Experiencing racing thoughts? Nervousness? Gastrointestinal issues?
Or maybe your symptoms look more like this: rapid heart rate, heavy sweating, and hyperventilation?
Maybe, like me, you’ve experienced all the above symptoms at different points in your life. Or maybe this all new to you.
No matter how much experience you have dealing with anxiety, here are some quick and easy tips that can help:
- Breathe – Placing your attention on your breath is one of the quickest ways to relieve anxiety. It forces you to get in touch with how you feel in your body, right now, in this moment.
- Sit with it – No matter how much we may hate feeling anxious, telling ourselves to ignore it rarely works. Sometimes it is better to sit with your anxiety. Watch it. Be curious about how it feels in your body. Notice how it changes from moment to moment, depending on your thoughts. Know that no matter how uncomfortable it is, your anxiety, in and of itself, will not hurt you.
- Distract yourself – Watch a funny show or listen to a favorite podcast. Reach out and talk to a friend. Meditate. Spend some time in nature. Read a book. Listen to music. Play video games. Indulge in a favorite hobby or try something new to see what you think.
- Exercise if you are able – Movement can be an excellent way to burn through nervous energy. Go for a walk. Do some yoga or pilates. Lift some weights. You don’t have to do a lot of exercise to benefit from it- just do what you can.
- Show yourself and others some compassion – Dealing with anxiety is difficult. It can turn us into the worst version of ourselves in the blink of an eye. Try to acknowledge the fear you feel, but please don’t use it as an excuse to treat yourself or others badly. Making space in your life for extra rest and self-nurturing is also a good idea, as is kindness.
If nothing else, remember that anxiety is based on expecting something bad to happen in the future.
Remind yourself that right now, in this moment, you are safe.
If you are having an especially rough time, go see your doctor. There are a variety of medications out there that can help.
But if visiting a doctor isn’t an option for you, for whatever reason, there are apps out there that can provide relief, too.
Apps that can help you manage the anxiety you’re feeling:
I use both Curable and Woebot to help manage my anxiety and chronic pain, but I have heard good things about the other apps on this list as well.
Give one (or two) of them a try.
For some of us, anxiety is a daily inevitability. For others, it is nothing more than an occasional unwelcome visitor.
Either way, feeling anxious is no fun.
I hope this post gave you the tools you needed to better manage your anxiety.
Wishing you peace, health, and calm,