11 ways of Coping with anxiety and keeping a healthy mind

February 22, 2020

Depressed woman lying in bed, crying and covering her face with both hands
Emmanuel Feranmi

Today's world is hectic, full of uncertainties and can be extraordinarily stressful. We aren't machines, and our bodies have a response to these kind of situations. That response is anxiety.

If you've ever felt your heartbeat increase in response to uncertainty or felt your palms get sweaty at an awkward moment, you definitely know what anxiety is. Anxiety has so many triggers that it is impossible to collate them all.

Some people get anxious at the mere thought of speaking to a large crowd, some get anxious in the midst of unknown people, and some even get anxious at the thought of intimacy.

However, whatever your triggers are, there are a few steps that can help you cope well with your anxiety.

How You Can Cope With Anxiety

Generally, being anxious isn't a terrible thing. It is just part of being human, so you really don't need to be worried when you get anxious. But when or if your anxiety starts to interfere with your job or life, there are some quick and easy steps that you can take to deal with the situation. Here are some steps you can take to quickly cope with that feeling of anxiousness.

Deep Breathing

This is probably something you've heard before, but it is important to ground yourself by breathing deep. Breathe in for four counts and out for five counts and do this for 5 minutes in total. This will help even out your heartbeats and will reduce your anxiety levels almost instantaneously.

Question Yourself

It's great to have confidence in yourself, but it's also important to question yourself when you're being unreasonable. Anxiety often stems from negative thoughts that have no bearing on reality. If you're feeling anxious about the outcome of an event, sit back and question yourself. Are your fears really reasonable? They are most likely not.

Aromatherapy

Sweet scenting aromas can be quite soothing. If you have the means to, you should expose yourself to these scents. They can be in oil, incense or candle forms. These aromas tend to help you clear your head and focus on what is really important. Studies have even shown that there are some aromas that activate receptors in the brain that help with anxiety.

Light Exercise

There's nothing that clears your mind like a short walk, or light exercise. If you're at work, you can have a desk bike. That way, you can clear your mind while working. Studies have shown that desk bikes even do wonders for office-related anxiety.

Write Down What You Feel

In your head, your thoughts are larger than life, and if they are negative thoughts they can even be scarier than normal. However, if you write your thoughts down you make them more concrete than they would normally be.

Writing down the reasons for your anxiety will help you judge them objectively, and more often than not you'll see that you have no reason to be anxious in the first place.

All these are quick ways of dealing with anxiety. But if your situation is more severe than occasional anxiousness, and you suspect that you have a more serious condition like Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), then you may have to try other far reaching methods.

Long Term Methods Of Dealing With Anxiety

Know Your Triggers And Manage Them

To avoid episodes of anxiety, you need to know what triggers them. You can identify these triggers on your own, or you could work with a therapist to help you identify the things that trigger you.

When you find out what triggers you, you should figure out how to avoid it if possible. Some triggers, like alcohol, caffeine or smoking are easily avoidable. However, some are a bit more difficult to avoid. In any case, you should try to limit your exposure if you can.

Routine Meditation

This may be difficult and would take a long time to take effect, but if you can, you should learn how to meditate mindfully. This will train your brain to get rid of negative thoughts, and will generally help with your anxiety.

Maintain A Healthy Mind And Body

Eating healthy food, exercising regularly and limiting your exposure to alcohol and smoking will help you develop a healthier mind. Keeping great interpersonal relationships and maintaining a positive environment will also help to keep anxiety at bay.

Scrutinize Your Diet

Studies have shown that there are certain foods that can help reduce anxiety. Some of these foods include Omega fatty acid, kava kava, dark chocolate, green tea and valerian root. Adding these foods to your diet will definitely see your anxiety levels reduce.

However, you should note that you may not see the results of a diet change until after three months. That's why it is a long term strategy. You need to be patient to see results. 

Adopt cognitive behavioral therapy

This therapy will help you change your thinking patterns and learn different and healthier ways to rationalize events or occurrences. These ways, you can deal with the roots of negative thoughts before they spiral into something uncontrollable.

Medications

This should be a last resort, but if your anxiety is severe and shows no signs of abating, then you should see a health care professional. If you're diagnosed, you may be lucky to receive prescription for medication that helps with anxiety.

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