply moments when you feel strongly about something; they aren’t your identity. These too shall pass.
As we’ve stated, anxiety doesn’t have a universal solution. Since we’re all different, you need to discover what works best for you and use it to the best of your abilities.
Lastly, a word about severe anxiety cases. Occasional anxiety is one thing, but anxiety disorders are completely different. It may even require professional counseling.
These are some signs that you should pay attention to:
- Anxiety that’s ongoing or nearly constant;
- Anxiety that interferes with your work or social life (for example, you find yourself unable to focus at work because you’re always overwhelmed);
- Panic attacks;
If the list above sounds familiar, perhaps it’s time you consider talking to a mental health professional. They can help you understand what you’re going through and how to cope with it in a constructive way.
We’d also like to remind you that Devexperts has an Employee Assistance Program that offers anonymous psychological support. This program aims to help anyone going through challenging times.